Enid Police Department

 

They are tired.  Worn.  At least the sergeants.  The Officers are still out working or writing reports.  The new shift is getting ready to go out.  I tell one Officer that I have a bone to pick with her.  “About the ticket I gave you?”  I’m speechless.  She remembers giving me a ticket over 3 months ago.  We’ve not seen or talked since.  Her mind is that sharp.  As a test of her mental acuity, I ask her what the ticket was.  Without hesitation, she rattles off, “Improper backing and security verification.”  Holy. Crap.

To get to that ending, we have to start at the beginning don’t we?  I partnered up with Sgt. Rick Tanner.  I had ridden with him before on a rainy cold night when nothing really happened.  Tonight was going to be much different.

Our first call, would be about an unresponsive male on the west side.  They specifically called for a supervisor.  “That’s not good,” Tanner said.  We arrived to find other units of the EPD, the Enid Fire Department and Life EMS already on scene.  Tanner went into the house.  I would occasionally see an EMS run out to the bus or a firefighter come out.  Time passed.  Then Tanner came back, sweating and out of breathe.  “I used to be able to perform CPR much easier,” he said distantly.  “It will be a miracle if he makes it.  Massive heart attack most likely.”  Wasn’t much longer and LIFE brought him out on and loaded him up.  They were still trying to revive him.  We received the call about a half hour later that he had passed away.

We began doing what most units do while they are waiting on calls to come in; patrol the streets.  Yes, while you are asleep whether you know it or not, the police randomly go down certain streets just to make sure everything is alright.  They look for suspicious activity or someone in the need of help.  No, they probably don’t hit every street every night.  However,  they do cover a lot of ground.  We patrolled businesses, schools, homes, alleys, and virtually everything we could in our time out.

It was during our normal routine patrol, that we met with a truck with a door ajar and the lights on inside.  We rolled slowly by and then Tanner asked if I saw what he saw. We began rolling backwards very slowly.  Yep.  Suspicions confirmed.  Naked female.  On top of another person.  When Sgt. Tanner shut his door, they scrambled to put on clothing.  It turned out the other person was female.  Laughably, Tanner just asked if everything was alright and told them to take “things indoors.”  “That was a first.  Never had that one before,” he said as he stepped back in the car.

It wasn’t much longer, and we received a report of a man who appeared to be drunk in the drive-thru at a local fast food restaurant.  We arrived as Lt. Eric Holtzclaw was administering multiple field sobriety tests.  The guy was failing them all miserably.  All for the enjoyment and hopefully education of the folks pulling around for their fries.  Predictably, he was cuffed and placed in a cruiser to be taken for a breathalyzer according to his request because he didn’t feel he was intoxicated.  We later found out he blew a 1.7 BAC; the legal limit is .08.

Mark Keefer

The lights on the car were so bright, my iPhone could not handle them. Either than or Sgt. Tanner’s talents are not with a phone (photo by Sgt. Rick Tanner)

Again, we began patrolling.  We cruised over into a local gas station that sometimes has  semi-trucks in it.  I saw a vehicle parked next to a truck and asked about “Lot Lizards.”  “Yeah, we’ve had them there, but we’ve also had spouses just coming out to see their husbands or whatever.”  So, he humored me and we checked it out.  It was nothing, but I couldn’t shake the feeling and I even told Tanner that we would be back.  I wish I was wrong.

We received a call to a local night club hot spot.  The report we had was that two eyewitnesses had observed a man hit a woman in the parking lot.  There were already several units on the scene when we arrived.  Some officers were already inside the club attempting to make contact with the boyfriend.  Other officers were talking with the witnesses and having them write out statements.  A few were speaking to the female.  She was visibly upset and was shaken.  She, as is not uncommon in domestic situations, did not want to pursue the matter.  In fact, she denied anything had happened for a while.  Sgt. Tanner went over to talk to her and it was then, and only then that she seemed to open up.  I could hear her tell him that he had indeed hit her.  As she recounted her statement I could see terror in her eyes only moments before she would cry.  She was beyond scared.  The officers asked her to stay away from him, as it seemed one of his good ol’ buddies inside the building helped him flee.  “Don’t go to his house,” they told her.  “Do you have some place to go?”  She replied that she did indeed.  Her mother happen to live down the street from them.  She was adamant though that the police not take her home.  The eyewitnesses graciously offered a ride and she accepted.  As we walked away, I told Tanner “She’s lying.  She’s going to his house.  No way mom just happens to live down the street.”  I was later proven correct as Sgt. Greg Bergdall saw her running across the street to a neighbors house. “He’s mad!!” she yelled as she ran into the house.  The door was unceremoniously slammed on Sgt. Bergdall’s face.

Nearly as soon as we left, we received a call of a man who had done unspeakable things to a clerk at a gas station.  Yep, the same place I said we would be back to at some point in the night.  We flew down Van Buren, observing safe police protocol by stopping before going through intersections.  In an odd twist, I was proud of my fellow citizens.  We only used sirens twice that night, and each time, the citizens were very quick to pull over and yield to us.  I even noticed someone on an access road doing it, which while it was appreciated, was completely unnecessary.  Other times, you may notice police going way faster than you weaving in and out of traffic.  It may make you mad and think to yourselves, “Someone should pull them over!”  This is a tactic used when traffic is heavier and/or it’s to the benefit of the police not to use the sirens.

I digress.  We arrived at the gas station to find that our suspect was long gone.  That didn’t prevent us from checking things out though.  “That truck has a light on,” I pointed out to Sgt. Tanner (I know Tanner is totally taking credit for these, however I ruled the night.  I’m just sayin’).  He shined his light on the vehicle and there was instant chaos in the vehicle.  At this point, we weren’t entirely sure of the whereabouts of our suspect.  To make matters worse, it was taking the party inside the vehicle a bit longer than Tanner was comfortable with them taking in complying.  Tanner readied himself, hand on his best friend, his sidearm.  It turned out the guy was living in his vehicle but he was watching pornography on a flat screen in his vehicle.  There was more to the story, but I leave that up to your imagination (there was lotion involved).

Again, just cruising, we came across a car approaching us with his lights on bright.  Sgt. Tanner flashed him with his lights.  No response.  “Turn the brights off dude,” he said.  He flashed again.  Nothing.  “OK.  That’s warning 2.  I’m giving you one more chance!” He turned his flashing lights on and flashed him.  Nothing.  “Damn it,” Tanner said practically protesting.  We did a u-turn and turned our lights on.  The guy was driving a rental car and really had no idea the brights were on.  No harm.  No foul.

We headed towards a call on the east side to help look for someone on a bike who had came to someone’s house and knocked on the door.  “Nobody rides a bike at 3 am and is up to good deeds,” I said.  Tanner concurred.  After searching the area and many alleys we found nothing.

We headed back to the station.  The shift was almost over.  I thanked both Sgt. Tanner and Sgt. Bergdall for having me around.  Right then, we heard over the radio there was a chase on the east side.  Tanner, suddenly was rejuvenated.  Both Tanner and Bergdall listened to the call intently.  Then, there was some questionable things said on the radio.  One word.  Sounded like gun.  While Bergdall called the dispatcher to confirm that, Tanner looked at me and said, “You ready?”  “Always!” I replied.  We raced out the door and made our way to the location.  In what was the biggest victory of the night, two males were already in cuffs in separate cars.  They were yelling and screaming.  They were obviously drunk and high.  Open containers were found in the vehicle.  Marijuana was found in the vehicle.  Three guns were found.  One, a sawed off shotgun, which had a spent casing in the chamber.  The tag on the vehicle had a stolen sticker from another tag placed over it to make it look as if the tag was not expired.  Oh, and a machete was found with the other weapons.

When I saw the machete, I looked at the males in the car.  They were obviously of the Latino persuasion.  On top of the car sat a red Chicago Bulls hat.  I doubt these guys could tell me two players on the Chicago Bulls team.  There was other red items in the car too.  I waited until we were in the car to ask Tanner the burning question I had.  “The machete is the weapon of choice for MS13 (Mexican gang) correct?”  “Yes, it is,” he said.  “And they have colors right?”  He rattled off some name I couldn’t even begin to pronounce or type.  “They use red.  Then some other god forsaken (I’m totally paraphrasing here)…” I stopped him.  “The Bulls hat.  The other red items.”  He replied, “Yeah, they could be MS13.  Totally possible.  But I didn’t see the usual tattoos.  Again, that doesn’t rule it out.  It’s a possibility.”
Either way.  A total win for Enid.

Back to the station one last time.  They were tired.  They were worn.  And there was Officer Chenausky walking into the building.  With that memory.  I wonder if she remembers every ticket she’s written.  Nah…..