Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Page Sixteen - Early Turn Battering (Copcast #131)
It was 7am and Parade had just finished, George was in the canteen. He was just sitting down for a quick coffee with his partner for the day Bob, before they went out and lamenting how boring Early Turns can be, especially midweek. The Control Room called on their radios and asked for a crew to answer an emergency call to a suspicious male in the street apparently following a paperboy. The informant had described the male as being very tall and well built wearing a long dark coat with a big chunk of wood underneath it.
George called back and said they'd go. As he got up he told Bob he could relax on the ride out there because he knew exactly where they were going. The taffic was light and George made good time and only needed blue lights to get to the scene within a very few minutes. As they approached, Bob said “Well I'm blowed, there he is exactly as he was described. I don't like the look of him George, drop me here and drive past so you can come up behind him on foot, all 'Contact and Cover' like”.
George agreed and slowed to drop Bob off thinking to himself 'just like the book says, one from the front and the cover from the other side to keep the subject off guard'. As he pulled up and climbed out of the car he called the Control Room to tell them they were on scene. He could see Bob with one hand out in front of him toward the big guy and heard him call out “Whoa fella, stop right there for me. You match the description of someone I've been told about who has a big lump of wood under his coat so I need you to drop anything you're holding and open your coat."
George approached slowly and quietly and could easily see the big lump of concrete that dropped at the suspect's feet, the hairs on the back of his neck bristled. Bob suddenly shouted “Drop the wood or I'll spray you, this is CS, drop it now”. “Oh dear” said George as he drew and extended his Asp baton with one hand while grabbing the radio with the other hand and calling “567, more units on the hurry-up” at the same time that Bob sprayed the suspect dead centre of the chest just below the throat. 'Good shot' thought George, 'looks like he emptied the canister on that one' and waited for the big man to drop.
He didn't. George shouted at the top of his voice and ran at the man who was now advancing on Bob trying to wrap a big lump of wood around his head. George whacked the man's leg with all his strength behind the Asp but rather than crash to the ground the man swung the wood at George's head and connected across his forehead. George now realised there were two men and they both attacking both Bobs, worse still he couldn't breathe. He'd got so close to the assailant that he was now suffering CS contamination.
At this point everything turned into a free-for-all, George is not a small lad and Bob's about the same size but at one point George realised he was fighting alone because while he'd been whacking seven bells out of every available inch of the guy, he'd managed to toss Bob over a garden fence. Then Bob was back and all three of them were rolling over the bonnet of a parked car. At some point a valient member of the public leapt into the fight to help Bob and George but by that time neither of them could see anything because of the CS. By the time the rest of their team arrived they were completely blind and struggling to breathe, unlike their suspect.
By all accounts it only took their colleagues a couple of minutes to reach them and the big guy was buried under a heap of uniforms, but it felt like an eternity to George and he was sure he had been fighting for his life. Apparently a couple of the drivers managed previously unheard of speeds in their efforts to save them and both Bob and George were eternally grateful. The two lads were dragged off to hospital and seen by Sister who treated them for CS contamination. As the effects of he CS began to wear off it was clear that George was still seeing double and was decidedly unsteady on his feet.
During the next few days at home recovering from concussion, George was able to reflect on the episode and realised he was as guilty as everyone else in taking things for granted. Early Turn in the middle of the week can be just as hairy as any other time and more importantly, it doesn't matter what weapons and equipment you carry, sometimes it just isn't going to be enough.