An Exemplary Archetypical Experience At Carson
BY SLD SMITH
I was assigned to work as day Watch Deputy and around mid morning Captain Wheatly came into the desk area and asked me to step into the hall with him. In his very best USMC manner he ordered me to go and stand out in the parking lot as long as it took until I chanced to see a LASD Hughes 500 helicopter coming in to land. At that instant I was to personally come into his office and advise him that the helicopter was landing. After standing in the parking lot at parade rest for a while I saw what looked like a black and white Hughes 500 a couple of miles southeast turning toward Carson Station. I ran into the station to let Captain Wheatly know the helicopter was landing. He trotted out the back door and walked to where he was beside the ship as it settled onto the parking lot. I stood at the back door watching and wondering what was going on.
As the ships blades slowed the right side door opened and out stepped Pat Sullivan. I have known Pat for several years and thought the world of him as a good cop and friend. The rear door opened and a man who I didn’t recognize stepped out alongside Pat. This turned out to be Lee Everett an old friend of Patrick’s. The two deputies in civilian clothes were escorted into the station by the captain where they were summarily taken directly into his office. They were in there for the better part of an hour when they came out looking very dejected.
I had the opportunity to talk with both of them downstairs in the briefing room. Pat told me they were both being fired and then described what had happened. He told the story of their planning a trip to Avalon on Catalina Island for a few days of real fun. They went over to the Island and participated in some serious drinking along Front Street. They caused enough trouble to where by the end of their first day, Sammy Collins, the station commander in Avalon confronted them and warned and advised re: 647f, conduct and KTP. Instead of accepting the warning the next morning they started another day of continued hard drinking.
They got into an argument with the owner of a bar located on Front Street who then 86’d them. They exited the bar and observed a beautiful canine example tethered just outside. After studying the dog closely they decided that he was suffering from exposure to excessive sun without sufficient shade. They then made the bilateral decision to help cool off the outer coat and skin of the animal in the interest of its health and comfort. They both unzipped the fly of their trousers and on the wide public sidewalk of Front Street in the City of Avalon during broad daylight they voided their cumulative bladders over the dog, then left the location.
When the bar owner came out of his establishment he got just a little bit angry when he found his beloved pet dripping with an unknown, amber colored foul smelling fluid. He went back inside to call at least four of his huge Samoan and Tongan bouncers. He asked his men to find Pat and Lee, which they dutifully did. He was interested in showing Pat and Lee his true heartfelt gratitude that he had for their active participation in attempting to keep his prized pet healthy.
Pat said he noticed a van pull alongside as he and Lee were staggering down a side street drunk almost out of their minds. The side door of the van opened suddenly and at least four huge guys jumped out and started beating, kicking and stomping Pat and Lee both until they were subdued lying on the pavement. Both of them sustained serious injuries, including but not limited to even a couple of broken bones as a result of their beatings. It was at this time there was a telephone conversation between Sammy Collins and Captain Wheatly, the station commander at Carson. Areo Bureau was requested to respond to Avalon and fly Pat and Lee from Catalina to Carson immediately for departmental disciplinary action. I loved Pat like a brother and felt absolutely helpless. They both were summarily fired because of our old friend, “Alcohol”. I know I never thought of my self as an alcoholic but it was easy to lie because I wanted to believe myself.
Anyway so much for the precursor to, “The Rest of the story”. Pat had been training Julie Cabe in patrol but she had not yet been kicked loose. Because of Pat’s firing they put me back in the field to complete Julie’s training. She was a very smart and dedicated young lady who put forth as much or more effort as any other trainee I had ever experienced. She wanted to learn so bad that she would bring projects to work that she had developed herself learning at home. She only had one real apparent fault that I could discern at that time. She seemed to think that she could go nose to nose and toes to toes and kick ass that the biggest and baddest of us. It took me some time to get her to believe that because of her size and sex she could legally stuff her pistol in somebody’s ear and give it a half twist to lock it in the cavity long before any of the us big bad dudes could. She learned to use her PR24 efficiently, which was the most effective and useful non-lethal weapon we had ever been issued. I told her she shouldn’t try to carry a Gonzalez simply because it was so heavy and you had to get close to the suspect in order to use it. I explained that in the interest of officer safety it would be much better for her to keep her distance and rely upon the PR24. We spent a couple of months together and I really enjoyed working with this neat little, “LADY”.
This story begins the first day that I was going to let Julie drive the radio car. We left the station and went to East Compton which was our assigned area. The day went normally and in the early afternoon we had gone over into West Compton to handle a call that found us somewhere in a construction yard way back behind some commercial buildings. We were checking out something suspicious there when we were given a call. It was a “998 officer involved shooting” at a location in East Compton. Julie turned and ran toward the driver’s door of the car. I yelled at her to go round and get into the passenger seat, which she did without comment. I knew where we had to go as fast as possible and I could make it significantly quicker than she could. I drove to the location and found Dicky Shear and Larry Sharkey in the front yard both looking dazed. An ambulance and the fire department with paramedics arrived and treated the suspect, Willie Curry, for a gunshot wound to his groin area. He was then transported to the USC Medical Center where he was booked.
Dickey then related to me that he and Sharkey had met Willie's mom out on the front sidewalk in front of the house. She told them she wanted Willie put back in the hospital because he kept threatening her. It was at this time that Willie came rapidly out of the house and immediately attacked Sharkey with two long carving knives. That fight was on then it moved into the house where Larry broke his baton on Willie’s head. In turn Willie then smashed a vase on Sharkey’s head and then attempted to stab him in the gut with one of the big knives. Because of this attack on Sharkey by Willie, Dickey shot at and thought he hit Willie. It was after the shot that both Willie and Larry fell to the floor. Sharkey is the only one who stood back up afterwards. Rumor had it that Dickey possibly may have soiled his shorts prior to the arrival of the fire department and paramedics, together with Julie and I.
Dickey exclaimed, “What a way to make a living because everyone knows Willie is a bad act just because he thinks white men are evil”. Willie previously attacked a firemen who was giving CPR to his neighbor across the street. He thought the fireman was beating his neighbor who was in reality having a heart attack. Willie was chained up for court and the judge sent him away until his next leave. Dickey feels sorry for Willie because he has no business out in society. Last he heard the wound was infected and he lost his leg. The Compton press said Dickey shot him in the "buttocks" which seems so typical of our liberal press. It was the front left pelvis but they have a way of distorting things.
I took the information down in my notebook and told Julie she was still driving that day. I explained that I was still booking and would write the report for Dickey’s shooting. We had to return to the station before I got any of the report done. After shift we went down into the briefing room to work on the report. Julie wanted to write some of the report but I insisted that she only write the face and evidence pages and not put in for any overtime because this was during the period extreme frugality with overtime. She did what I asked of her then left to go home. I stayed in the briefing room and worked as rapidly as possible to complete the report.
I had only been there for possibly a little over forty five minutes and probably finished more than half of what I had to write. The reason I had wanted to write this report was to cover the posterior of my good friend and comrade in arms, Dickey Shear. Officer involved shootings seem to be subject to quite a bit more scrutiny than routine reports. In my eyes it was very important to write the most clear, concise and complete report I could produce so as to not cause Dickey any kind of problems after the fact.
Suddenly the door to the coffee room opened and in walked Lieutenant Barry King. He quickly approached the table I was seated at and stopped in front of me. He looked down at me and said in a loud voice, “Why in hell are you sitting down here milking this God Damned report just to get more overtime for yourself?” His face was flushed and he appeared extremely angry toward me. I stood up and leaned forward placing my right hand palm down flat on top of the table. I then vaulted my tiny diminutive body over the table and began running toward the coffee room door through which Lieutenant King had just disappeared. I definitely had blood lust in my eye and barely slowed passing through the coffee room heading toward the stairway. Everyone inside the coffee room was looking toward the stairs so I presumed Lt. King had run that way. I took the stairs three at a time and looked down both hallways upon clearing the stairs. I couldn’t see the Lieutenant anywhere so I checked each and every doorway seeking him. At all the doors that were locked I listened carefully for the sound of anyone who might be breathing heavily. I made a thorough and complete search of the station and was unable to find Lieutenant King anywhere.
Looking back on this incident I have to be thankful the I didn’t find the good Lieutenant. “If I’d found him I’d have undoubtedly hurt him, bad”. That could’ve be bad for my career. After some time I fully expected to be called into the Captain’s office. Nothing was ever said to me nor was anything done in any way to ever bring up or even make note of this incident. Considering what usually happened within our department it was strange to never hear so much as a whisper. It was like the whole thing never even happened. Maybe it was one of them figments I’ve heard of?