Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mistu Puuleezeman!

That's how he stopped me. I split off from the other officers while checking a bad apartment complex for a drunk who groped a 16-year old girl and got punched in the face. We knew he was here somewhere. I wanted to check the south end while the others checked the north end. Part of me was reminding me how stupid it was to walk this complex, at night, alone. I'm walking between two buildings when this kid says "mistu puuleezeman!" I know how important it is to leave children with a good impression of police officers, yet I don't have time to stop and socialize. So I say a dismissive hello and take a few steps away. Then he says "my daddy..." I stop. He keeps saying "my daddy." I ask what about his daddy, he just looks at me. I ask if he's okay, he says yes. I ask are his parents home, he says yes. I tell he needs to go home because the bad people come out at night. I ask him if he's going to go home now and he says yes. I then say a polite goodbye and take off in search of the creep. Well, we find a drunk passed out in a laundry room. He matches the description and he looks like the kind of drunk who would grope a teenage girl. We bring him back to the girl and she says it's not him. We start trying to identify him. It's clear he's an illegal who shouldn't be here. He won't identify himself. All he says is "I'm just a drunk! I'm no robber! I'm from Mexico!" Well after five minutes of this crap I've had enough. The clown goes to jail. We give the girl her information. Funny thing is she's not a real victim. She's a teenage girl growing up in the "barrio" so she knows how to handle herself. Hell, she's more streetwise than I am. Turns out she's coming from the 'smoke' shop from down the street. I ask "aren't you too young to be in that store?" Obviously a dumb question in this part of town but I wanted to hear her reaction. She just looked at me like a kid caught red handed at something. Clearly the clerk there didn't care. Had I more time (I still had another situation to deal with) I would have walked into that 'smoke' shop and chewed the clerk's ass out. I've been known to make embarrassing scenes for clerks, bartenders, and bouncers when caught serving minors. As I drive off I got to thinking about that boy. Was his English really bad? Was he mentally slow? What was he trying to say about his dad? He never did answer that question. I start thinking the worst. What if he was trying to tell me something? Now I wish I'd have taken more time to make sure all was well with that kid. I wish I'd have walked him to his apartment and made sure all was well. I just hope I'm over reacting.

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