Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And Two For The Show

The embarrassing news that the head of the neighborhood town watches car had been vandalized again by the mysterious "ripper" reverberated throughout the neighborhoods...Eric Coley was furious...beyond furious...He was on the radio, television, the newspapers vowing ultimate revenge on whoever was responsible for slashing his tires..

He was especially peeved because he had been planning a date with an attractive neighbor of mine named Elaine Mosely , and now he had no car to take her anywhere in and his mother, who he lived with, was not allowing her to come to his house that weekend.  Reason being was that SHE was having company.

I should mention that Eric Coley is 36 years old....and currently unemployed...He worked at the supermarket for several years....Worked in produce...but was let go....Then he was driving a forklift , but was laid off...He had to leave his apartment and move back in with his mother.  He bided his time as a community activist and the head of town watch...A nice guy, but a pain in the butt at times too.

''Kevin...I see less and less of the town watch guys out with Eric at night." mused my wife Sepia as we lie across the bed the next morning.

"Yeah..I know....and for some reason..despite the fact that they're out at least until 4:00 in the morning and the neighbors are sitting outside in shifts...These attacks keep occurring...Usually on the very next block that they 're not watching." I said.

"Whoever is doing this seems to know the town watches schedule and seems to know the neighbors movemants very well." said Sepia.

"Almost makes me wonder if the person we are looking for is either in town watch , used to be in town watch or just outside, hiding in plain sight." I said.


Clerow, Owen Todd, Kool Kat and I began talking to and looking into the backgrounds of all of the known town watch members and officials ,past and present in our neighborhoods and the surrounding neigborhoods..

I stopped by Robert Foxworth's office and with the help of Cole, Chance Howard and their contacts in public records...Did complete work ups on all of them...Nothing stood out....All of them seemed to be clean.

In addition..Sean Jackson, Clerow, Owen Todd, Kool Kat and myself rented cars...A different car every night with tinted windows and cruised the neighborhoods...We did this without anyone knowing...I didn't tell Eric or any of his town watch people...I wanted to see just what was going on... Still , we were turning up nothing...This shadowy figure was good..I had to give him or her or them that!

I sent Eric's four tires to the FBI forensics lab and got a surprising call from Special Agent Frank Cotton.

"Kevin...assuming that your tire slasher is one person...I'd assume you have a copycat in this case." He said.

"What?"I said.

"Either that, or your boy has changed up knives...Look at the slashes on these tires...They were done with a butcher knife..These are wide slashes...Not the precision cuts that the fish scaling knife would use.  These kind of crimes always breed copycats Kev." he said.

"Wow...Just what I need...a copycat." I said.

"What you need is a murder or insurance fraud case or a drug kingpin....Not this......You want me to rescue your cat from a tree next?" he laughed.

""Ohhh you got jokes!" I said laughing myself.


That night, Clerow and I were riding around in one car, While Sean Jackson and Owen Todd were riding around in another car... It wasn't actually night...It was a little after 5:00 in the morning...

"Wanna call it a day boss...Nothin is stirrin around here?" said Clerow.....

"Yeah man...Let me call Owen and Sean.." I said.

Only they rang my phone first....

''What's up?" I said.

"Kev...I think we hit the jackpot....There's a cat around here ...We three blocks from you...He's got a steak knife and he just hit three cars...He's goin down the row...He's got on a white hoodie...jeans...Hurry up man." said Owen.

"Here we come...Tell Sean to get some photos." I said.

"Oh we gettin plenty baby!" said Owen.

I looked at Clerow....

"We got the ripper..Let's go." I said.

Clerow floored it and in just minutes, we were on the block Owen told us about.. Clerow parked the car in the middle of the street and I rolled out, gun drawn....He followed ..We gave Owen the high sign and he rolled out...

The guy saw us and he dropped the steak knife and began to run...Clerow and I followed him in hot pursuit ,
Owen blocked his way and drew his gun.....

"Game over Baby Blue." I said as he halted and threw up his hands...

I walked over and pulled the hoodie down....He was a young Black guy, very skinny...with a runny nose...I was kind of disappointed...He didn't look like the smooth criminal mastermind I imagined the ripper to be.

'Don't shoot...Please don't shoot...I give up." he wimpered as we held him for the police...


The Police came and they grabbed the young man, identified as 19 year old Ernie Snead and took him downtown...Despite our legwork... Eric Coley was the one interviewed by the TV and Radio people...

"Yes...Yes... Some concerned citizens who were actually coordinating with my town watch actually caught this young man in the act...I told you all that it was just a matter of time before this cad was brought to justice." he said.

I just laughed ....Owen,Kool Kat, Sean Jackson and Clerow were not amused as we sat in Josies having a beer the next night...

"Aint that something...It was you guys hardwork that finally brought the ripper down and this clown is on television acting like he did it...That little punk didn't have a clue." said Kool Kat.

"Ehhh he's always been a loudmouth...Even back when he was scaling fish at the supermarket." said Gus.

"Scaling fish?" I asked.

"Yeah...he used to work in produce...Seafood Produce and prep at the supermarket...That's where I know him from...Now he's a big shot Town watch guy." snarled Gus..''A regular mister know it all." he grumbled.

We all laughed...

My android went off right about that split second...

"Hello." I said.

"Kev...This is Precinct Captain Barney Jarnegan...You wanna come down here a minute?" he said.

''Sure...I'll be aright over."  I said.


When I got to the police station...The suspect, Ernie Snead was in the holding room, sleeping like a baby...
Captain Jarnegan and a Detective walked over to me...

"I hate to be the one to tell you this Kev, but this guy here...He aint your boy." he said.

"I gave you photos of him in action...Slicing tires." I said.

"Yeah I know...and we are gonna prosecute him for the cars he did tonight, but he can't be your boy." said the Detective.

" obviously know something I don't know." I said.

"Yes, Like this guy just got out of jail two nights ago..He's a junkie and a thief...I busted him for burglary about a month ago and he just made bail about two days ago...He couldn't be your boy because he was in jail three weeks ago when this tire slashing started.. Kevin...You got a copycat slasher." he said!

(Definitely To Be Continued...)