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User Journal

Journal Journal: Its going to be a Merry Christmas after all!

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on December 21, 2006.

I really don't take much interest in Christmas other than the religious aspect and betting in our suicide pool, and this year was no exception. The wife & I don't exchange presents as we buy what we want as the money comes avalible.

So I'm sleeping in this morning on my day off, having migrated to the living room while my wife gets ready for work.

I'm dozing.

I hear her go outside to play with her 'baby', Boo.

I'm vaguely aware of some running about, but I'm nearly completely asleep.

The distinctive blasting of an AK-series weapon on the back porch levitates me off the sofa; I feel like I've best doused with icy water and given a strong electric shock at the same time. When I hit the floor, I'm badly disoriented, wih Desert Storm thoughts zipping around for a half-second.

Grabbing a 70s CAR-15 (with the metal slip-stock and cylindrical flash suppressor) from where its clipped under the coffee table, I race out to the back porch.

My wife is the source of the noise; she has an AK I fitted with an RPK barrel (with bipod) and stock; with a 75 round drum it weighs in at 22lbs, and is a sweetheart to shoot. However, not for my short, light wife; she has the drum braced against a porch post, but the barrel is hardly steady. What she lacks in accuracy, she's making up for in volume. She is tearing up the west acreage in the general direction of a pack of coyotes which are running for their lives.

Boo, her baby (105lbs of AKA resgistered Schutzen-trained German Shepherd) is dancing in a mad circle, a 62lb adult male coyote gripped in her jaws, unsure of what to do: finish her current victim, chase the others, protect mommy, or get away from the terrible noise. Finally she snaps the coyote's neck, slings it away like a dishrag, and charges off at a tangent for no apparent reason.

Our property is lakefront, but the drought has dried it up at our end-we're now a mile from the water.

That's what we figure the coyotes were after: the forty-gallon tub of water that services Boo & the outdoor cat.

Anyway, I disposed of the dead coyote, and my wife went off to work, with instructions for me to report as soon as the outdoor cat was accounted for.

Eventually the cat reported in, and I contacted my wife.

A word about my wife: she is an excellent shot, but hampered by the concept that size of the weapon = leathality.

I tried to explain (again) before she left for work that for killing coyotes in our situation, precison & range are the key, not firepower.

When I reported in, she informed me that she had stopped by the Sheriff's Office and examined their sniper rifles, and that I was line up one for us: a PSG-1. She said it was very nice.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm choosing to view it as a compliment, but still...

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on June 20, 2006.

I've been offered a lateral transfer by New Orleans PD, with a probationary rank of Lieutenant which becomes permanent after ninty day's evaluation; in any case, permnent rank of Sergeant.

They've been recruiting heavily (or trying to) throughout Texas, but a guy I served with on a State advisory board last year is doing some work for them & ran my resume past them.

Aside from the fact I'd rather be part of a unarmed peacekeeping force in the Sudan than police in NO, the first thing that jumped out to me was that it would mean essentially a (minor) cut in pay. Since I seriously doubt the cost of living in NO is less than in my burg, I'm beginning to understand why they are still so far understrength.

Still, it was a nice gesture on the part of my friend. But no thanks.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Its Juneteenth! Bring an appetite & wear an old uniform!

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on June 17, 2006.

It's a wonderful day! From shift start at 10pm until near midnight, skilled cooks will be pressing upon us chicken (fried & roasted), pork ribs in garlic sauce, ham hocks in black pepper baste cooked until the meat is hard & cracking, beef ribs in green butter, fried catfish breaded with dark cornbread, hush puppies dark & hard on the outside & soft golden on the inside, corn on the cob, fresh-baked bread (white & corn bread), greens of various sorts, and more kinds of pie & cobbler than you can count.

And then, like a prize for a hearty appetite, after the honest citizens have retired to their beds, the riff-raff will have consumed enough malt beverages decanted from chilled forty ounce containers to enter the playing field. The 911 boards will light up and, and it will be rocks & beer bottles coming in, and bean-bags fired in rely; mad dashes across city parks, chaotic melees and desperate brawls, bodies slamming onto patrol car trunks and into ballistic plastic back seats.

At the jails, negotiations about prisoner injuries and discussions about charges and arresting officers; orders by radio & phone sorting out who writes what on whom, and then quickly back out into the night for another load.

Its hot runs across the dark town, the road in miniature on the dash-board TV screen, the rear end walking on a fast turn and the shot-like slams of car doors as back-up officers bail out to join the fray.

Around four-thirty the last of the knuckleheads are home, hiding, or muttering dark imprecations to one another in the holding tanks, and the units rally in Report Writing, where handcuffs are sorted out and returned to their proper holders, expended OC canisters are turned in for fresh, and paperwork is written, printed, & turned into the sergeant for review. Stories will be told, disparate bits of incidents will be fitted together to reconstruct the whole, and scrapes & bruises examined, discussed, and occasionally documented.

Shift's end at 6am will see the squad gathered in the parking lot on tailgates, telling tales and working over reheated (or cold) portions left over from the shift's start.

Good times, good people.


what the fuck is juneteenth?


It's more or less the day Texan slaves were told they were free.


Pretty much, except that it was across a lot of the Gulf states. I understand its largely died out outside of Texas, and in Texas its only celebrated in some areas.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A Christmas Tale

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on December 19, 2005.

Back in the mid-80s, I was freshly out of the Army (but still in the Army National Guard, from which I would eventually retire) and employed by a Sheriff's Office in an impoverished county as a Reserve Deputy/Corrections Officer.

I was pulled out of the jail and assigned full-time to the street when it was noted that I had voluntarily spent my own off-duty time riding with a Sergeant hereafter known as Rick. Rick had not been able to keep a partner for more than a month, and usually not more than a week. He patrolled a quadrant of the county which was a tangle of cedar breaks and scrub ranchland populated by the dirt poor and home to many old-school meth labs. In a rough county, it was the roughest place to work. In theory, a two-man unit was assigned.

Rick was in his early forties, a three-tour Vietnam vet who kept a pickle jar of formaldehyde containing ears on his desk. He talked to himself as he drove, long mumbled dissertations that were never completely understandable, and was known for going a full shift without saying a word to his partner. He had no FM radio in his patrol unit, and he patrolled his quadrant with a vengeance, and thought nothing of taking on any call or suspicious activity no matter what. He was so hated by the meth-cooking bikers that his house was shot at on four occasions in the year before I teamed up with him. Nobody wanted to work with him.

I was going through a bad time; I was missing the Army badly, a nine-year relationship was coming to an end, I was living far from my family, and I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. Spending twelve hours in a car with a guy who mumbled to himself wasn't any sort of strain; I spent four days on duty staring out the passenger window (Rick always drove), and at least part of my four days off in the office catching up on paperwork and generally avoiding confrontations with the woman who was shortly to be my ex.

Which was another thing: Rick would frequently patrol his quadrant on his own time (in his take-home patrol unit), and I dropped into the habit of going with him. It beat arguing with my soon-to-be-ex, and on the slender Deputy's pay, I needed to save up for the financial turmoil that was certain to be coming. Soon, they were referring to me in the same manner that they spoke of Rick.

We volunteered to work the 7pm-7am Christmas Eve/Day shift, since Rick's wife was out of state with a dying parent, and I was now living as a bachelor while I waited for it to become official.

Shift change was pretty unofficial in those days; the guys on day shift who had our quad usually never went there in the first place, so about quarter to seven Rick picked me up in the patrol unit and we drove to the office, where we looked over the reports filed since we got off at 7am, and checked in with Dispatch.

We exchanged gifts, since it was Christmas; Rick had borrowed my Colt Gold Cup and unknown to me (he was a master gunsmith) dropped in a full combat modification into it; I presented him with a Human skull I had brought back from El Salvador. We were both very pleased.

We drove to a volunteer fire station near the junction of the four quads the county was divided into, where a sizeable repast had been laid out for those on duty. The SO units from the other three quads would spend their entire shift there watching movies on a VCR with the firemen; Rick and I ate, and headed back to our car. Before I went out the door, I grabbed a couple fistfuls of candy canes and candy bars, which I tucked in my jacket. Twelve hours was a long time, and no place was open in our quad, and almost nothing in the county.

Soon we were rolling down country roads, the dashboard dim, windows down, Rick mumbling inaudibly to himself. I watched the snow-less Texas countryside roll past, silver-white in a nearly full moon, and tried not to think.

The radio was quiet for the first couple hours, but then they called us: there was a panicky call from the Dogpatch, someone hurt bad, some questionable sort of trouble. EMS, predictably, was refusing to roll until law enforcement was on scene.

A word here about the Dogpatch: it was a un-incorporated village of about four hundred dirt-poor souls with at best two phones amongst all, with half the houses having electricity, and a quarter having running water. It was one of the oldest black communities in Texas, settled by freed slaves in 1865, and boasted one of the oldest black churches and graveyard in the state. The primary occupation was cedar-cutting, as hard, poorly-paid, and dirty work as you were likely to find in Texas. They didn't care much for officers of the law, and in fact other than Rick, no one wearing a badge went into the place. It was commonly said that no one was every murdered in Dogpatch, because there was no law down there to define something as murder.

Ambulances didn't go down the heavily rutted road to DP unless deputies were already on scene, which was something I always found odd, as aside from the usual sort of domestic violence and the occasional drunken brawl, the only significant violence that occurred in DP came from outside. In the Thirties, it held the dubious distinction of losing citizens to the largest Klan mass-lynching in Texas, and as late as the Sixties had endured what would now be called drive-by shootings from various hate groups. In the last ten years, biker gangs (primarily the Banditos, Texas' largest and most dangerous outlaw biker organization) had killed at least four natives of DP and shot up the place several times because of real or perceived tampering with their meth labs.

There was an old First Responder (volunteer EMT) called Pop Keeling, an old rancher made from leather and baling wire who looked like he was a hundred years old, who would respond into the DP whenever a call for help was made regardless of whether deputies were en route or not, an old Colt stuffed under the bib of his overalls, but a message at Dispatch when we came on had noted that Pop was gone for the holidays.

Dispatch asked if we were available, and called for a second unit as backup. The other deputies hastily advised that they were out of service or out of position. Rick glanced over at me (a tribute to our service together), and I gave a 'what the fuck' shrug. He advised Dispatch that we were rolling.

We rolled up the last mile of road blacked-out, as you couldn't rule out the possibility that this might be a set-up; we had busted several meth labs in the last couple months, and some very hyper people were out serious money and some good friends & business associates.

Rick slowed to a crawl on the outskirts of DP, and I rolled out of the car with a 70s-era CAR-15 with a Whitman folding stock, trailing him by about twenty feet on foot. I wore dark brown levis and a dark brown waist-length jacket with an embroidered star; the jacket was to hide the tan uniform shirt, which made too good a target at night, and to conceal the fact that I (like Rick) wore a second pistol in a shoulder holster. Backup, if it came, was coming from a long ways away. There was no point, as Rick often said, in dying for a lack of shooting back.

We found the address in question, a shack with a tin roof and plank siding; a young woman was waiting in the front door. She told Rick the trouble was in back-she rented the front room, but we could go through it to reach the back. We could hear the wailing and hollering for ourselves.

The flooring was hardwood planks, humped where the piers had settled, worn to a third of their thickness where traffic passed. The ceiling was the old tongue-and-groove slatwork from the turn of the century, and the walls were not sheet-rocked, but cheap plywood nailed to the timbers. It was what they called a 'railroad shack', the vertical frame being railroad ties split lengthwise, and the horizontal being ties split into thirds (by width) and then cut lengthwise in half. Solid, but if those creosote-soaked ties ever caught fire, there was no putting them out.

The air in the room was thick with the smell of a old wood stove in one corner, a well-oiled skillet staying warm atop it, and the sickly-hot smell of burnt Human flesh.

Rick went into the back room, where a kerosene space heater had sent a gout of burning fuel across the upper torso of a seventeen-year-old male; it was a miracle the floor had not caught before others got the flames doused. Rick got the family to quit smearing lard across the burns while I gave the EMTs the all-clear.

I stashed the CAR-15 and waited in the front doorway to wave the EMTs over, while Rick rummaged in the trunk for the oxygen bottle. Mainly for something to do: the kid was burned over his entire front torso, neck, face, hands, and head; in most places cooked to the point where the skin was sliding off in crisp and curling sheets. He was likely a goner, not even making much noise, just wheezing little grunts, which suggested he might have sucked in a good lungful of fumes & superheated air and was dying from oxygen deprivation.

The front room held the stove, a sort of no-plumbing sink, and cupboards made out of very old crates; there was a wood table that must have been nice fifty years ago, and some old chairs that didn't match whose seats were freshly re-woven wicker. A big metal-framed bed took up the rest of the room, leaving little walkways between it and the other furniture. It was neat, tidy, and clean.

There was a pretty little cedar cut so it looked like a pine on the table, decorated with ornaments cut from colored construction paper and tinfoil; a couple of child's crayon drawings of Santa and a Christmas tree were tacked to the wall on either side. A fuzzy red and white Christmas stocking with a stiff gold bow hung from the back of one of the chairs. It looked like a small package was nestled in the toe.

The woman who had flagged us down was standing at the door that connected her room to the back room, staring through the crack; standing on the bed at the head, gripping the decorative metalwork like an inmate standing at a cell's bars was a little girl somewhere around four, staring at me with huge, serious eyes. I winked at her, and she ducked her head, but peeked up again after a moment. I winked again, and she grinned and ducked.

The ambulance rolled up, and she scooted towards the wall, frightened and intrigued in equal parts by the flashing colored lights. I pointed the EMTs to the back room, and told them to bring the kid out the back door, rather than through the front.

Rick joined me and we listened to the EMTs mutter their litany of abbreviations and arcane phrases in the next room for a moment, standing in the traditional stance: feet a shoulder's width apart, right heel four inches back of the left and pointed out, left hand resting on the portable, right thumb hooked over the mag pouches so the forearm and elbow protected the sidearm.

The woman had joined her daughter on the bed, sitting with her back to the wall; the little girl stood next to her, mother's arm around her waist, back against the wall. The mother was watching the moving lights visible in the crack of the door, a frown of concern drawing a line between her brows, while the little girl chewed her fingers and looked at Rick and me, shifting her feet slightly so she rocked on the mattress, a merry gleam in her eyes.

Rick jerked a shoulder, and turned from the door in dismissal: our job was done, time to go.

I reached into my jacket, brushing the grip of the Colt Commander in its shoulder holster, and pulled out the candy I had grabbed earlier, dumping it into the stocking as I turned to go. Rick heard the noise turned, hesitated, then dumped several candy bars in as well.

As we walked outside, unexpectedly, the little girl spoke. "Merry Christmas!" she cried, with the gusto that only a child of innocent years can manage.

It was so unexpected it stopped us in our tracks. Finally Rick said, 'Merry Christmas,', and we heard the girl giggle.

We climbed into our car, and rolled out. I checked us back into service, and we headed back out into the quad.

After a while, longer than usual, Rick started mumbling.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Custer, Sgt. Barry, and the worthlessness of 2nd lieutenants

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on November 19, 2005.

As a child, for reasons unknown, I have always been interested in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. By the time I was nine, I understood that nearly every movie about it was wildly inaccurate, as were nearly all illustrations. By the time I was twelve, I had visited the battlefield twice.

Legends aside, Lieutenant Colonel Custer made nearly every mistake possible during the operation. He turned down extra forces. He pushed his men and horses far too hard in hot weather, arriving at the battlefield ahead of the rest of the units he was supposed to be co-ordinating with.

He knew that surprise was lost, his men were exhausted, and the terrain was unfavorable for mounted attack and coordinated operations. He disregarded this and lunged ahead.

He knew from his scouts that there were 'many, many' Indians ahead; he had 24,000 rounds of .45-70 ammunition in cases on the mule train, but he did not bother to issue extra ammunition to his men .

He split his forces into three uneven groups; Captain Benteen with three troops & the mule train was to be the reserve, while Major Reno was to mount a flank attack with four troops. His orders to Benteen and Reno were vague, and made without a clear picture of the terrain ahead or the disposition & size of enemy forces.

Major Reno, a decorated veteran of twenty-six battles in the Civil War, had very limited experience fighting Indians. His orders were simple: attack into the flank of the Indian camp strung out along the river bed. Custer's last statement to Reno (witnessed by third parties): 'Attack, and I'll support you.'

By the time Reno was approaching the river bed, crossing open ground, he was coming under increasingly heavy Indian attacks across his front (because Custer was wrong: Reno was not hitting the camps in the flank, but rather much closer to the center), and Custer was nowhere in sight. He ordered his men to dismount and form a skirmish line, which broke with his orders, but put his men at an advantage in terms of accuracy and cover. It was at this time that Reno's chief scout (a Crow) was shot in the head and had his brains blown across the Major's shirt-front and face.

Indian pressure built; after taking serious losses trying to rush the dismounted cavalry (hidden in tall grass), the Indians began to work their way around the flanks, both on foot and mounted.

It was at this time that the famous 'Reno hesitation' occurred. His West Point training called for Reno to execute his orders and press forward as Custer expected; however, he was hard-pressed to hold his current position, and he was unsettled by the way Indians kept appearing and vanishing in front of his command near the river bank (later, it would be determined that there was a ditch-like depression following the river bank at that point which would have shattered a cavalry charge).

His wartime experience urged him to withdraw, as he was in danger of being enveloped and over-run; however, doing so meant leaving Custer without the support he was counting on (in reality, there were plenty of Indians to go around).

So he hesitated, torn, training warring with experience and badly unsettled (as was every leader) by the staggering disparity in the numbers they were told to expect, and the numbers they were fighting. The fact that he was physically exhausted certainly did not help matters.

The decision was made for him: the heavy fire was depleting his men's ammunition. Reno ordered a withdrawal to the bluffs, and not a moment too soon; in fact, they were forced to abandon their dead. As it was, the command had to fight its way back to high ground. About 10% of Reno's force was killed or badly wounded at this point.

Benteen, having heard the heavy firing, arrived with his troops and the mule train; the seven troops dug in and broke open the reserve ammunition. On good ground, they beat back the Indians' efforts to dislodge them (although they suffered badly from lack of water and heavy sniping). Except for one abortive attempt to reach Custer with two troops, they remained on the bluffs until help arrived.

A note about the jamming problem attributed to the issue Springfield carbines: Reno noted that of the seven troops (60% of the 7th) of cavalry on the bluffs, nine weapons were found to have extraction problems, caused by poor metal in the cases getting soft in breeches heated by heavy firing. (The Army changed the alloy mixture in future casings, and the problem ended.)

Custer, with 40% (about 220-250 men) of the 7th, ran into the main body of the Indians, and was wiped out in a running fight. From the rough count of the casings at the two 'final stands', the Indians were only able to over-run the troopers after they had run out of carbine ammunition.

In El Salvador, I was part of a Military Police company (made up of Airborne MPs) assigned to escort convoys of trucks loaded with CONEX container from delivery point to their destination, and usually (but not always) escort the trucks back. We were told the containers were filled with humanitarian aid. They were locked and sealed, and I never saw one open.

The local insurgents, the FLGN (IIRC) attacked the convoys on occasion with such exemplary lack of skill that they didn't even deserve the term 'ambushes'. Each MP platoon had three squads of twelve men, mounted in four Jeeps. Each squad had four M-60 machineguns, four M-203 grenade launchers, and eight M-16A1 assault rifles (plus a .45 per man). Additionally, the platoon command section had two M-60s and a half-dozen men. 14 M-60s and a dozen M-203s plus Jeep mobility meant that we could concentrate massive fire if attacked; if they managed (usually by accident) to try us in terrain where mobility was denied us, we bailed out into cover and slugged it out. We were Regular Army paratroopers, the newest man with six months garrison duty on top of twenty week's training plus Jungle Warfare School; NCOs, such as myself, had the same plus 3-5 years of service.

The duty was simple: pick up the convoy, escort it to the target area, then escort the trucks back, or just deploy back ourselves. Every 88 days we locked up our Jeeps and were air-lifted into Honduras for ten days, as Congress had put a cap on the number of troops allowed in ES; this cap only applied to permanent assignment, when meant troops in-country 90 or more days. Since we never crossed the 90 day mark, our company never countered against the total.

The mission statement & rules of engagement were clear: defend the trucks, cargoes, and ourselves; get the cargos through, or destroy them if loss appeared to be imminent. Take what actions were needful to accomplish the same. Collateral damage was simply to be radioed in, and never a cause to compromise the mobility of the convoy. In other words, keep moving. It was simple. In thirteen months we never lost a single container, although some trucks had to be towed in.

Our platoon leader was 2nd LT H, an OCS grad of dubious proficiency and notorious for lusting after decorations. Our platoon sergeant was SFC V, a veteran of the 173rd Abn Bde in Vietnam, and a highly competent soldier.

One convoy, after getting to our destination, our platoon was instructed to head back with a few HHD strap-hangers, while the rest of the company followed later with the empty trucks. SFC V had left for a one-week re-up leave, so SSgt R, a dipshit of the highest order, was acting platoon sergeant.

This did not bode well. I had always made it a fetish to stockpile ammo, ever since we hit country. We scrounged, swapped, and stole ammo and magazines (and this in an environment of plentiful issuance). I hastily gathered up more for my squad from the other two platoons before we headed back.

It could have been an easy drive back, but midway we passed through one of the tin-siding and lath armpits they called a village, and somebody popped a couple rounds at us. Normally, we would have burned off some rounds in reply as we kept rolling, neither speeding up (and so getting spooking into the real ambush, not that they ever were that clever), nor dallying in the target zone.

But H saw movement, and summarized that we had had an encounter with dozen or so insurgents shaking down the locals for food, booze, money, and/or girls. He saw Glory and Recognition, and nothing would do but to dismount and engage. Despite the fact that the platoon was returning from an six-hour escort, our sixth in seven days. Despite the fact that the RoE didn't really apply, as we could have evaded the indigs extremely easily, not having a convoy to protect. Nope, we're off to war.

So we whip off the two-lane joke of a highway; the strap-hangers guard our Jeeps; Sgt Barry and Third Squad advance into the ville to establish and maintain a base of fire. Second Squad under Sgt. Darth flanks to the west (left), while H, R, and First Squad (plus our only medic) encircle to the east (right) to take up a blocking position beyond the ville. Done properly, it would fix, flank, and finish the enemy.

I saw a train wreck coming at us from a very long ways away: since we were set up for convoy security, our radios were vehicle mounts, one to each Jeep; the instant we deployed on foot, zero commo. This was usually no problem, because in a convoy attack, we were very close to the Jeeps.

I ordered my guys to dump their canteens and put extra mags in the carriers, plus more inside shirt fronts & pockets (I had scrounged two hundred+ 20-rounders from the Air Force in Panama for just this purpose), and put grenades where they could. Every rifleman carried a hundred-round belt for the M-60s. Riflemen had about 800 rounds apiece, with about 600-700 rounds for each MG.

Our flanking maneuver was to cross a field of tall grass; I took point, with my ASL at the rear in case I got hit. Halfway across, three things were painfully apparent: first, the tall grass was only on the side of the field that we had entered; the further we went, the shorter it got; secondly the field was far from flat: it quickly became pitted with scores of bathtub-sized depressions; and thirdly, the treeline we were approaching was full of indigs. This was made easy to observe because they wore civilian clothes, often brightly colored, and rarely got down, instead moving around and trying to hide standing up behind trees.

I ordered the squad down and on line, prompting the indigs to open up on us; we returned fire, and blasted the crap out of the treeline. At first, we were doing OK, because the depressions were good cover, but the indigs began flanking us to our left, and I realized that A) I had no communication with my men, because each depression was only big enough for one man, and there was too much firing to make myself heard; and B) once they got fully on our flank, we were sitting ducks. If they got behind us, we were toast. Normally, when we bailed out into cover when a convoy was stuck, the A-gunners dragged tripods along; they had been left behind on H's orders as too heavy, and our M-60s were thus less effective than we were used to.

I truly understood how Reno must have felt that day. Nothing was going to plan, I had no idea where my commander whom I was supposed to be supporting was, and we were on the verge of getting our asses kicked, and where the hell had so many indigs come from?

I crawled from hole to hole and got things organized; we pitched out a couple smoke grenades to our rear (just to confuse the indigs as to what we were doing); and then heaved a volley of frags towards the treeline and the left flank. When they went off, we pulled back in pairs to the east, one guy firing, the other running a couple seconds, then taking cover and firing to cover his buddy running past him, leap-frogging away from the enemy.

We were almost to the end of the field when I realized that an M-60 was still firing from our original positions (the indigs didn't have belt-fed weapons). I had to run back to find Frank, a M-60 gunner who was charitably described as dumb as a box of hammers still in place blazing away; he had misunderstood the 'grenades go off, we fire & maneuver back to the east' plan. I got his worthless butt (less his helmet, which I kicked off his head a good dozen yards), back with the rest of the squad, who were now off the field and firing cover for us.

At the edge of the field we sorted out ammo (diminished but OK), bandaged up a couple guys (nothing serious), and moved by overwatch in two fire teams into the ville, where we saw Third Squad in good positions laying down a base of fire as ordered, every position interlocked, and Sgt. Barry cooly moving from position to position. I recall thinking that there was one damn fine sergeant.

We tied my squad into Third's positions; I sent Frank & a couple guys back to the Jeeps, Frank to augment the security firepower, the other guys to grab more ammo and a water can, as it was damned hot. I took my two best guys and tried to circle around to see if I could find H and First Squad, but we ran into more indigs and pulled back. It was rapidly becoming obvious that instead of a dozen or so, we had run into a whole lot more indigs. Barry and I discussed the matter, and we decided to pull back to the Jeeps, which were in a good defensive position. There we radioed in our situation, and the company CO promptly sent another platoon in our direction.

Not long before they arrived, H and First Squad wandered back, having gotten lost (not that he admitted it, but the guys in First Squad disgustedly confirmed it) and wandered around until they stumbled upon the highway and found their way back.

The other platoon showed up, and without ado we got moving again. Later, we were told that the next day a unit of the ES army swept the area and found lots of shell casings and blood trails; they guessed that there were about eighty indigs in the bunch we tangled with. We had a few guys chewed up, but nothing bad enough for anything but some light duty.

Lt H was immediately re-assigned to battalion S-4, back in Fort Hood, and SSgt R got sent back to The World as well, with an evaluation that pushed the possibility of E-7 before retirement into the 'damned unlikely' category. For the rest of it, it was FIDO*.

Barry stayed in, a SFC during Desert Shield/Storm, and retires as a Sergeant Major this December; we met in a nearby burg a few weeks ago. He was just back from a tour in Iraq, having done two in Afghan as well. We talked about our near-Little Big Horn a bit, which was why I decided to write it up. As long as the Army continues to produce NCOs like him, things won't go too badly.

* = F@@k it, Drive On.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Gae Prid

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on October 22, 2005.

I spotted a one of our mentally deranged locals (call him Ed) wandering down the street the other day and made contact with him. This is from the digital recording.

{Me} Hey, ed. What's 'Gae Prid'?

{Ed} See...what?

{Me} Your sign on the shopping cart stolen from Krogers: Gae Prid.

{Ed} See....Gay Pride.

{Me} You're gay?

{Ed} See....I'm a lesbian.

{Me} No shit? A lesbian? How did you confront that life-altering state of being?

{Ed} See...I met some, and I think they're just like me. An' I'm just like them.

{Me} Well, good luck with it-it's a tough thing, being gay in this part of Texas. And speaking of things being tough, you may have noted that it is two in the morning?

{Ed} See...yeah.

{Me} And here we are, three hundred or so feet west of [address]. And you were headed east.

{Ed}'s a free country.

{Me} Not for lesbians such as yourself, it isn't. Especially not lesbians laboring under the burden of a protective order. Which kicks in at two-fifty, if I recall correctly.

{Ed} See...that was before I became a lesbian. Its not

{Me} Interesting defense. But also inapplicable in our present circumstances. How many times have I got to tell you about this?

{Ed} See...I'm just walking.

{Me} Walk, run, skip, hop, it all boils down to that if you are within 250 feet of the home, school or person, you go to jail. Period. And I'm sick of me or one of my men tied up for 45 minutes writing that report.

{Ed} See...its....that's persecution of a minor-ity. I'm gay.

{Me} So was Rodney King. You know the difference between California and Texas?

{Ed} See....yeah. In California, when the cops got done with Rodney King, you could still find him.

{Me} There's a valuable moral message there, Ed.

{Ed} See...but...but...she's so pretty.

{Me} She's so eight years old. Barely. Why couldn't you stick with throwing firebombs at lawyers? Nobody really cared about that.

{Ed} *mumbles*

{Me} Why is that bag moving?

{Ed} *mumbles*

{Me} Let me rephrase that: tell me why that bag is moving, right now!

{Ed} See...rats.

{Me} Yeah, I know, you tend rat traps at the Purina plant. Oh shit, tell me it isn't so.

{Ed} See...ten cents a rat.

{Me} You're raising rats and selling them to the plant?

{Ed} See...I kill 'em first.

{Me} Man....why do you have a bunch of them in a gunny sack? Look, one's got a hole chewed through.

{Ed} See...they gotta get some air. I take 'em with me, some of 'em, when I get cans.

{Me} You are innovative. But gay or not, there's health statutes regarding vermin. You wanna give them some air, do it somewhere else.

{Ed} *mumbles*

{Me} And the next time you come within 500 feet, I'm gonna tell the Purina company to DNA test the rats you're turning in.

{Ed} See...that's mean.

{Me} I'm anti-gay. Live with it.

{Ed} See...being a lesbian isn't easy. But I got the pride.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Perhaps not a typical Boy Scout troop...

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on October 19, 2005.

In my home town, the churches sponsored Boy Scout troops, although membership in the church was not a requirement to join the troop. I had completed Cub Scouts and Weblos in their entirety, and at the age of 11 sought a Boy Scout troop to join.

As it happened, my church had just formed a troop. Sister Mary Abigail, the senior nun, had decided that it was time that our church got into the Scouting business, and a troop was born.

A note should be made about Sister Abigail at this point. I knew her, since she taught the disruptive elements of the church's youth, of which I was one. She was a small woman, a native Scot, bright-eyed and merry. Her order wore a dark blue uniform skirt and blouse and the small veil, so we knew that she had red hair, and in summer you could get an occasional glimise of a home-made tattoo on her upper left arm. None of us had the guts to ask her what it was.

Sister Abigail was the daughter of a Regimental Sergeant Major, the only girl amongst six siblings; the other five had done stints in the British Army or Marine Commandos. As a young nun in Africa she had been rescued from insurgeants by 'Mad Mike' Hoare's mercenary Commando, and had a photo of herself with several of the mercs prominently displayed in her offce.

She had laughing eyes, a spring in her step, and could knock you out of your desk with a single full-armed swing of a Webster dictonary. She was fast with a ruler, and had eyes in the back her head.

She was the first teacher I ever had who actively encouraged questions, and who cared more about what you understood than what your scores were.

So I joined the newly forming Troop 13; our Scoutmaster (hand-picked by Sister Abigail), was Mr. Rathbone, who had retired in 1970 after 33 years in the US Marine Corps. In the easy familarity of the day we called him 'Gunny', and he called us 'maggots' or 'boots'. He was a weather-worn whip of a man who spit tobacco juice as a primary means of commincation. He had faded tattoos on his arms, and a long scar across his brow that he once told my Dad he got 'in a knock-shop at Gitmo, geek with a razor.' He wore insignia-less khakis and a faded old campaign hat; when we were in the field he added a web belt with a .45 pistol and a Springfield M1903 bayonet. His wife was a slender, pretty Asian lady of unknown extraction, several years his junior, who didn't speak a lot of English, and who brought cookies and cakes to every one of our meetings, much to Gunny's disgust. She called him 'Sergeant Major', and rarely stopped smiling.

Six or seven times a summer Gunny Rathbone, aided by a couple of our fathers, would load up as many scouts as were avalible, and take off into the surrounding countryside for a weekend camp out.

Off-loading from the bus, we would load up, then stand in formation, ready to 'hop, drop, and roll' to demonstrate that our gear was loaded and taped in such fashion as to produce no sound. Moving out in staggered file, we would route march four or five miles to our night defensive position, where we would dig in.

We'd have classes on various Scouting subjects such as probeing for mines, dealing with booby traps, and evacuating wound by litters until full dark when light & noise dicipline was enforced. Come sun-up it was squad patrols, counter-sniper techniques, first aid, wilderness survival, and similar fare.

The best times were the meals, when we lesser beings would gather to one side while Gunny and whatever fathers were along would swap service stories. Much of the time we didnt understand all the terminology, but it was facinateing all the less.

During our weekly meetings we had pugil stick matches, and classes on such staples as crossing wire entanglements with sapling frames. Gunny Rathbone would sign off on various merit badges accordng to some shedule known only to him, and we advanced along the path towards Eagle Scout much as anyone else, at least on paper. It was much to my surprise that years later I actually saw the requirements for the Marksman merit badge and discovered that being able to explain the differences between 'grazing fire' 'final protective fire', and 'suppression' were not actually part of it.

We only went to one Jamboree, where Gunny Rathbone punched out a hippie-looking offical, and then a couple other guys who tryed to jump on him. I was extremely proud when my father pitched into the melee that ensued. The details regarding the origins of the entire brawl were unclear to us, but by inferences we deduced that the official had made a uncomplimentary remark about the military, based on the way we marched in. Personal camoflage, apparently, was not the norm at the time.

We were banned from participation in the events, but our skills were still tested when Gunny Rathbone split us into fire teams three nights in a row and sent us out to steal every other troop's Guideons. Every night. The hippe-looking offical ended up duct-taped to a flagpole one night, but we had no idea how that came about. In the end, they gave us a couple trophies on the condition we would leave everyone alone, and we spent the rest of the week harassing some peacenik gathering at the other end of the lake, and sneaking (without orders) into the Girl Scout camp. Like barbed wire and perimeter lighting could stop Troop 13.

Of course, most of us were too young to know what to do once we had infiltrated, but it was still pretty cool. None of the other Troops got in.

I was Senior Patrol Leader before I left. I think at some level we all knew that the Boy Scouts really didn't make you learn how to strip & assemble an M-1 Garand before you could make Second Class, and we certainly figured it out after the Jamboree, where they had whole Troops out of uniform and nobody else dug in.

But we had awesome times, and we learned an awful lot. What impressed me, looking back three decades later, is how much we learned without knowing that we were learning, things like how a motivated team is worth far more than a larger group of individuals. What pride is, and how it can push you over obstacles you didn't think you could overcome. That you never let circumstances drive you into helplessness. That everyone is capable, provideing that they are willing to push themselves. Most of all, to believe in ourselves.

Good night, Gunny Rathbone, wherever you are.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Don't say it unless you mean it!

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on October 12, 2005.

Yea, once again a carnival was amongst us, bringing with it all the joy and magic of a genital lesion. The City fathers, as is their custom, parked it in an area of town whose inhabitants had nothing of value that they had obtained legally, in the hopes that one or more would be recruited and depart.

Commanding the graveyard shift, I extorted my men to watch our businesses with especial care, and assigned the rover units to that end of town.

Around 1am my of my star officers, call him A, reported that he had just seen someone running from a restaurant that perched on the edge of a trash neighborhood like a border outpost overlooking the Orcish realms.

I drove several blocks north of the beanery and swung south, figuring that they would lay up for a couple minutes, then scarper north (the south was vast tracts of parking lots and businesses, the west was a five-lane roadway, the east was a large undeveloped area known for copperheads).

Sure enough, two blocks from the restaurant I spot a small pickup with three men, all looking intently south.

I pull them over, and discover a local burglar and two carnies. None ask why they have been stopped. Local has a DL, Carnie 1 has an Oklahoma ID, and Carnie 2 (C2) gives a name and date of birth. A arrives, but reports all he had seen was movement. Officer B arrives.

Local & Carnie 1 come back clear. C2 comes back no history. This, I feel, is hogwash; a 38 year old American is extremely unlikely not to have made the national database; the odds of a 38 year old carnie with two arms covered with homemade tattoos not being in the database is zip.

C2 is invited to step out of the vehicle and seat himself on the curb; he is advised of his rights. Its obvious he had done time: he's careful not to make eye contact, he moves quickly enough to be compliant without being fast enough to be interpreted as hostile, he keeps his hands in plain sight, he asks no questions, and keeps his comments short and devoid of all emotion. His body language is pure convict.

A points out a tattoo within another that could be an Aryan Circle. I ask him about it; he says its folk art off an album. We extract places he has lived in the last ten years, and their individual data bases are checked. Still nothing.

I ask him to take off his tee shirt. He hesitates, then complies: 'White' and 'Pride' in gothic script on the back of each arm, eagle & swastika, 6" Aryan cross, the full rig.

I ask him to explain how a man displaying prison gang ink is not in the database; he says he was a skinhead in his youth.

Horse pucky. I send the other two on their way. C2 steadfastly sticks to his story: a man driven to the carnival after a bad divorce. Good cop & the full-blown Darth-bad-cop routine get nowhere.

He asserts the carnival has employment records; we transport him across town and rouse the manager, who apparently is used to being awakened by the local minions of the law in the wee hours.

The manager has no documentation-they are staging in, and the mobile office is still up near Odessa. He does note that since C2 is not a driver, they did no checking on him; he assembles & disassembles rides and does similar labor for $215 a week and a bunk in the trailers.

I ask C2 if we can search his bunk for ID; he says he has a crack pipe there. I wave that away; I'm only interested in ID. He agrees. We troop over to a converted cargo trailer which has been partitioned into living quarters (each with its own outside door) about 6' long, 4' deep, and as high as the trailer. It is too small for two officers to search. C2 is positioned so he can observe, and I glove up & toss his belongings. I find the crack pipe, and note an Aryan Circle made of copper wire hanging on the wall.

In the outside pocket of his suitcase I find a deep blue cardboard presentation folder; behind me (A & B are positioned carefully) I hear C2 sigh. I flip it open; on the top flap is a color photo of C2 being baptized; on the bottom is a certificate of baptism dated four months earlier, in C2's real name.

C2 had an extensive history of rape, armed robbery, drugs, and the like in California; he had 11 different aliases & six different social security numbers noted in the database (not the ones he had used with us). He was an alumni of San Quentin, and most importantly, the State of California missed him so dearly that they were willing to extradite him from anywhere, so as to discuss matters of local interest with him.

It just goes to show: religion is not something to take lightly.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A hot arrest

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on November 21, 2004.

One of my men made a traffic stop, and I stopped by. The car reeks of pot, as does the female driver.

The inspection sticker's been altered, so the officer arrests her. I tear the car apart looking for dope (while I inventory for impound). Nothing.

At the jail, the officer requests a strip search.

Apparently, the woman had been smoking a blunt when my officer hit the lights.

She hid it inside herself.

When they recovered it at the jail during the strip search, it was still burning.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I am still alive!

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on November 14, 2004.

And that's the sort of thing which can't help but cheer me up.

At the start of the shift, we're searching a house for a local pot dealer who has a couple felony warrants. Its dark.

I open a closet door (ease knob open, swing open with tread on boot) in a tactical crouch, flashlight angled.

A hand pops out of the clothes with a PoS Jennings .380 pointed at where he thinks I'm standing, and I hear the fireing pin punch air-the dumb fuck forgot to chamber a round.

He drops it on (yelled very loud) command, and after being subdued, is carted off on a wide variety of charges.

It just goes to prove what I've aways said: good habits and detailed training are never a waste of time.

Shifts like this are why I love my job.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A Labor Day Tale

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on September 4, 2004.

WARNING: This will offend people who are obese, people who are stupid, people who own shotguns, people who own or like chimps, and several posters who don't like me. Which, upon consideration, also qualifies them as stupid. And probably obese.

In honor of Labor Day weekend, I would like to relate the following:

A Labor Day weekend years past, when I was but a patrolman and still carrying a tactical rifle, we had a subject, call him Dippy the Wonder Chimp, who saw fit to hold his estranged wife and children (around two, around one, newborn) on a sort of balcony on a very old three-story house which had once been a very nice house, almost a mansion, but in latter days was now small ratty apartments. Built in the late 1880s.

Anyhow, Dippy is crouched amongst his family with a sawed-off shotgun to the newborn; we respond and set up. In command (Site Commander) was a sergeant, now departed for greener pastures, who was excitable.

(SC) 'Set up with your rifle on the roof, and be ready for a shot.'

(Me) 'OK." I start examining the roofs across the way.

(SC) 'No, on the roof above him.'

(Me) 'Above him? I'm gonna look like a gargoyle. He sees me, he's gonna freak. I might not be set for a shot. How about that place across the street?'

(SC) 'No, on the roof, now!'

(Me) 'Ok.' Thinking, this does not bode well.

(SC) 'Take your tac rifle.'

(Me) "The rifle? Look, its two stories between us-say thirty-five feet with the diagonal. Even cranked back to four power, I'm gonna have a lousy picture. Lemme take my M-4LE.'


(Me) 'Look, 7.62 NATO isn't even gonna slow down; over penetration is gonna be terrible. 5.56mm would be much, much better."

(SC) "I SAID....'

(Me) 'OK, I'm going."

Ninja the smoke eater had set up on the roof. He set me up with a safety harness which was different than what we usually had; turned out he had borrowed it from a utility truck in the area, because the FD response truck was somewhere else. He explained how it worked, showed me the tie-off on an old, age-pitted chimney, and I crab-walked to the edge of the roof, the heavy damn Remington M-700 not doing me any favors.

As a tactical position, it sucked: I was fully exposed. However, I did have a beautiful shot, and a safe backstop (the ground). However, I was shooting freehand, with an 11lb rifle, kneeling for balance, with four bodies bunched around the target, so close that at 4x all I saw was his ear and hair. To say I was unhappy was an understatement.

Dippy was distracted, at least: a chaplain was standing in the middle of the yard (A for balls, F for brains) trying to talk him down.

I get the whisper mike going, report I'm in position.

SC comes on. "Hold fast, I'm sending you a spotter."

(Me) 'He's thirty feet away. I don't need a spotter. Lemme pull back until you're ready. Ninja might rig me so I can lay down.'

(SC) 'Negative-you're Amber. I've got X on his way to spot.'

(Me) 'I can see the guy. I could do the shot with my Glock. Leave X on the ground.'

(SL) 'Negative. Hold for spotter.'

Fucking wonderful. X is a moron. SC is deliberately trying to get me killed, in my opinion.

I hear X wheezing and clattering across the reverse slope of the roof; all Dippy has to do it hear that, turn around, and I'm perched like a gargoyle in plain view, and too close to take a fast shot. I take a bead on SC a block away, and resolve to blow him away if Dippy turns. They can't prosecute you if you're dead.

I hear X, a three hundred pounder (since induced to depart), slip on the slick, worn shingles. I hear the sound of blubber slapping the roof and the scramble-cursing-gear rattle-tumble as he starts to roll/slide towards the edge.

I snap the covers on the scope and hook the sling around a vent; if Dippy starts to turn, I'll try my Glock. SC is screaming on the radio, but I'm focused on Dippy as I scoot into a flat seat position.

X, screaming, rolls past me and off the roof. He hits the end of his safety rope, which strummms with the tension. Dippy is looking wildly about, but horizontally.

Then I hear mortar creak above me. A mental image of the pitted surface of the old, weathered brick and crumbling, residual mortar of the chimney that anchors my safety line, and X's, flashes through my mind. I hear a cracking rumble behind and above me, and grab the quick-release.

It does not release. I can hear part of the chimney (the part which both our lines are securely anchored to) sliding down the roof, shucking shingles as it goes. The thought of shooting X crosses my mind.

I was Airborne; I know how to land. I holster, and as the mass of crumbling bricks reaches the edge of the roof, I jump, trying to angle away from the bricks so they do not rain death upon me. I try to avoid hitting Dippy's perch on the way down. This is how a clay pigeon must feel.

I execute a PLF which would have won my old jumpmaster's approval; I keep rolling, angling towards the house foundation to avoid bricks and shotgun fire. I figure I'm dead. I hear X screaming to my right; as I roll, I hear something soft hit to my left.

When I come up and look around, I see the second thing I heard land was Dippy; he became so disoriented at the sudden rain of bricks and police officers that he panicked and accidently stepped off the railing-less perch.

Sometimes, things go wrong, but work out, and we can claim it was all part of the plan.

This wasn't one of them.

User Journal

Journal Journal: George Washington 'Blue' Richardson IV, 11-22-48/7-9-04 RIP

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on July 13, 2004.

I've never written an obituary before, but I feel moved to do so. Blue's in the paper was just a couple lines, and it did no justice to a man I had long since come to respect.

George Washngton Richardson IV was born in Texas, 22 November 1948. His great-grandfather was born a slave, freed in 1861 as a young man, and served in Hood's Brigade, Army of the Confederacy, first as an officer's servant, later as an infantryman, until it laid down its arms in 1865. In later years George I was a founding member of the Confederate Veterans of Texas, and was a district representative to the state committee. George II worked as a blacksmith (as did George I), after having served his country in the 9th US Cavalry (Colored). George III supported his family as a undertaker.

Blue was the youngest of four boys; why his father left the namesake to his youngest is a question never explained. The origins of Blue's nickname is likewise also unclear, even to him.

On his seventeenth birthday, in 1965, Blue dropped out of school to enlist in the US Army; he eventually served 17 months as an infantryman in Vietnam, being medically discharged in 1970 with the rank of Staff Sergeant, and a 20% disability pension for wounds in both legs. Blue's decorations include the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Veitnam Service medal with nine battle stars, the Purple Heart with four oak leaves, the Army Commedation Medal with 'V' device, Bronze Star with 'V' device, and Silver Star.

Following his discharge, and continuing until his demise, Blue supported himself by manual labor, mechanic work, and fence-building. In 1978 he filed with the VA to terminate his military pension, stateing that he had fully recovered from the effects of his wounds. In 1979 his request was granted, although he retained full VA medical benifits.

From his discharge until his demise Blue was well-known to local law enforcement; during this period he was arrested on 164 misdeameanor charges and city ordanance violations; he was found guilty on 162 of these charges. It should be noted that none of these charges involved theft in any way; they were primarily public drunkeness or violation of alcohol statutes; brawling; assault; disorderly conduct; littering; and a few criminal mischief charges. In 1979 and again in 1995 Blue was brought before the Grand Jury on the charge of murder, but in both cases the Grand Jury returned no true bill on the grounds of self-defense. And in truth, neither deceased subject was a loss to the community as a whole nor to Mankind in general.

Blue was well-known for his interest in personal violence, and for being one of the few people in this area who would willingly, and by choice, fight a police officer. Blue has, to my knowledge and department lore, assaulted very nearly every police officer employed by our agency during that time period, as well as several Sheriff's Deputies, two Constables, several Highway Patrolman, and a mailman. The latter was a mistake caused by alcohol.

Blue was also noteworthy in that he was never once filed upon for felony assault on a peace officer, instead, being charged with ordinary assault or resisting arrest. For while Blue would willingly assault a police officer, includeing the occasional sucker punch, he never employed a weapon, nor assited nor was assisted by others. And he never once registered any complaint, formal or informal, regarding the use of force employed against him. Nor was he, drunk or sober, verbally disrespectful to any veteran police officer.

On five occasions Blue received citizen commendations for assisting a officer who was under attack by others. None takes into account that the officer was fighting with persons whom Blue lived amongst, and who might well later seek revenge, directly or indirectly. It is a measure of Blue' personal reputation that despite these activities, no retaliation was attempted more than once.

Blue was accorded the title of 'cop fighter' in police jargon, a rare term of respect accorded by LEOs to a subject who is truely a dangerous yet honorable man. It is a term, in this area, that has fallen out of use, the last of such hard-core men being of Blue's generation.

Blue died in a manner that he would have desired: seated on a park picnic table under a shade tree where he had held court since 1970, a cold forty ounze malt beverage to hand, on a sunny summer day, surrounded by friends. He dozed off, and slipped away, slain by a heart condition he did not know he had, still a strong and respected street warrior. On his person was found his Army dog tags with a gold bridge from an NVA regular crimped around the chain, photos of his family, and photos of himself with twenty-three different police officers, singly or in groups of up to three.

A police honor guard attended his funeral, and our assciation helped pay for his expenses. Our bagpiper played the farwell as the funeral team fired their vollies (live rounds, M-14s) over his flag-draped casket.

He was a good man. I shall miss him; the world seems a far smaller and more ordinary place with his passing. Blue was a warrior, a man with whom you would have felt comfortable covering your back as you entered into a hostile environment. He had dignity, which is all too rare these days, and a sense of honor which one could not help but respect.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A Woman Wronged

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on April 11, 2004. This story, and the way the situation was handled by Darth, was quite controvertial among some of the IPR members. I posted some excerpts of the discussion after the story.

I was called to a report of a sexual assault in a housing project. When I arrived, I found the rookie about to stroke out, and his FTO hiding behind a dumpster giggling like a small girl. It is, BTW, about 0400.

The victim in this is a large (tall & wide) woman I shall call Bee. Bee is a stone alcoholic, and is currently carrying what I would guess to be a BAL of around 0.2 or so, standing with immense dignity in a flowered mu-mu in the central playground near the pay phone she used to call us. The following conversation is taken from my body mike.

Rookie: Please tell the Sergeant what happened, ma'am.

Bee: Hey, Sar'nt Darth.

Me: Morning, Bee. What's up?

Bee: I's bin community raped.

Me: Really? Ah...that's a shame. Why don't you tell me about it?

Bee: See, dese foah tonks, dey come ovah wid a case a Key, wanna throw. So's I says, yeah, okay, and we does. An' they go. But inna liddle while, I get to thinking, and I counts: they was six. They done community raped me, Sarn't Darth! Tell me why they gonna do such a 'ting!"

{Translation} Four gentlemen of Hispanic ancestry and doubtful legal residency offered a case of Keystone Lite beer in return for sexual intercourse with Bee.

Me: Why didn't you notice at the time?

Bee: See, dere was dis movie on, I was watchin', I keeps the TV near da bed. Say, you seen my new TV, Sar'nt Darth? It nice-Panasonic, sixty-inch color."

Me: Yeah, you told me. So, was it two other guys, or did two double back on you?

Bee: Dunno. They little greasy bastids all looks alike.

Me: Okkkaaayy. Huh.

Bee: I's wantin' tuh press charges, 'cause they shouldn't never wrong a woman like that.

Me: It is a tragedy of immense proportions, Bee. And I have you say, I admire the way you are bearing up under the trauma. Not many women could.

Bee: They wronged me, Sar'nt Darth. Ya gotta run 'em down. Dey outta get stomped for it.

Me: That's an option we'll keep as a backup plan, Bee, and its certainly an excellent idea. Meanwhile, let me make sure of my facts: they slipped in six, when they had traded for four, right?

Bee: Sho'ly so. They done community raped me.

Me: The bastards. Now, I believe two of my boys have them stopped over on (location); you know, we might be able to resolve this matter quickly and in your favor.

Bee: You could shoot 'em and say they was robbin' me.

Me: Yeah...but we'll call that Plan B. Now, what I was thinking, if you were agreeable, was more of a form of compensation.

Bee: Yeah?

Me: Yeah, see, one way to look at it was they're down two six packs for what occurred, based on their promise. Add in two more six packs for physical trauma, and another case for mental anguish, and that comes to two cases. So say they pony up two cases, Bee: could we call it even and not file charges?

Bee: Two cases? Two more cases?

Me: Victim's compensation, yeah, two more cases.

Bee: That fair.

Me: Cool. I'm gonna go over there, make 'em give up the cases, and this officer will return with two cases of beer as compensation. I'll make sure they're cold, too. Its only right.

Bee: You nice. All you pol-leece such nice boys. I know I tole you this before, but anytime you boys wanna, come on around to Bee. Free, much as you want.

Me: Thanks. I'll remind the guys. We appreciate your community spirit, Bee. I'm gonna go see about the beer.

Bee: (to the rookie, as I hook 'em to my car) Y'all such nice boys. You married?

Empathy, consideration, and emotional support, the keys to a successful counseling session.


****IPR's Discussion on the matter****

        I didnt find that story funny....

        If she was really an alcoholic and raped, that you would offer an known alcoholic two cases of beer for compensation of her rape!?

        Whatever the prior agreement had been, if she said no later, its stilll rape.

        That she was okay with it doesnt mean you did her any good.

        Sorry, didnt find this to be funny at all.


        Doesnt sound like a rape case to me. they "paid" her with beer, that makes it prostitution. her complaint was that she was only "paid" for 4 males.


        Nothing is stopping her from going down to the station and filing a complaint when she sobers up.

        It's totally obvious from the conversation that she considers lack of adequate compensation 'rape'. Once she felt she had been adequately compensated, she dropped the matter. You guys can say what you want, but Darth's actions may have (and probably did) prevent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money wasted on the matter in the form of public defenders, wasted police man hours, and so forth.

        And if Darth's supervisors disagree with his decisions, he'll catch hell back at the office. He still has to submit a report about it you know.

        Thank God there's still some officers who understand that in addition to the letter of the law, there's the spirit of the law to consider.


****Darth's Reply****

Some points here:

Firstly, there's a very large question of any crime other than prostitution being committed. There is a massive gap between sexual assault, and a woman having sex twice more than she planned because she wasn't paying attention.

Secondly, if you note, she did not identify the four men, or even if it was two other men or two guys 'doubling back'.

Thirdly, we did not have the guys stopped a another location. That was simply a step towards resolving the issue.

Fourthly, and most important, Bee was happy with the resolution. In the end, for her, it was about the beer. If they had brought six six-packs instead of four, she would have been willing to have serviced six. She was pleased to get two cases for her trouble.

And, the beer: I have an arrangement with a local distributer; he makes cases of beer damaged in transit (which are normally destroyed) avalible to me; I use them to pay (adult) informants. I gave her two cases from that source.

Bee's been an alcoholic for thirty-plus years. Its her choice. The state provides her with housing, medical treatment, and food. She has no car and has never, to my knowledge, driven one.

However, there is no way we were going to take a report on that situation. Period. It wasn't a crime.

I was just trying to resolve it without leaving Bee uphappy. She's not a bad person, and she deserves to feel like she's receiving police protection like anyone else. And, in the end, she did. She was pleased by our handling of the matter.

There are many different lifestyles.


****More replies:****

        I still dont agree with your own "transcript" you talked a drunk woman out of pressing charges of rape.

        She wanted to, then you waved beer in front of a known alcoholic to make it go away because you didnt think you had a case or could find the people....sorry, doesnt sit well with me.

        I know your going to say that she is happy with the trade off, but you really gave her false sense of justice. All you did was appeal to her alcoholism and used her disease to shut her up when she was talking about pressing charges. I know your okay with that decision you made, but I'm very uncomfortable with that, you and your buddy laughing behind a dumpster screwed her worse than they did.


        She was also rambling about shooting them and claiming they were trying to rob her, or just out right beating them. should he have followed that as well? plus, if they were to pick up the spics for rape, shed also wind up with at least a citation for prostitution. would that make it fairer in your mind?


        She wasn't raped. She accidently had sex with 2 extra men and wasn't paid for it.


        And by her story (the way it was relayed) was that she found nothing wrong with the situation until after they left and she did the math. Rape is against her will. It didn't sound like she was not speaking up at the time and saying no out of fear for her well being or the like.



        She noticed it six times, and when she called the police was talking about rape, and called them about rape, not about unfair compensation. She repeatedly said in darths "transcripts" that she was raped. She did not complain or make the issue of unfair compensation. Darth made it that issue.

        Sorry if we disagree with how we see it, but that is just how I see it. I wont post anymore on this subject (I'll try anyways), but I think well just have to agree in seeing it from two different sets of eyes.

        I dont think justice was served. I think justice was avoided.


        She didn't notice until afterwards, and was too busy watching TV during the event. This is the same thing as a hooker calling rape when the guy refuses to pay her. It would be a waste of time and resources to take this as anything other than it is. Darth did a fine job of resolving the issue.


        "Bee" consented to sex for payment of beer. There is an assumed agreement between both parties i.e. "X" amount of beer for sex. Plus, this exchange is a crime.

        Bee believes that she was wronged in that the guys got more sex than what they paid for. So she wants justice for a crime that was commited during the act of another crime. In essence, she's using "community rape" as a means to get compensated for what she perceives to be an injustice on her part.

        So, if Bee is a crack dealer, offers three rocks for $60, but the four guys take 5 rocks for the same price, can she call the police and press charges against the purchasers for theft?

        I also find it interesting that she offers freebies to the officer in gratitude for their help. Interesting rape victim.

        If anything, she needs to get help for herself and get cleaned up.


        Things that are pointless:
        1. Asking for help from the law, when you make your living outside the law.
        2. Trying to help a drunk who doesn't want help.
        3. Trying to get a seasoned police officer to rethink an action that he has already completed.

        Things that are not pointless:
        1. Mitigating the possibility that an affronted party will round up a group of badasses to create their own justice.
        2. Creatiing a feeling of caring and cooperation between population and local law enforcement.
        3. Beer.


        I think the context that's being missed here is that this woman is a known quantity to Darth...he knows her, of her, what she does, and if she was actually traumatized and not just "hey, waitaminute, that's not fair", he'd have had a different reaction, or so I'd suspect. And I also would suspect that he has a keener sense of what kind of reaction her case would get. I mean, let's imagine the district attorney here.

        "OK. So, she's a known prostitute. She negotiated for beer in exchange for sex. She was watching TV during the act and didn't realize that she was penetrated two times more than the negotiated agreement until after the johns were gone. And they were unidentified illegals? Did she display any physical or psychological trauma (consistent with rape victims)?"

****Darth's Reply:****

Much of this has already been said, but I'll throw out some points:

I know Bee. She was upset about being ripped off, rather than the sexual angle. If they had had six six-packs, rather than four, there would have been no problem at all.

I did not give her the beer to avoid taking the report-we were not taking the report at all, period. Because there was no criminal offense. If Bee had been passed out, that would have been a crime, but taking advanage of her because she wasn' paying attention is akin to taking advantage of a woman who actually believes you are a casting agent, rock star, or madly in love with her. Underhanded, but not criminal.

I gave her the beer so that she would think well of the police, and to keep her from harboring a grudge against four men she only dimly recognized. And because she has just as much right to feel the police are protecting her as anyone else does. You adjust your tactics to the person you deal with.

And the FTO was cracking up because Bee is really very funny; she has a way about her that is inherantly amusing, and the combination of her description of events (wasn't paying attention) and the rookie trying to cope with the situation was very funny.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Of cats and bats and local spats

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on April 2, 2004.

So a carnival's in town, much like a boil on the ass of our burg which will crop up periodically until Labor Day. I hate carnies, who tend to have negative tooth-to-tattoo ratios and felony histories a mile long.

So, in keeping with the spirit of absolute stupidity, our City fathers agree to have a 'sweet sixteen' bash in the auditorium adjacent to said moronafest. To insure that things just keep getting better, someone at the PD fails to notice that three rookies signed up for the carnival security detail. Three absolutely green as grass rookies.

Naturally, I'm the shift commander, coming back to work after a bout of food poisoning. All I want to do is get through a quiet shift. That's all. Eight & skate. After last weekend's antics, and being sick most of the week, all I want to do is lay low, and have my guys watch our buildings like hawks while the carnies are in town contaminateing the the shallow end of the gene pool and making the Keystone Lite distributer rich.

So anyway, the bash ends, and now we've scads of lovely latinas flooding the carnival, dates in tow and dressed to the nines. Amazingly, trouble occurs. Often.

I get a paniky call on the radio from a rookie. Myself and one of my guys respond. Back of the carnival, we have a standoff. Seems a carnie closing the safety bar on a ride did it in such a fashion that the girl popped out of her low-cut sleevless gown. Boyfriend became outraged, and after the ride ended (they were the last ones getting on), he confronts the carnie. The carnie promptly punches out two of boyfriend's teeth.

This proves to be a terrible error in judgement; boyfriend is an anglo, a cowboy; girlfriend is a latina. Which means every local in eyeshot is offended. A brawl ensues as various locals unite in stomping the carnie into the aspault. Several carnies pitch in to save their buddy, and a few more locals pile on, includeing several black students from the local university who join in because it seemed like the thing to do.

The rookies pile on and break it up. Do a decent job, using the approved and tested tactic of first spraying the crowd with pepper spray, and then wadeing in and thumping anyone who missed the point that the party was over. Just about everyone followed the appropriate public brawl response, which is to grab their date and haul ass. Those who linger stoutly claim to have been bystanders and not really seen anything, all physical evidence to the contrary.

Except one moron who is backed up against a carnie cargo trailer, shirtless, with a box cutter in hand, screaming abuse at the rookies. He's not a carnie, just a local who came late to the fight and didn't want it to end.

I show up, and get briefed (he's got a box cutter! There he is!).

I advise Dippy the Wonder-Chimp he's under arrest, drop the box cutter, etc. DWC, naturally showers abuse and postures, feeling very confident with thirtysome ounces of Enlish Malt Liquor under his belt and his back to a solid surface.

I give the rookie my car keys and tell him to bring me the shotgun; my offcer and I take up position at a safe distance and wait. DWC, unaware that his number in the Beanbag Lottery is about to be drawn, continues to mouth.

Now, carnivals have lot of lights; this draws lots of bugs. Lots of them. Which attracts Mexican Brown Split-tailed bats, cute little buggers common to central Texas (Austin is a major refuge). On top of this trailer a large orange tabby is darting back and forth, happily, even frenziedly, trying to catch bats.

What exactly happened is not absolutely clear; however, by accident or bat-induced frenzy, the tabby suddenly came off the roof of the trailer, and DWC suddenly and briefly was encased in an orange furry halo.

It lasted but a second, and it left DWC dazed, shocked, and lacerated from the jawline to his naval. Taking advantage of this, we rush him and took him to the ground, where DWC made important discoveries, namely that:

Asphault + facial & nipple peirceings + thrashing around screaming, 'you ain't taking me to jail' + a police officer kneeling on his back yelling 'put your other hand on the small of your back NOW' = Seven stiches and nipples that are gonna look funny for the rest of his life. Plus a eyebrow with a scar in it.

The moral of this story is that carnivals suck.

User Journal

Journal Journal: When you have a vegan at your mercy, kill them!

Note: This is a continuation of a series of stories written by a central Texas police officer named "Darth Tang", which are being archived by Chabo, with no editing. Read more about this project.

This story was originally posted on November 30, 2003.

About a year and a half ago I was seated in my office at home (a bedroom I call my office because that's where my (non-Net) computer, three desks, bookshelves, swords, most guns are.

I was cursing every Scot that had ever been born and wishing Ireland would sink into the Atlantic (playing Medieval: Total War, in other words). My wife was sitting on the back patio watching the sun set over the lake.

Suddenly, I hear her yelling. I grab a handgun and run outside; the Darth Force is streaking towards the edge of the lake through the growing twilight, and my wife is hollaring at me that coyotes had jumped the fence. She had sicked the dogs onto 'em.

I trotted down there as a massive fight broke out; its two hundred yards or so, and I wasn't in a hurry, as coyotes won't stand and fight.

Except that they were, in fact, feral dogs, not coyotes, and they did stand and fight. And I ended up in the freakin' middle of it.

After much ado, shouting, barking, shooting, and general mayhem which could have been avoided and which was completely unnessessary, the invaders were driven off. I picked off one as it cleared the fence, and popped a couple wounded. Between the dogs and me, we had killed four.

The Darth Force was prancing around high-fiving each other and telling each other how tough they were. I was scrabbling around looking for the empty sppedloaders, and mumbling to myself.

My wife runs up with a portable spotlight and a pistol. Turns out the dogs were chasing a deer, which was why she threw the Darth Force into the fray, and then called for me. Of course. The county is under rabies quarantine for the last year, so lets mix it up with some strays. I could have gotten a rifle and sniped 'em off from the porch, but oh, no, there was a freakin' deer involved.

The deer, a big doe, is toast. She had bled out during the fight. She had a fawn, just at running age; it had a bad injury to a front leg, a bite wound, which was why the dogs had been able to catch the doe: she wouldn't leave her fawn.

"Give me the SIG and get the dogs wiped off,' I told her (I was out of ammo, not having planned on a freakin' firefioght to save Bambi). 'I'll take care of this.'

'Its still alive," my wife observed of the fawn.

'I'll take care of it.'

'Its so little.'


OK, so we load the Darth Force and the freakin' fawn into my old truck and go to the vet, where the dogs get boosters and a couple stiches. The fawn gets its leg immobilized. I get to shell out $250.

"Let' take it by the Animal Shelter," I suggest.

"Its a little buck. I'm going to name him Butch.'

[/me rolls eyes]

So Butch gets goats milk in a mix my wife found on the Net. He won't run off, oh no, my wife has a way with animals. He curls up in her lap and drinks out of a baby bottle (you have to pay for baby bottles, BTW. Not free. Nor is goat's milk and the other crap he gets.) Later, he gets mush, and weeks later, she cuts up deer corn into bite-sized portions.

The Darth Force, who kill anything they can get ahold of, and tear up everything that isn't alive, includeing the wireing harness on my boat trailer, leave the damn thing alone. Its small, helpless, wobbles about on three legs and a walking cast, but nooooo, they leave it alone. They've chewed apart the PVC vents to the sepic systems twice, but Butch they leave alone.

Admittedly, twice he served as bait on a long tether by the lake while I lurked on the back patio with a sandbagged Remington Model 700 (.270, 4x Weaver scope), until my wife found out about it. The stray problem was solved by then anyway.

Then came deer season.

My acrege is fenced and posted; I don't hunt (for sport, although I shoot feral hogs and other pests), and I don't want anyone hunting on my property. It has casued a couple problems in the past, but nothing big. Deer end up on my property (I swear, they can read signs), but they hide in the uncleared areas, out of sight.

Except Butch, who is on four legs and deer corn that doesn't need to be cut up. He's a fat little bastard without a care in the world. My wife puts a flame red vest on him with 'Pet' in reflective tape (they don't give that stuff away for free, either, in case you are wondering).

This leads to discussions with guys who can't read 'No Tresspassing' signs. I do not like social interaction unless its planned. I see enough people at work. When I'm home, I do not want to be disturbed. This is why I live out in the country, on my own land, away from everyone else. I should put 'Stay the fuck out, heavily armed anti-social bastard lives here' signs out.

And now its deer season again. Butch has a respectable little forked rack. The back patio is nice concrete slab; two thirds of it has a roof over it, about 12' by 20', while the last third, around 15' long, is a half circle without a roof, extending out about 15'. The front patio is slightly smaller.

It gets below freezing at night. There's frost on the ground. I'm sleeping on the back patio on a Army cot and sleeping bag (with M-4LE) because spotlighting is not really poaching when its deer season. [rolls eyes again]

And of course, Butch has to come over and nuzzle me whenever he hears me move. Brown-nosing little bastard. And of course, since I'm outside, the Darth Force has to investigate every freakin' thing in order to look good in front of the boss; after all they get to sleep all day after I go to work. When they're not snoring underneath my cot, that is.

Heed my advice. Would that I could have!

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