The real hero
It was another typical April 4 x 12 tour in 1989. The call came over the radio. “10-20-Burglary in Progress - 225 East 19th Street - Apartment 6 B - Male Hispanic 20-30 years old - Green jacket, Brown Pants - Anonymous Caller.” We were just around the corner and stopped the RMP a few doors down, walked to the building and saw him by the time we walked up to the second floor of the six story walk up.
Victor was coming downstairs carryi a big Sony Trinitron Color television, a clock radio and a plastic shopping bag. He was real cool, smiling while being confronted by two uniformed cops.
“What’s up with the TV?” I politely asked.
‘I’m just going to fix it for my buddy” Victor smilingly said.
Jimmy asked if the clock radio was in a state of disrepair as well.
“Yea, I guess it is.” Victor mumbled, now avoiding eye contact.
“So your friend is upstairs right now?” I asked.
“Oh no, I just picked this stuff up to bring to my house.”
Victor then nervously lifted his head and smiled as he lied to us while looking me straight in the eye, knowing this conversation was quickly going south.
“So you got his keys?” Jimmy asked. “What apartment was that?”
Victor showed signs of perspiration on his forehead and upper lip.
“6, uh…,6,…B?” He mumbled, eyes downcast again.
“He forgot to give me the key,…so I went in through the fire escape window,…yea,…that’s what happened?”
Victor smiled again as his statement became another question.
“I think you’re getting arrested, gently put down the television, please, so you can be cuffed” Jimmy said was he took out his handcuffs.
I was surprised at Jimmy’s demeanor, after all this guy just put a crimp into our plans for a nice dinner at Pete’s Tavern. I’d have to call Tommy and cancel our reservation.
We took the short ride to the station house in silence, but Victor was steaming, turning red and sweating up a storm and mumbling to himself in Spanish. Way to fast for me to understand.
Jimmy stopped at the Deli to pick up something to eat. Jimmy wanted a roast beef sandwich, dry, on white bread (he never uses any condiments at all.) I got the same on a roll with mayo, salt and pepper and cheese. Victor selected chicken cutlet on a hero with lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. We got three bags of chips and three movie size Hershey Bars with almonds. Jimmy and I had Cokes and Victor had some fruity Goya drink. After all, by the time Victor got down to Central Booking he’d probably miss dinner. We all knew it would probably consist of a mystery meat sandwich and a cup of coffee. This dinner was more preferable.
We treat our skells well when they act like gentlemen and cause no trouble.
As we filled out all the paperwork while eating, Victor remained in the cell having his food. He was still steaming and said he was surprised he didn’t catch a beating for being an asshole.
“Victor, you see it's business, nothing personal” I told him.
Then he started to cry and hyper ventilate. Not out of character. He’s been arrested numerous times for property crimes mostly. Never doing real hard time upstate.
“Listen to me Victor and calm down, you got to look at this collar in the best light and with logic” I reasoned.
“What do you mean, Frankie?” We were now first name associates.
I knew from his rap sheet Victor had his last burglary arrest about 12 months ago.
“Look at it this way, you don’t have to tell me, but how many jobs have you pulled since your last collar? I asked.
Victor had a pensive look on his face and shook his head. ”OK” he grunted, “I got a number.”
“Let’s say you cop to Burglary 3rd degree and get 12 months in the can, now divide that number into the jobs you’ve successfully done since then” I proffered.
“So, for arguments sake, let’s say you did 200 jobs, 200 jobs divided by 365 days is about less than two days per job.” I reasoned. “That ain’t so bad, right?”
Jimmy chimed in with his heavy Brooklyn accent: “And you’ll now meet up with some of your old buddies at Riker’s, maybe get some needed dental work done, learn some new tricks and like that.” Jimmy’s heavy Brooklyn accent sometimes even makes me sound like a Shakespearian Actor and I also grew up in Brooklyn.
“Come on, Victor, give you’re Baby Mommas a chance to prove they can remain tight while you’re away.” I added.
“You know, youse guys are the coolest cops I ever seen,” Victor said finally showing reassurance and relaxation following his release from the anxiety and distress of being arrested.
On the way down to Manhattan Central Booking we all had a good time telling jokes. We pulled over at a pay phone and Victor got to privately call his hooker girl friend in the Bronx and then call to say goodbye to his eight year old son in Brooklyn and two year old daughter in Queens and their respective baby mommies.
We turned down his invitation to visit his hooker girlfriend Marisoll in the Bronx for free blow jobs. She was so thankful we bought Victor dinner in case he missed it at Central Booking and was not tuned up (physically abused.)
“Those cops sound so cool,” She cooed to Victor over the phone.
“Frankie Boy…she gives dynamite head, Come on,” Victor smilingly said, holding his hand over the phone while trying to convince us to accept oral copulation gratis from a real pro.
“Victor, this is business, nothing personal,” Jimmy said. “Please don’t try to compromise our integrity.”
Victor looked puzzled, then look at me for clarification.
I laughed… “Victor, Jimmy means, it can be considered a bribe.” Trying to nicely decline the offer without insulting Victor or Marisoll the Hooker.
“What?, it’s only a blow job!” Victor insisted.
"I Don't think so" Jimmy smilingly said.
We continued on to Manhattan Central Booking, cracking jokes and shooting the shit.
Now that’s community policing