A few years back, I was working patrol on the graveyard shift. It was one of those quiet nights that seemed to drag on forever; they were usually quiet because criminals were either in jail, in the ER getting their stomachs pumped, or too inebriated to do anything, because they needed their stomachs pumped.
I was saved from total boredom by a call to a neighborhood where a man was screaming on a street corner. I pulled up, and sure enough, there was a guy who was yelling through the 7 words you can’t say on TV (actually, I think it’s down to 4 words now). I recognized the man as Kenny. I think you all know a Kenny; he’s the guy who is about 28 years old, but talks like a ten year old with a mouth full of marbles. He wears jeans that are 2 sizes too small and 4 inches too short. He wears 2 hats at a time, and has a chain attached to 57 keys, one of which actually goes to the lock on his welfare apartment. Often times the Kennys of the world push a shopping cart around and look for aluminum cans in the garbage. Kenny is usually angry at something, but all the cops know him and always try their best to calm him down and keep him out of trouble.
This morning, however, I pled with Kenny, I cajoled him, I threatened him, but he would not shut up. The people in the neighborhood were all calling in, demanding that the police stop this disturbance. I finally told him that he was under arrest. As soon as the words were out of my mouth he bolted for his apartment. He was still screaming as I ran after him, catching him by one arm at the open door to his small one-room pad. On a coffee table, just inside the door, was the largest collection of knives I have ever seen. Kenny was obviously struggling with me to get to a knife, and I couldn't let anyone (including Kenny) be hurt by the blades. Although I felt sorry for Kenny, I had to stop this before it went any further. I balled up my right fist and punched Kenny right in the left ear. It was not a hard hit, but Kenny stopped yelling, started crying, and went into a fetal ball. He also completely emptied his bowels into his too-small jeans. About this time a fellow officer named Jim came running up to assist.
“Anything I can help with?” Jim asked.
Before Jim was able to get a whiff I answered,
“Could you transport this guy to the jail in your car?”