Oct 28, 2008

Got a new car

My assigned detective car (an ex-patrol car), a 2001 Chevy Impala, started making a funny noise two weeks ago. The fleet guy took it into the shop and later told me that the exhaust manifold was cracked. The cost to fix it is not worth keeping it, as it has very high miles for a police car- over 70,000.

City cop cars get absolutely thrashed; the quintessential “Rode hard- put away wet,” “Driven like a rented mule,” “Drove like it was stolen” situation with these cars. When they get about 50-60k miles, they take all of the patrol gear out of them, paint them some cheap color and give them to detectives… until now.

In an effort to be seen as “green,” our new Deputy Chief has determined to not retire patrol cars to detectives, but instead buy used fuel-efficient cars for the dicks to drive. Long story short, they gave me a Dodge “Stratus” that had been purchased at a car auction. The motor is powerful enough to just about run my wife’s blender, and I have more leg room in my ‘75 Fiat Spider. I got into it for the first time and adjusted the rear-view mirror, which broke off in my hand. Just yesterday the sun was out and it got pretty warm inside the car… it smelled of heavy mildew.

I’m happy that some poor soul who lived through hurricane Katrina got a new car from their insurance company, but I got stuck with the dark blue ’02 Stratus with the loose rear view mirror. If this car belonged to you, hope your doing well down in the lower 9th ward... and thanks for the 32 cents under the driver's seat.

Oct 24, 2008

Groin, groin... gone

Gang members are fascinated by guns.

Not in a I-Love-Target-Shooting-Skills way; more like a I-Need-to-Compensate way. They sit around listening to Gansta Rap, smoking marijuana and drinking 40 ouncers of Old English beer. Then they put on red or blue hankies over their faces; contort their fingers to spell out things like “BLOOD”, “CRIP” or “SPIFINKLEDORF” (hours of playing Cat’s Cradle helps them spell these words digitally) and then they hold up guns. A girlfriend then takes a photo. This is a very cool thing to do.

However, what do you do with your gun when you want to hold a joint and drink beer at the same time? You can’t put the gun down, they are valuable and you are surrounded by other criminals; you don’t want your new 9mm (which you stole) pinched by your buddy while throwing down the two-handed SPIFINKLEDORF sign do you? You have to put it somewhere; but where? You forgot to steal a holster, so that’s not an option. You don’t want to put it in the rear waistband of your pants, the backside is hanging down around your calves and it would cover up your polka-dot boxers. Hey, why not put it into the front of your waistband? What a great idea!

Well, you guessed it- I got called to the scene of a shooting. The man who was shot (still alive) was saying that it was a “Drive-By,” however the trajectory of the shot was… well… not from street level. To get right to the point of the story, this gang member no longer had a… he was missing his… what was shot completely off was… well, I’ll just say Wally and the twins were completely gone. All that was left was a bloody trough.

You see, Mr. rocket-science gang guy decided to place a sawed off double barreled shotgun into the front of his pants. The shotgun had two triggers, and when he shoved it down, one of the barrels went off. In his pain and shock, he tried to violently pull the shotgun out of his pants; you guessed it- he then pulled the second trigger.

When Sgt. Scott and I searched the house he came from, Scott called out to me, “I found it, I think.” A few feet away from a pair of shotgun blast patterns in the floor was what looked to be a pink chunk of squid.

I took a picture of Mr. (er… Ms?) Gansta’s groin and posted it up at the shooting range with the caption, “PRACTICE SAFE FIREARMS HANDLING. THE PARTS YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN.” So maybe he will have a positive legacy after all, reminding cops to be safe. I just have a hard time ordering the calamari now.

Here is the Herald Republic article:
Shot in groin, it was no drive-by
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA -- Friends of a 20-year-old man who accidentally shot himself after putting a sawed-off shotgun in his pants initially claimed he was the victim of a drive-by shooting, Yakima police said.
The man, suffering from massive groin damage, was airlifted to a Seattle hospital where he was reported in satisfactory condition Monday.
Police found the man in the 700 block of North 24th Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, but quickly deduced his injuries did not correspond to reports of a drive-by shooting.
The officers then got a search warrant for a house about a half block away and confirmed their suspicion the shooting was self-inflicted. The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Capt. Greg Copeland said both barrels of the shotgun accident-ally discharged when the man for unknown reasons placed the gun, which was loaded with birdshot, in his pants.
On Monday, police said the shotgun had been illegally sawed off on both ends.
During the search of the house, officers said they also found a 9 mm Ruger semiautomatic pistol that had been reported stolen in Spokane.
Copeland said police expect to ask prosecutors for felony weapons charges against the man, who has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for assault, theft and drug use.
It was unclear if the man is an active gang member. According to court records, his involvement in a shooting in 2003 was gang-related.

Finally Found

About three years ago a 75 year old man was reported missing to the PD; his wife had not seen him for three days. So she made the report, we asked all of the usual questions; such as: could he be with family members? Could he have taken off to Vegas? Has he undergone alien abduction experiments in the past? After about two months of no 75 year old guy, no bank account activity, no family contacts, it was clear that 75 year old guy was probably dead. The only problem is, a dead person more often than not is noticed, whether in your front room, back yard or stuck in the grill of your car. So unless the whole alien abduction thing is a real possibility, he has to be around somewhere.

Well… fast forward three years. A guy is walking his two dogs along a popular city “Greenway” walking path. Near the parking lot (about ¼ mile from the missing guy’s home) his dogs rush into some heavy brush and he cannot call them out. He plowed into the brush and found his two dogs, fighting over a human femur. The rest of the skeleton is nearby, draped over a tree stump.

By the time I’ve gotten there, just about an entire shift of patrol officers, two sergeants, a lieutenant, a captain, the chief and a dog catcher or two has worn a path to the body to get an eyeful. They all look a bit sheepish when I ask, “I wonder if the murderer left some evidence under all those footprints?” All except the lieutenant, who announces, “Don’t worry; it’s a suicide- no doubt about it.” I guess that’s why they get paid so more than me, they just KNOW things.

Not KNOWING exactly what happened by some sort of administration 6th sense, I guess I just have to go with INVESTIGATION; how inefficient. Kristen (no longer a lowly “Evidence Tech” but now “Forensic Lab Supervisor”) comes and we take a look at the body. Completely skeletonized, but mostly still articulated within clothing (other than the chew-toy leg bone). We turn the body over a find a small handgun, still clutched in the bones of his right hand and rusted onto the front of his shirt.

The evidence all conclusively points to suicide; which, in a way ticks me off, because I can’t disprove the notion of an all-knowing lieutenant. The only satisfaction I got was when he came by the autopsy; a salamander crawled out of the chest cavity and scared the living daylights out of him. As he left I was able to say, “Didn’t see that coming did you?”

All is now right with the world.

Oct 8, 2008

Same stuff... different day


Here we are in our new spot. I just transferred all my blogs to Blogger. I know it has been a very long time since I wrote anything; it's just that I forgot to take my Ritalin one day and I was off doing something else. To tell you the truth... writing became kind of like work; not the "Good morning everyone" kind of work- more like the bad "I hate my job" sort of work. I'm here to tell you that funny stuff still happens, I still surf, I'm still in detectives, I'm still married to the prettiest lady around; but now I'm learning to play the bass guitar. What does that have to do with not writing? Beats me. Sharing soul-type stuff is hard for me... telling funny stories is easy.

So. Funny stories to follow. Promise.


PS. Here's Krissy taking a picture of me in Hawaii for our 25th wedding anniversary. I paid 25 bucks for the bug at an Italian restaurant. Should I eat it or put it on a hook?