Saturday, June 9, 2012
Gangster Goes Night Night
This week one of my guys was recovering a stolen car in the garage of a no-tell- motel. As he searched the car, he found a sawed off shotgun behind the seat. It was with a hoodie and a pair of gloves. Not the average luggage in a normal persons car. Following up on the recovery he checked the registry of the hotel against some of the paperwork he found in the victor. Bingo! A name match. The person who stole the car registered under their real name…even paid cash for the room. I love good police work.
I went to cover him. We set up on room 227 while computer checks were run on the name. Its kind of hard to be sneaky when you have black and whites in the parking lot and a bunch of guys running around in blue uniforms and shinny gold badges. So stealth was out.
After we had a tight perimeter and we were getting assets in place, the door to the room cracked opened. The person we had a photo of came out cautiously looking around. Casually looking up and down the balcony she motioned for her partner to come out. He was a typical ESD gangster; shaved head, tattoos, Chargers sweat top and baggy shorts with white socks. Hummmm, I wonder who had the shotgun?
An officer approached the pair and immediate the fight was on. I ran up four flights of stairs huffing and puffing taking them two at a time. Amazing how a few seconds seems like eternity. Yelling and screaming ahead of me. I ran faster. Because of the gun and two people against one cop in a small corridor, I wanted this fight to be over. Fast!
Beto the ESD gangster squirmed out of his sweat top trying to free himself. Throwing elbows and burying his hands to prevent handcuffing we pushed him into a stucco wall. There was heavy breathing, radios blaring and emergency tone piercing the radio air. The cops were yelling at the top of their lungs, stop resisting. Give my your hands. The woman was screaming stop he did nothing wrong. Try fighting while trying to keep a cautious eye on someone who came from a stolen car with a shotgun. I’m still huffing and trying to suck in all of the air I can. Fighting is not as easy as I remember it.
Realizing we are in a fight with a motivated gangster the officers went for the hands, I went for the neck. I put Beto into a chokehold, aka sleeper hold, technically known as a Kansas City lateral neck restraint. Don’t want to call it a chokehold, people get nervous. You’re trying to put him to sleep, not kill him they would say.
All four bodies crashed to the cement floor as Beto began to loose consciousness. He released his hands with the force of the fall and the officers prying them loose. He submitted.
After the initial fight was over and I caught my breath, I muttered quietly, “Andy, what are you thinking, you’re 55 years old.” I looked at this 25 year old parolee with some compassion. I’m not sure why. He had the tattoos of ESD a murderous gang. He had the tattoo red lips a sign of being a sureno, supporting the Mexican Mafia. He sat dejected realizing he was going back to prison.
Each Wednesday I meet with a group of guys to discuss biblical things and push each other spiritually. It’s an eclectic group with broad backgrounds and varying education. One of the questions that arose out of our conversation was where would we find Jesus hanging out if he were in San Diego today. It was a robust discussion.
What did Jesus see when he looked at the largest city of that time in Israel? Its recorded for us in Luke 19:41. According to most scholars Jerusalem was a city of an estimated 80,000 that swelled to possibly 250,000 during festivals. A center of commerce it was a busy city with people on top of people. I like to think it was a city like Mayberry RDF. Not the case. It was busy, dirty where disease and prostitution was obvious. It was a place where robbers hid along the roads and ambushed people on the way to the center of religious life. When Jesus looked at Jerusalem he wept for the people. All of them. The good, the bad, the busy, the cheats and the hookers, even the ESD gangsters. They were his people. He loved them.
It was Jesus’ triumphal entry, when he was coming to claim his kingdom. They rejected him and it moved him to tears. Not because he would not be their king, he knew that he already was their king. He wept because only his plan would bring Jerusalem peace. In a city of strife, crime and disorder they had the opportunity for lasting peace. They rejected the peace and the peacemaker, Jesus. Sadly they still today do and so do we.
Where would Jesus have been? With Beto the ESD gangster. With you and me. We all have an opportunity to live in peace. It begins and ends with us following Jesus – He is shalom…He is Peace. It's our choice to accept that and follow him.
Posted by SD COP at 9:53 PM