Da' Man!


Wearing our Class “A” uniforms, standing in the lobby of the funeral home, we were waiting for the service to start for a fellow motor officer, who had recently died of a heart attack. As cops do, we chitchatted, and were talking about the homicide occurring the previous evening in a grocery store parking lot.

Distress Signal

While talking, several Executive officers’ pagers go off…beep, beep, beep…reporting a shooting. Conversation started up again, until the start of the service, and once more, the symphony of pagers goes off. Wow, another shooting.

The service continues and friends and family start telling stories towards the end of the service. Here’s where this tale of terror starts to get interesting.

Think Cards

Poker-Face Draw…

Bill’s brother-in-law (BIL) was one of the last speakers. He begins telling a story about he and Bill going to an early season baseball game in Baltimore. Bill was affectionately known as “Killer” because of his rough exterior demeanor, but he was really a pussycat at heart, like so many other cops.

Being early spring, it was still chilly out and Bill and the BIL were dressed appropriately. The game ends late and it’s dark out. They need to walk several blocks to where they had parked. When they enter the parking garage, there are about 15 teenagers mingling in the garage.

Let’s just say they weren’t leaving the bingo hall and on their way to donate their winnings to the homeless shelter. As Bill and his BIL approach their vehicle, some of the group disperses, flanking them. Bill whispers, “Get behind me and be quiet.”

The BIL tells us he has never been so scared in his life and really thought he was going to die, or at least end up in the hospital. As the group closes in, one of them yells, “How much money ya’ got?” Bill responds, “Let me check…” as he reaches back with his right hand, doing a perfect jacket sweep. He doesn’t draw his gun, put keeps his hand on his hip, bent forward, as he slowly scans the crowd, left to right, right to left, saying absolutely nothing. Again, “How much money ya’ got…” is heard from one of the kids. Bill keeps his hand on his hip, staring the kid down as only he could do. After about 30 seconds, the same kid yells, “He da’ man, he da’ man…run!”

Miraculously, all the kids run off and Bill stands up, zips up his coat and says, “Let’s get the hell out of here!” The BIL responds, “Man, I thought I was going to see you shoot someone!”
Bill responds, “With what? I’m not carrying tonight!” The BIL laughed, shook his head and I told Bill, “You are da’ man” and we got the hell in our car and drove off.

Debatable Discussion?

I don’t know how you feel about Bill’s tactics, but personally, I think he used his head and pulled it off pretty damn well! Anytime you can walk away from a potentially violent encounter, you’ve done good.

Sure, he should have been armed, and Bill usually was, but for some reason, he wasn’t that night. Bill’s actions were deliberate and he was convincing enough to fool some street thugs, not something everyone can do.

Bill had a few Aces up his sleeve, being a cop. He was well versed in acting and people skills. Being involved in stressful situations allows one to appear to have a cool demeanor under the most stressful of situations. It just comes with the turf. I always said cops make pretty good actors. They know how to turn it “on” and turn it “off” and most cops understand this completely.

Being a cop, Bill knew the mechanics and had the ability to make someone believe he was armed. Not something you want to do everyday, but in a pinch like he was in, what else are you going to do?

Think cop

Eerie Escort

We gave Bill a proper motor escort, just blocks away from one of the shootings. It’s a day I will never forgot in more ways than one. See, those shootings were just the beginning of the “Beltway Sniper” shootings in the Washington, D.C. area, on October 2, 2002 – October 24th, 2002. A total of 10 people would die from the suspects’ hands in the D.C. metropolitan area, and they’d be linked to several more shootings across the country.
But that’s another story, for another day.

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