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The Taped Grips
By James D.F. Samdavid1
Friday, October 04, 2002
Not rated by the Author.
The Taped Gripes
The following is based on a true story. Names and locations have been slightly altered to protect the innocent.
Officer Fulbright was performing his usual routine of patrolling the village and protecting the citizens that lived in the small North Shore town of Kenilworth, as he drove squad number 602. It was a wet and dreary night with a light misty fog about.
He had finished checking the business area and was glad to be back inside his squad where it was warm and dry. He had developed a slight nasal drip and sneezed a few times after getting back into the squad.
“Car 602 is 10-7 headquarters.” (Meaning; back in service.) “10-4 Car 602.
He had seen a red 1964 Ford convertible driving slowly around the business area and noticed that the passenger sitting in the right front seat had given him a very good look over as they passed by. They continued south into another village and Fulbright had put the sighting into the back of his mind. Although he had copied down the license plate number of; Illinois 1981602 for 1966 and placed it in his memory as well as having written it down on his clipboard that he always carried in the squad while on patrol.
He decided to set up radar and pulled into the driveway at 229 North Sheridan and went through the usual checks of setting up the radar prior to its use. As he viewed the traffic passing in both directions he saw the red Ford with the same two subjects make a right turn onto Kenilworth Avenue off of Sheridan, just a few blocks north of his location.
“Car 602, a 10-28 and a 10-29 please on Illinois for 1966, 1981602 twice occupied.” Fulbright was going to check on the vehicle for the registration and a possible steal to start with. Now he was more than curious about the two. He had just called his station and asked for a check on the vehicle. When he reached the intersection of Kenilworth and Sheridan and started west he could not see the red Ford as he had expected. He slowly started checking the side streets looking for the pair.
“Kenilworth to Car 602.” “602 go.” “ The vehicle in question comes back to a Laramie Kenyon out of Metropolitan Illinois on a 1964 Ford. It is not shown as stolen at this time 602.” That guy is a long way from home. Fulbright was thinking to himself. A long distance.
“602 to Wilmette 419.” “Yeah go ahead 602, you got me.”
Wilmette Car 419 was driven by one of Fulbright’s best friends and they worked very closely together when each were on duty. Although John Lindstrom was from another police department, it didn’t make any difference to either of the two men. They would always cover each other’s backs while working on the same shifts.
“ John if you are not to busy why don’t you drop over this way. I am on Kenilworth Avenue going west and I am looking for a red Ford convertible with two mopes in it. They are a long way from home and had given me a pretty good looking over when they passed me in the business area about fifteen minutes ago.” “ Yeah I overheard your radio transmission before and am pretty close to you now. I just turned off of Ridge and I am coming your way on Kenilworth Avenue.” “ 10-4 419.” “ Meet me in the train parking lot at Green Bay, on the north side.” “ 10-4 602.” “Will do.”
When Fulbright made his right turn onto Green Bay Road he saw the red Ford pull out of the gas station on 16th and Green Bay Road in the village of Wilmette and was slowly driving north bound behind his squad. “ 419 disregard that meeting I have the Ford about a block behind me. Lay back and lets see what he is up to.” “10-4 602 will do.”
Fulbright acted as if he was not aware of the red Ford and drove through the business area once again. Shinning his spotlight on some of the businesses and would stop at a few and take longer looks. All the time he was watching the red Ford behind him. He was starting to get the old gut feeling in the pit of his stomach. This was something that he had acquired over the years of being a police officer. Usually it paid off, he would see if it did tonight. Looking farther back behind him he saw John driving about a block behind the Ford without his lights on. The driver of the Ford was not aware that Wilmette Car number 419 was in the parade and bringing up the rear.
“Should we put a stop on him Fulbright?” “Naw, lets see what he does when I drive into Winnetka. I will go east on Winnetka Avenue and back into Kenilworth just past New Trier High.”
They could have made a stop on the red Ford at any time while driving on Green Bay, but Fulbright wanted to see just how far these mopes were willing to go and why they would want to follow a police car. It only took a few minutes and Fulbright was now turning south on Abbostford Street and suddenly made a right turn onto Ivy Court. This would take them in behind Sears Grammar School and was a dead end street. This was a perfect spot to stop a vehicle and be able to keep it confined in a closed in area.
Fulbright did not notice the Winnetka squad parked just east of New Trier High and that it had fallen in behind John’s squad. Both of those units were driving without any lights behind the red Ford.
When Fulbright got to the end of Ivy, by driving off of Ivy and through the parking lot that ran along side of the Chicago Northwestern Railroad tracks, he stopped his squad, backed up and turned his squad across the path of the red Ford. He had already reached over and unlocked the shotgun that was kept in the holder against the front seat mounted to the floor. As he exited the squad he had turned on his reds and at the same time, the other two units, 419 and Winnetka 443 driven by Freddy Brewer, did the same. It looked like the fourth of July as the three squads lit up the area. Fulbright laid the barrel of the shotgun across the hood of his squad and ordered the driver out of the vehicle. “Driver get out of the vehicle with your hands up in the air.” At this time the right front door opened and the passenger, Steve Thornwood, jumped out and started running towards the fence that separated the School grounds from the railroad property. He was running back away from Fulbright. The officer was keeping an eye on the driver, as was John Lindstrom. Officer Brewer gave foot chase after the passenger.
After getting the driver cuffed and placed into the back seat of the squad Lindstrom assisted Officer Brewer in the foot pursuit. The subject was quickly apprenhended after climbing over the fence and was seen running south on the train tracks. The three made their way back through an opening in the fence approximately thirty feet west of where the Kenilworth squad was parked.
The two mopes where taken into the police station and a check made on both of them through Chicago and the Illinois State Police. The passenger, Thornwood, aged 22, had an outstanding warrant from Chicago on a theft charge and failure to appear in court. The driver, Kenyon, aged 21, had no record on file from the two agencies that were checked. The two were finger printed and questioned. Thornwood stated that he ran because of the warrants out on him. Kenyon stated that he had done nothing wrong and was just out for a nice ride and was looking at all of the beautiful houses on the North Shore. ( The standard answer when asked why they were in the village. ) Kenyon was released without any charges after the vehicle was searched for drugs and weapons. Thornwood was held over for The Chicago Police on the warrants.
Three days later a worker for the Sears School found an item lying in the weeds next to the fence near where Thornwood had climbed over. He had requested a police officer come to the scene and pick the item up. The officer was shocked to find that the item was a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun that was fully loaded with double ought buckshot. The grips had been covered with black sticky tape and no prints could be lifted from the weapon.
An assumption was made the gun had been dropped there by Thornwood, as he climbed over the fence. The serial numbers had been filed off and the gun could not be traced. After six months the gun was destroyed. The case was not pursued and no charges were brought against the two.
What were the two men up to? Did they intend on harming the officer or someone else? Were they carrying the shotgun in their vehicle? All of the officers involved felt that they were going to do harm to perhaps the officer, but could not prove it.
October 12, 2001
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|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|enjoyed the read|
|Reviewed by Peter Adotey Addo
|Beautifullty crafted ...and intriguing...a real clif hanger....thank you
PS: The People who speak the Ga language inhabit around Accra the Capital of Ghana in West Africa..for more www.addo.ws