All but two of my twelve printed submissions, in Combat Handguns magazine, just bore my initials (R.G.) and the city I was in. In the other two, I got a full by-line. The first of these was in the sister publication, Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, where they printed three of my stories, as one “Street Smarts” article, paid me $450 (Harry Kane knew I was homeless and needed the money), and put my name at the top. The first story was the first one that they had published, this time with “I don’t give a fuck if you live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, in the White House, get the fuck out of my parking lot,” left in it, as Harry knew, by that time, that everything I wrote was true. I can’t remember what the middle one was, but #3 was my newest one, a very long piece which was a three-fer (3 stories in one submission). #3, in #3, was about how I came very close to blowing a Compton (yes, that Compton) police Sergeant, in plain clothes, away. Harry PCd out, by failing to print the name of the city. He probably thought that there was a racial aspect to the story, but everybody was white.
Sunday afternoon, 4:30 pm, ADT’s Long Beach substation (station/car 9), the start of my shift. 10 minutes later, my moron supervisor calls me on our direct phone line to tell me to roll on an ultrasonic alarm, in the lay-a-way department, at the north end of the Compton Sears store, on Long Beach Blvd. He FAILS to tell me two very important things: (1) It’s about the 6th alarm we’ve received, that day, from that same alarm, meaning it’s probably another false alarm and, (2) There’s a fucking plain-clothes dick in the store, on a fucking stakeout. That’s right; Walter Cranse, my shit-for-brains supervisor, did not tell me there was an armed LEO on the premises.
Rolling 60 mph up a deserted Long Beach Blvd. (I wasn’t in a hurry), it still took me about 20 minutes to get there. When I arrived at the rear employee entrance, there was a Compton police car parked near the door. As I was getting the keys, to open the door, out of the trunk of my car, the uniformed ROOKIE cop was pissing and moaning about how this was the 3rd time, in 2 hours, that he’d had to pour out his coffee, at Winchell’s Donuts, stuff his donut in his mouth, and drive down to this false alarm. I commiserated with him, assuring him that I didn’t like false alarms either, but the fucker kept sniveling about his coffee, the donut, and the false alarm. He kept this up for the next 2 minutes, as I unlocked the door, we stepped inside, I closed and locked the door, did NOT flip the common/everyday light switch, on the wall, which would have turned on every frigging light in the store. It was late afternoon, the sun was low, I knew it would be fairly dark in the store, but neither one of us took our flashlights with us and we had no lights, but we did have enough light to make our way down some stairs, into the basement, walk across the basement, up some stairs, and start walking down a large main aisle, towards the lay-a-way area. I had just finished telling the cop to give it a rest, as I was getting annoyed, when I spotted a dude, in civvies, standing at the far side of the aisle, about 20 feet away. Lickety-split, my S&W Model 27, 5″.357 Magnum was cocked and pointed at the dude’s heart, with my finger on that 2-pound trigger. I said, in a VERY low voice, which was almost a whisper, “Move, and you’re dead.” Officer numb-nuts was right beside me and grabbed my right arm, with both of his hands, and forced my arm straight up, so that my gun was pointed at the ceiling. I never took my eyes off the “burglar,” but tried to get my arm back down.
My arm was waving around, but pointed at the ceiling, and I was saying, “Let go of my fucking arm, you idiot, there’s a burglar over there, who may be armed.” All this time, my finger was on that “hair trigger,” but I have superlative muscle control. During this time, das rookie was mumbling, “Bub, bub, bub, bub,” like a PCP aficionado. As I said, my attention was on the “burglar” and, if he would have blinked, I would have dropped the hammer, after turning my head and closing my eyes, to unleash a sheet of flame, two FEET long, out the muzzle, and two sheets of flame, one foot long, out the respective sides of my gat, from the cylinder gap. That’s what I had observed, somewhere in the middle of the Mohave Desert, after the sun had gone down. I can bet you the farm, that with that pyrotechnic display going off in his face, he would have let go of my arm, allowing me to throw down on my perceived adversary. When the wanker finally found his voice, he kept repeating, over, and over, and…, “Don’t shoot the Sergeant, don’t shoot the Sergeant.” It took but a fraction of a second for me to discern the reason for his seeming, from out of nowhere, previous break with reality, in not recognizing what, to me, seemed a potentially deadly threat. I stopped trying to get out of his grasp, and said, “Everything is cool; you can let go of my arm.” He released my arm, I lowered it and, while I’m certain that I could have lowered the hammer, on a live round, with one hand, I chose to use both hands, because who needs an accidental discharge (AD) at ANY time?
We walked over to where the Sergeant was still standing, in the same position, when I first threw down on him. He hadn’t moved even one cell in his body, during my fight with the coptard. The Sergeant said, in a voice filled with a yearning for a plausible explanation for why he was almost shot, “What the fuck is going on here?” I said, “Sergeant, this stupid son of a bitch didn’t tell me you were in here, and I came close to blowing your ass away.” The Sergeant exploded on the rookie, “You stupid asshole, this man almost shot me, because you didn’t tell him that I was in here.” Rook: “Well, Sergeant, I assumed…” Sgt.: “Stand at attention, when I’m talking to you.” The rook stood at rigid West Point-like attention, for the next five minutes, as timed on my Rolex Submariner Superlative Chronometer. THAT was the most thorough ass-chewing that I’ve ever witnessed; the asshole was almost crying, especially when, near the end of this historic verbal assault, the Sergeant said, “Tomorrow, at 9 A.M., I’ll be in the Chief’s office and if, at 9 oh 5, you still have a job with this police department, you’ll be one lucky SOB, because I’m going to tell the Chief to fire your ass.”
The Sergeant had absolutely no beef with me, and eagerly got close to me when I called my supervisor, in Huntington Park. “Shit, man, we’re in a world of trouble.” “Why, what’s wrong, Rick?” “You know that Sergeant that’s in here, the one you forgot to tell me about?” “Damn, I knew there was something I forgot to tell you.” “Well, shit, man, I don’t know how to say this.” “What’s wrong?” “Well, the uniformed cop I came in here with, also didn’t tell me the Sergeant was in here, and, oh shit, I blasted him; he’s lying on the floor in a pool of blood.” “Oh, my God; what will Jim [the manager of our office] say?” At this point, I held the receiver about one foot in front of my mouth, and YELLED into it, “I don’t give a fuck what Jim says, you asshole. Now, listen up, Walter Cranse, this is the SECOND time that you’ve done this to me; sent me where there was an authorized person, who you didn’t tell me about, and I threw down on them. And I didn’t shoot the Sergeant, but I came real close to blowing his ass away. If you EVER do this to me again, the first thing I’m going to do, win, lose, or draw, out here on the street, I’m coming to Huntington Park, and blow YOUR FUCKING ASS AWAY,” and slammed the phone down on the cradle. The Sergeant: “Right on, right on, right on, that’s telling that son of a bitch.”