Cop Talk 10:  Ricky Gets High

An interesting tale from a Firefighter turned cop. Both services have to contend with watch dogs. You can usually roll em up with a blast from a fire hose but it is a hard choice to shoot and kill an animal defending his territory. This cop evened the score with a junk yard dog who bit him while he was attempting to arrest an arsonist. The dog may even have enjoyed receiving his punishment.

Cop Talk/ Fire Talk: Chris

I was about twenty nine. Just promoted off the back of a fire engine to establish an arson squad in Highland Park.

First case. A garage fire (which by policy, we later never looked at, unless somebody was locked up). Marv Monroe from Detroit Arson, a mentor of mine, came out, confirmed my opinion and after learning where to go to get warrants, did so. So, the hunt is on.

I'm over on Minnesota, or some street east of Woodward in the 11th Precinct. Knocking on a woman's door, asking about the guys wanted, she said, "Y'all don't turn around, but there they go in that station wagon." And so they did.

We (me and my new, and equally inexperienced partner) get in the car and start looking for the wanteds. We eventually found them in an alley, but being the naive rookies we were, didn't keep track of where we were. The car was parked between two garages, with room enough for just one car in between. I have a badge in one hand, with a prep radio, and gun in the other hand, approaching a crowd in the back yard.

As I pass the parked car between the garages, I notice the open pedestrian door of the garage to my right. "Ricky" a big German Shepherd sees me, and can't get traction fast enough on the cement as he launches his attack. I run to the opposite garage and point my gun as "Ricky" runs out of chain... two or three feet from me. He was still able to take a few bites out of my leg and butt. His chain was big like you anchor a boat with, and his leash was a piece of tire with an eye-bolt.  A true junk yard dog.

I love dogs. Could have shot him but I didn't. I was new and green. My partner was getting ready to shoot. I was backed up against a garage wall, and I'm yelling, "Don't shoot. You may hit me," so, Ricky survived.

We call for help, Detroit Police show up, and the bad guys and family show up in the alley. "Please... please, don't take Ricky to jail. He just got out of dog jail from doin' ten days for bitin' the postman two weeks ago." OK, we let Ricky off the hook but we arrest our suspects and leave.

I keep check on "Ricky" over the next couple of years. Alive, mean, and well. On guard. Day comes, that a high ranking officer (whose name I won't include) calls me, shows me something, and asks, "Do you know what this is?" Looked to me like microdot LSD, but not being a narcotics guy, I wasn't positive, and said, I can check. The boss had found it in a relative’s room.

I check, it's LSD. Lab asks, do you want it destroyed. By then, I'm savvy enough to know the answer is "no."

A few months later, my partner and I buy a half pound of ground beef, pack it with (guess what), and go down the alley in Number 11. Who comes out, guarding his space? "Ricky." He gets a treat and a trip. Hope he got to go to rehab.

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