The crack ho-dini

01Oct12

So there I was, minding my own business, in the officers’ work room at the start of night shift. This was in a small town where at shift change all the officers met in the work room and talked about what had happened during the previous eight hours. Evening shift officers were finishing up reports and a sergeant told us a certain well-known crack addict prostitute had been arrested again. I’ll call her Linda.

This time, Linda had called 911 from a payphone. When the officer arrived she informed him a crack dealer had ripped her off for twenty dollars, and ordered the officer to either get her rock of crack or her twenty back from the dealer. The officer told her to go home, and drove away. So Linda called back. The officer went back and tried to arrest her for public intoxication, but she resisted. So she went to jail covered in pepper spray.

Before anyone thinks some poor little defenseless woman was sprayed for no reason, you should know that Linda weighed about 350 pounds, and liked to fight. I know, I know; crack addict prostitutes are supposed to be skinny. But the well-known and highly successful “lose weight through heavy crack use!” diet never worked on her. Linda was a whole lotta woman.

Don’t get me wrong, plenty of women can be heavy and still look good. Maybe I’m a little more appreciative of women who can keep you warm at night because I’m settling into my 40’s. But Linda wasn’t a pretty, pleasantly large woman. She was a beast. In addition to being rather large, Linda was also ugly, dirty, hairy, and smelled awful. How she made money as a prostitute is still way beyond me.

Just after we heard about Linda’s latest arrest, the officer who arrested her walked into the room giggling like a little girl. A sergeant asked him why he was laughing, and he said, “I guess I didn’t do a good job searching Linda. She’s got her arm through the cell door and is trying to unlock it with her house keys.”

Without anyone telling us to, every officer in the room stood up and walked silently into the hall. The jail was in the rear of the station and the single female cell was the first one we’d come to. There were about six of us, and none of us made a sound as we crept to the door. When we arrived and looked around the corner to the female cell, we saw Linda’s arm sticking out through the small rectangular opening in the door. She was trying to force her house key into the huge cell door lock. The woman apparently imagined herself to be an escape artist.

Our sergeant snatched the keys out of her hand. She started cursing, we laughed and headed back to the work room. I stopped by the bathroom for a minute before going to my desk.

When I walked back to my desk in the work room nobody was there. What the hell?, I wondered. Six or eight officers had been in the station, my radio was on and no emergency call had gone out, and shift change wasn’t over yet. More cops than just me should have still been there. I stepped back into the hall to look around. And then I heard faint noises of a struggle down the hall.

I sprinted toward the jail. A female voice shrieked in fury and male voices shouted orders. I turned the corner and laid eyes the most terrifying sight I’ve ever seen.

Linda was out of her cell and almost naked, wearing only a gigantic pair of boxer shorts and a bra. Those two items would have saved me from severe visual trauma, but unfortunately the bra was tied around her neck instead of covering things I never wanted to see. Several officers were trying to get the bra off her neck and she was swinging at them like Mike Tyson. Someone yelled at me, “She’s trying to hang herself!”

Just as two officers grabbed her arms I squeezed in and got hold of the bra. Several officers dogpiled her and I pulled my knife to cut the bra from her neck. This wasn’t as easy as it might sound. It was a tough bra. This bra had been doing the work of ten men just to contain the enormous burdens on her chest. Good thing Linda was caught before she tied the other end of the bra onto the grate protecting the cell’s light bulb. Holding up Linda’s entire body would require a miracle worker, not a poor, overstressed bra.

A couple of other unlucky guys got to do the fun part. At that department, standard procedure for a prisoner who tried to commit suicide was to strip them naked and remove the blanket from their cell so they wouldn’t have any means of hanging themselves. This went for males and females. The only issue was, we didn’t have any female officers around. The department had only one female officer, but she was off duty and didn’t work the street. So it was up to us knuckle-dragging males to strip Linda naked and get her back in the cell. This is one incident I’m glad wasn’t on camera, because no matter how justified your actions might be, some things just look like crap on video. This would have been one of them.

I carefully cut her bra off, a few officers held her flailing limbs down and two others yanked the boxer shorts off. Linda screamed threats and curses and nearly threw us off. I was afraid I would accidentally cut her as she thrashed around. Someone grabbed an old army issue blanket from another cell and threw it on her. This must have been done purely for our benefit, because we’d just have to take it back from her before we put her in the cell.

Linda stopped flailing and screamed, “Okay okay, I give up! I give up!” We jumped up from the floor and Linda struggled to her feet, still covered by the blanket. We stood back in a semicircle, hands held in front of us, prepared to fend off an attack. All of us were out of breath from the struggle. Officers yelled, “Just get back in the cell, Linda! Get back in the cell!”

Linda stood before us on tree-trunkish legs, army blanket draped over her torso, blubbering in sorrow. She swooned as though about to faint. Even at this point, early in my career, I was experienced enough to know she was faking.

We stopped yelling, and our sergeant said, “Linda, just get back in the cell, okay?”

Linda looked toward the ceiling, yelled, “Let me call my momma!” and made an effort to roll her eyes back in her head. And then. . . to my horror. . . she dropped the blanket.

All of us shuddered and involuntarily slammed our eyes shut. Voices yelled “Damn!”, “Oh God!”, and maybe “My eyes!” Some brave soul jumped forward and pushed Linda into the cell. Her near-fainting spell evaporated and she charged back toward the doorway with fists flying. We got the cell door shut just before she reached it. She pounded on the door and screamed for her mother. I backed away just in case she managed to reach through the door and crush me with one fist. The door rattled like a velociraptor was behind it.

We watched for a moment to make sure she wasn’t going to beat her head against the door or something like that, then went back to the work room. I hit the street that night unable to get the mental picture of a huge, hairy, naked, disgusting crack addict street prostitute out of my head. I think it took weeks for the image to fade. Fortunately, after years of therapy, I only regain the memory of that incident every few years.

I worked at that agency for a few years during the mid-90’s, but was a member of the National Guard unit there until 2007. In 2002, another soldier and I were at drill and went into town to buy something. As we drove down the main street toward Wal-Mart, I saw Linda bounding down the sidewalk in a dead sprint, huge legs practically breaking asphalt with each footfall. I told my friend, “Hey, that’s my old buddy Linda. I bet she just stole something.” And two seconds later, four Wal-Mart employees flew around the corner after her.

I got all excited. This was a foot pursuit I would definitely win! I yelled at my friend to turn his truck around, popped my seat belt, opened the door and scooted to the edge of the seat, ready to bail out after her. She ran through the parking lot of a grocery store, we got close behind her and I jumped.

I was on her in seconds. She was puffing from exertion and running as fast as she could, which was about a quick walking pace by then. I grabbed her shoulder and sternly ordered, “Linda, stop!”

She stopped all right. She stopped, spun around and swung at me with a thirty pound right roundhouse. I jerked my head backward just in time to have the huge fist barely miss my nose. I even felt the wind from the missed punch. I backed off and yelled at Linda to sit down. To my surprise, she did.

We had a nice conversation until the police arrived. It went something like this:

“So how you been lately, Linda?”

“Leave me alone! I don’t know you!”

“Yeah, but I know you, I arrested you about ten times. How’s your family?”

“You don’t know my family!”

“Yes I do. I arrested your sister Angela for possession of crack and your mother Joan for stealing donated clothes. Plus I almost shot your dad Albert one night during a family disturbance.”

“Oh. I guess you do know me then.”

A few minutes later, our joyful reunion ended as Linda was taken to jail for the 19th or 20th time. I haven’t seen her since then. I’ve been off the street for almost two years now, and boy, I sure don’t miss Linda or women like her at all.

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8 Responses to “The crack ho-dini”

  1. 1 Lilas

    I think this should be the opening chapter of your cop book.

    • I actually used another cop story as the opening of my cop book, but it didn’t tie in directly to the plot so I had to remove it. Pity, it was a good story. I’ll have to share it here someday.

  2. 3 Lilas

    Does it have to tie to the plot? It could paint the character of the cop, if you use it as a backdrop story. Just an idea.

    • Unfortunately, the all-important first five pages have to tie into the plot, according to everything I’ve been told by agents. I could have a few stories in the plot as character development, but not at the beginning. At least, I don’t think I can.

  3. *I shouldn’t laugh. Don’t laugh…don’t laugh…*

    Oh hell, I can’t stand it. That is too terribly gross, funny, and sad all at the same time.

    I enjoy your posts Chris. You kill me.

    • Thanks Jennifer, glad you enjoyed it. When I posted this one I kind of cringed, wondering if women would tear me up for being insensitive or something. I’m happy to hear you didn’t have that reaction :).


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