Sunday, January 10, 2010

Call me garbage man

2245 hrs
Tonight's partner is worthless. He's about 5'4", 140 pounds (if that), has no ability to physically overpower (let alone control) anyone, has never seen the inside of a wrestling gym, dojo or anything, practices horribly unsafe police tactics and has negative people skills. He has the annoying habit of baiting people and not being able to back it up. Imagine if a diminutive police officer was chipping away at you for no really good reason besides he had a baged and you didn't. It just may drive you to say or do something to him. One other thing, should you - God forbid - ever try and point something out to him he is incapable of seeing he was wrong. He has a ton of horrible personality traits and I just hope he doesn't get me or anyone else hurt tonight.

We were on our way to some bullshit, “390 man in a vehicle. Meet the Fire Department. 2 Male Hispanics. No Further,” radio call. 390 is the communications code for drunk in public. It wasn't coded, which meant there's no immediacy in responding. As usual Mid Watch was nowhere to be found. God forbid they handle calls after we come down from roll call. My watch had just started an hour ago and I had just finished eating. Good, I'll have plenty of time to finish my brownie. I hope it won't be the only perk of the night.

2250 hrs
The Radio Teletype Operator comes back over the air, “1A12, your 390 Man in a Vehicle is now a Fire Department requesting a Backup. Suspect becoming combative with FD. Respond Code 2.” Fuck! The Fire Department is incapable of just asking for us to show. In Police terms, if you request a Backup that means you need additional officers really fucking soon. Not so with the Fire Department. In this case it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that they really need us quickly. The RTO just told us in cop lingo that a “drunk man in a vehicle is becoming combative with the fire department.” The Fire Department has no Use of Force policy, so if anything gets the least bit hairy they call us in. We go from “We'll get there when we get there,” speed to “Hurry the fuck up!” We quickly get into our black and white and my partner drives FIVE MILES BELOW THE SPEED LIMIT (did I mention he's Asian?) to this priority call. After about a minute en route, I get a crazy urge. I stuff my brownie in my face, turn to my partner and let out a little grunt. “A fucking brownie smile? Christ I can't remember the last time I got a brownie smile,” my partner says half incredulously, half laughing. This call came out in the northwest corner of the division. Where were we? In the southeast corner of a 25 square mile division, of course. Where was the unit whose responsibility this part of the division was? Who cares, it's best not to obsess about that shit. If you start asking why people don't handle shit in their area, you just become more and more pissed. Most of the time, it's not that unit's fault; the city not hiring enough, the city deploying too many to work inside jobs, the city responding to every stupid fucking family dispute when we could be out looking for robbers, rapists and other violent felons. But I digress...

2300 hrs
So after our seemingly endless commute we're treated to the following scene: A silver El Camino is parked in a gas station parking lot. A fire engine and two ambulances flank the Chevy. Two units have already arrived before us (Gee, small wonder seeing how fucking long it took.) There's a 17 yr old male Hispanic hunched over the rear looking inches from death. I later learned he had alcohol poisoning and required medical treatment. We then see another 30 something male Hispanic handcuffed and being searched and groaning that drunken groan. I decide his name is now Boracho (Spanish slang for drunk). We ask him numerous times what his name is. He responds with, “Fuh yew! Ughhhh...” He isn't saying if he drove and no witnesses can put him behind the wheel. In fact the other male Hispanic's 17 yr old girlfriend is saying she drove the last few blocks. As one of the units is searching the car, we come across an 8 ball of coke on the front passenger seat. Boracho was found in the front passenger seat by FD when they first rolled up. They tried to help him and he “attacked” them. By attacked I mean groaned, took two steps and then fell on his face. “Suspect becoming combative with Fire Department” my ass!

I begin questioning the only member of the party who isn't raging drunk, the juvenile's juvenile girlfriend. After getting the story I explain that some guy who gets this trashed and drives 40 miles from home for no reason isn't going to make the best husband/ baby daddy whatever. The gas station owner takes it from there and starts saying how she needs to "dump this dumbass." She begins crying uncontrollably. I later learned she followed her true love to the hospital and professed her undying love for him as he got his alcohol poisoning treatment. Love truly conquers all.

We were going to transport Boracho via police car. I canceled that shit as soon as I saw the two officers dragging him to my car. If this idiot can't walk, there's no way they can book him at the jail. If he can't be booked he may be in such a state that he might fucking die in my police car as I'm taking him. I smell the booze on him, he's under arrest for cocaine possession ... words like Neglect of Duty and familiarizing myself with the unemployment office start to crowd my mind as I consider taking him in my police car. Fuck this, he's going by way of ambulance to the hospital first.

2330 hrs
So one unit goes with the juvenile and we go with Boracho. He's in our custody for felony cocaine possession. The fucking cuffs are staying on even laying down on a gurney. Just a night earlier a different unit on a different watch (what are the chances a Mid Watch unit goofs up!?) was okey doked into being lax and a Suspect escaped while at the hospital. I don't give a good fuck what a doctor tells me, no suspect is getting away from me. Again.

(A few months ago another partner and I had an HIV positive burglary arrestee we were transporting from the hospital to jail. He kept bitching about how hot he was, so I opened the window so it was about 6” - 8” open feeling sorry for the poor, sick bastard. Our arrestee was about 5'6”, 135. All of a sudden I heard a thumping behind me and as I look in the rear view I catch my arrestee doing a dive out of the open window. I was in too much shock to do the rational thing and SLAM ON THE FUCKING BRAKES thus using Officer Momentum to slam him against the cage and thwart his escape attempt.)

Next day, 0030 hrs
Our Suspect is in “hard restraints” and is hooked up to an assortment of tubes. The nurse inserts the foley catheter and there is NO response from our Suspect. Christ, he must be dead! I look at his vitals, see his pulse at about 110 and I am proven wrong.

0045 hrs
The RN informs us the urine test shows Boracho's BAC is .40. Death normally occurs in the .35 range.

0200 hrs
The super speedy HMO staff decide it's time for a CAT scan. I inform them he wasn't involved in a Traffic Collision, wasn't battered and he's in our custody. The RN tech ignores me and begins wheeling him to the CAT scan room. The hospital staff undoes one of his arm restraints.

I knew what was going to happen, it isn't a psychic ability, it's just experience and common sense. It's like when you're wide receiver, you've just caught the ball and you're running full speed. Out of the corner of your eye you see the strong safety half a step away moving at top speed and you know it's gonna hurt. If you've ever spent any time around any drunks in custody you know what's coming next. Boracho sits up and attempts to get out of the gurney he's still restrained to in three places. He flips himself out so that his body is now on the ground and both legs and his left arm are up on the gurney. This doesn't agree with his equilibrium and he begins projectile vomiting everywhere. On himself, the hospital security guard (hey, these idiots made this bed, I fucking told them not to do this. They can reap what they sow.) and the door to the CAT scan room. The RN tech looks at me pissed and says, “Screw this! I'm not going to do this!” Oh really? Maybe next time you'll listen to the blue suiter, eh?

0230 hrs
Only someone like me who deals with transients and raving drunks for a living would know this, but when the BAC regularly goes above .20 you can smell the person sweating out a nasty, oxidized alcohol. Boracho must have been doing nothing but cheap tequila because the stench was especially pungent.

0235 hrs
Boracho has just shit himself. Nice. Vomit, booze sweat and shit by themselves are fucking nasty. Together they're nuclear grade. The staff cleans him off, changes his sheets and puts his soiled linen into a soiled linen container... located right outside the room where I'm waiting. Dear GOD why couldn't I have been good at math and been a fucking computer programmer or engineer? No, I had to love mystery novels, mystery shows, action movies, martial arts, driving fast and carrying a gun.

0240 hrs
Boracho has now somehow removed his gown. As long as I'm already looking at naked people, why can't I get the “illegal filming” calls in the San Fernando Valley – where 90% of the filming is X rated?

0400 hrs
Hospital janitor finally takes the soiled linen away. At this point I could care less it almost took him 90 minutes to do this and thank him profusely for his service. An RN checks on Boracho and realizes he doesn't have an IV hooked up. Holy happy horse shit, I'm no doctor but one of the big symptoms you're combating with alcohol poisoning is dehydration. Way to go HMO hospital staff! Christ I hope if I ever need a hospital visit I don't fucking go here. Boracho is finally talking and has no idea why he's in the hospital. After calmly explaining it to him four times I then ignore him the rest of the night.

0645 hrs
The hospital finally clears Boracho to book. We take him to jail.

0715 hrs
My partner is Asian, and true to stereotype drives like a complete lunatic. We drove 5 miles per hour under the speed limit to get to this priority call and now ... 70 mph on city streets in broad daylight with an arrestee in custody! You asshole ...

0900 hrs
... he's finally booked, we complete the arrest report paperwork, have some overtime and then partake in the best perk there is, to safely go home.

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