The Olympics today reminded me of this post I wrote when I saw the last Olympics. Which weren’t winter Olympics. I don’t watch winter Olympics because everyone knows that’s just about a thousand different ways to slide on ice. Which is just weird if you really think about it.
I was watching the Olympics today and I realized something (other than I should probably exercise more). Being a cop and being an Olympian is about the same thing (don’t laugh). We both sit around and do nothing for long periods of time. Yes, we do some training (okay, they do a little bit more), but it really is just a waiting game. But every 4 years or so we get our chance to show off. Once every 4 years we both get to show off how good we can run, jump, dive, climb, race, swim, and just plain get all down and dirty.
My first cop Olympics happened almost exactly four years into my job. I was already an investigator and I was driving in the area of a small subdivision when a call came out on the police radio. Someone called in a burglary in progress close by. The suspect was described as a tall, thin, male teen carrying various electronics.
It was a hot afternoon and I was stopped at a corner in my vehicle when I saw the suspect walking my direction. He (we’ll call him Flash) saw me and quickly dropped his loot and started running. Now normally I would just chase him in my car until back up arrived, but this kid stopped in the middle of the road to taunt me to get out of the car. The kid was tall, young, and looked like he could out run my car. I knew I should have stayed in the car, but I was feeling pretty good that day. I threw out the DQ ice cream cone that I was eating and I jumped out of my car and went after him. The first 3 blocks were no problem, but by the 4th block I really should have just stopped and called for an ambulance (for me, not him). But he was running backwards and calling me names so I kept going. He saw me calling in my location on my radio so he decided he was going to change things around a bit and he jumped over a 6 1/2 foot wooden fence and into someone’s back yard. I swear nothing but the tips of 2 fingers of his left hand touched that fence.
I climbed over the first fence with no problem. He just kept jumping wooden fences into back yards. By the time I went over the fence into the fourth yard I was dead tired. I swear I was doing things in slow motion. I probably looked like a big cop balloon in a Macy’s parade. I had already torn my pants, my shirt, and lost my radio. He saw that I had stopped so he stopped also. I was in the fourth yard when I climbed up on the fence and I peered over the fence into the fifth one. He was on the other side in the 6th yard peering over at me. I said something like “st…st….st…stop po…po…po…police”, or something to that effect. He waved back with his middle finger. It didn’t bother me that he threw me the finger. What bothered me was that he looked like he just walked out of a salon and threw me the finger. I looked like Rocky in the 12th round of his first fight with Apollo Creed.
We both kind of just stared at each other for a while and looked around. He was looking for his next place to run to and I was just trying stall and get my bearings. He knew I did not have my radio and no back up was coming. Looking around I realized I had just been in this neighborhood a couple of weeks earlier working a burglary case. I thought to myself I just need to clear one more fence. I threw one leg over the fence and forced myself over it. I landed hard. He laughed and said something that rhymed with the words “fat ass”. Okay, yes, yes, he actually said fat ass but I have no idea why. I am asthmatic and my ass has never been fat. Ever.
I hobbled over to him and he jumped off the fence and ran across the 6th backyard and jumped into the 7th one. He came back and peered over the fence at me and I did not bother to go over the fence. I just climbed it a bit and peered over at him. He asked if I was ready to give up. I smiled and said yes. He then disappeared from view. I heard him yelling. It was something like “Fuck! Shit! Aaaah! Help! Officer help!!” or something like that.
See what Flash didn’t know, and I did, was that he was in the backyard of Mr. Frank Gomez. Gomez had been broken into a couple of weeks ago and didn’t feel safe anymore. So he bought 2 full grown Doberman pinchers. Flash was introducing himself to them as I walked out a rear gate of the 6th backyard into the alley (which, as I think about it now, I should have done from the beginning). I peered over the fence to see how Flash was doing and he was on the ground with each dog holding on to a pants leg. Flash was kicking like a crazed animal. I think he was even crying.
See what Flash also didn’t know that cops do is that Doberman’s don’t really want to bite you. Pit bulls want to bite you. German Shepherds want to bite you. Chihuahuas and Dobermans just want to bite your clothes. Actually they want to keep your clothes and eat them. I saw Flash was at a standstill with the dogs. They were just holding on to his pants legs waiting for him to make the next move. I saw that he had already lost his shoes and I told him to undo his pants. I told him that the dogs just wanted his pants. He undid his pants and pulled them halfway down and the dogs did the rest. Flash jumped up and ran toward me and jumped over the fence. But not before one of the dogs jumped and took a big chunk of his ass off. He screamed and fell to the ground and I got the handcuffs on him. He screamed again ” I thought you said they just wanted my clothes?” I didn’t bother explaining to Flash that my training was in law enforcement, not animal psychology. I could not stop laughing.
After a few minutes the other cops found us and took Flash to the emergency room for his ass, and then to jail for the burglary. I threw up in the alleyway and then went home to change. No medals, no endorsements, no chance of meeting the Queen (It was that Olympics. The one held where people talk funny. Yeah, that one. ).
As I sit here watching the Olympics, eating pork skins and drinking sweet tea I remember things like that. I look at the athletes with their ripped abs and I look at mine. I rub my stomach and my spine pops a little. It’s all good. At least my ass is intact.