Saturday, January 09, 2010

Book 'Em, Dan'l

Two o'clock this morning, my wife, the dogs, and I are snug in our bed, and sound asleep. Of a moment, the little dog Layla goes off, hits the floor barking, out the doggie-door into the back yard, carrying on.

In my deep stupor, I'm roused enough to figure it must be five a.m., and my wife is up and has let the dogs out to razz the squirrels -- but no -- Jude the Larger adds his woofery, and I wake up enough to realize that my wife is still in bed, and she says, "Something's going out there."

I put on my glasses, grab my bedside weaponry, and walk naked into the back yard. There are loud voices, and I figure, Friday night shading into Saturday, one of the neighbors who is a noisy party guy when he drinks has gotten one over his limit.

Jude scrambles past me to join Layla in her tiny imitation of the Hound of the Baskervilles. The yelling voices -- at least two -- sound as if they are right next door, and of a moment, the blinking red and blue of a police car's roof rack lights up the house next to mine.

Police. And dealing with a miscreant.

Over Layla and Jude's barking, the sound of a bigger dog out front carrying on, all excited.


Probably not a good idea to be standing naked in the back yard holding a firearm.

So I toodle back inside, and get dressed, go to the front window and peep out.

Half a dozen of Beaverton's finest have somebody down on the front lawn next door, twenty feet from the window. I can't really see much because of the angle. The K-9 officer and dog are dancing on my sidewalk, and the human is telling the dog what a good boy he is for biting the runner on the ass. I know this last because I hear the officer say, "He got him on the ass!"

Looks like it's all over, whatever it is, but the officers are walking up and down, shining lights hither and yon, and either looking for somebody else, or, more likely given the dog, looking for something the suspect dropped or tossed during his flight.

My wife wants to go out and see what is going on, so we step into the fenced courtyard out front (leaving the gun behind) and get a quick flashlight wave. "Go back inside, please."

A few minutes later, everybody packs up and leaves. The dogs go back to sleep, and given what we saw, I'm going with the idea that somebody was fleeing and got caught in the neighbor's yard by the dog. Who, what he might have done, I dunno, and this morning, there aren't any reports up anywhere. Maybe it'll make the news today and we can see.

Ours is a quiet neighborhood. We've had police activity around our house only four or five times in twenty-odd years, never a shot fired, though some weapons have been waved.

It does wake you right up to have it happening that close.


Sun Bear said...

We recently had someone firing a gun at someone else's car at the church next door, here in Woodland, so I can relate. Thankfully, the clergyman had it handled before the police even arrived...

Thomas said...

When the officer waved you back inside, you should have said: "I'm a science fiction author, Officer, is there anything I can do?"

The police often welcome a bit of brevity.

Evan Robinson said...

I believe the quote you're looking for is "Book'em DanO"

Still an entertaining story.

Steve Perry said...

When you're right, you're right -- Book 'em Danno ...

Anonymous said...

I understand following the orders (or requests) of a police officer when their adrenaline is up and you don't know the whole story. Obeying in that case is simple prudence.

However, having one order me to do something, on my own property, without an explanation, would give me a slight chill.

I'm curious if you have any comment on that aspect of the night?

Steve Perry said...

My attitude was that, while I thought the party was over, else I wouldn't have stepped out, I didn't know for sure, and in the dark with several excited officers hustling around, looking for dropped drugs or weapons, or maybe a running buddy, I didn't want to become part of the problem.

If you are in the middle of something that might be dangerous, you don't want civilians gumming up the works. Men were doing their jobs, part of that is to keep the neighbors from getting hurt.

Me lipping off and saying, "You can't make me go inside!' wouldn't have helped anything.

jks9199 said...

I've told plenty of people to get back in their houses or move on... I've even been the one being told once or twice. (It's easy to forget that the working cops where you live may not all know you... especially when you get to know a fair number of them. And especially when you're not dressed for work...)

It's part of maintaining a reasonable level of control over a situation, and of protecting the public. Steve sums up a lot of it well; there's a lot going on and you don't always know or see all of it. Adding an unknown person to the mix doesn't help -- and creates one more person I have to worry about. I had a community association president one day decide that the time to question me about what I was doing was when I was dealing with three people by myself, struggling with a language barrier. And yes, he did contact my supervisor about the way I spoke to him. And my supervisor backed me up.

Viro said...

Local newspapers usually have a weekly "police blotter" section. Hopefully there'll be a blurb in the next one.

Dojo Rat said...

Gosh Steve;

The poor guy was just looking for your house so you could proofread his manuscript...


Steve Perry said...

Found out that the incident was not unlike I had figured. Somebody got spotted ripping off stuff at a restaurant around the corner. Police arrived, gave chase, and the dog nosed him out next door.

The report i got said the dog didn't bite the thief, but only found him, and I might have mis-heared that bit-him-on-the-ass part ...

James said...

@ Thomas - I think that's been tried just recently on the Canadian border.

A lot of the time, if there's a dog working, we want you to go inside so you don't add your scent to the environment.

Being a cop is a lot of fun. Being in K9 is the most fun you can have being a cop.

Nataraj Hauser said...

Nothing is more frustrating than having LEO's tell concerned citizens to go away and never find out what just happened in their immediate environment. About a year ago there were SEVEN squad cars on my street. Seven. Two is normal, three is a definite eyebrow-raiser. It was clear as I parked that It Was All Over, with most of the officers in their squads. I asked the nearest what happened. He told me, in a most unfriendly manner, to go away. I suggested, before retreating, that the concept of Neighborhood Watch made his job easier, not harder.

There was nada in the papers all week, and my request for general information was ignored. I repeat: Seven squads. Go away citizen.

Steve Perry said...

Never made the news here; how I found out was, I emailed the local PD and asked.

Of course, I don't look like an old hippie over the net.