True Detective Stories

Yesterday was fun. I was the only detective in the office for the first half hour, the night shift left me ten unassigned jobs, and the phones rang off the hook all tour. One of these phone people made my Aneurysm List.

The man calls the division and says, “I need some information on the status of my case.” I asked him if he had his control number – the report number given to victims when they make a police report – and he cheerfully replied, “No,” with a laugh. So you know how this conversation was going to unfold.

“Well sir, without a control number, it will be difficult to find your case, since we have one hundred detectives assigned here and receive nearly one hundred jobs every day.”

The man laughs again, as if my pending aneurysm is hilarious…

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True Detective Stories

So work Thursday night was miserable. We battled heavy rain storms, stupid phone calls and more jobs than expected for a Thursday evening. While every one of those previous instances were stress-inducing, nothing beat the assault on police debacle.

Just as a point of reference, there is a directive for assault on police jobs. 1. Every officer on the scene needs to be brought to the division for an interview. 2. Every witness needs to be brought for interviews, as well. 3. The crime scene needs to be held, a patrol supervisor and the detective division needs to be notified. 4. A captain or above needs to approve the charges.

Remember that…

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True Detective Stories

If there’s one thing upon which we can all agree, it’s this: never answer a ringing telephone.

On Thursday night, a gentleman called the division and stated he filed a police report and wanted to speak to his detective. The man said he made the report “an hour ago,” and needed to talk to the investigator.

Now in a division as busy as mine, we rarely get reports that quickly unless there is an arrest involved. I asked the man to read off his report number, and after entering it into the database, I located the entry, but the report – obviously – had not yet arrived. Upon hearing the news, the man was not entirely happy with me, as if I was the person who wrote the report.

After a few minutes of whiny pleading, he finally said he was being blackmailed by a younger woman. The woman threatened to vandalize his property and vehicle unless he paid her money. The man never explained why this was happening, just that it was happening. I decided he needed to feel a truth bomb.

“Sir, I understand you’re upset, and this is very important to you. However, in any given day, this division receives dozens and dozens of police reports a day. Tonight there are only four detectives in the office, so while we will work on your report diligently, I cannot guarantee you will be able to speak to a detective today.”

The man ignored every word I said, and gave me this retort. “Well, I would like this report to given to Detective Brown, because he worked on one of my cases a few years ago.”

Sigh. “Sir, that’s not how this works. The job must be assigned to someone working the shift when the report was taking. We do not practice ‘detective shopping.’ Your job will be assigned to a detective and he or she will contact you at their earliest convenience.”

The man finally relented, I bid him farewell, and when I heard him hang up, I slammed the phone down as hard as I could. My coworker walked by and said, “How are you this angry in the first hour of the shift?”

Because people are stupid, Bob. People are stupid.

True Detective Stories

Work yesterday was fabulous! For the first hour it was just me and one other detective, the previous shift left us with a robbery, an aggravated assault, and a missing person with dementia. So, you know, the usual.

While entering these jobs into the database, I came across a theft from auto report. I usually skim those, since the story is always the same. “Dude-Bro states someone entered his vehicle and took his protein powder, yadda, yadda, yadda.” This one, however, was… different.

While this report did feature a Dude-Bro, the items missing from his vehicle included a high-end camera, two designer watches, a pair of diamond earrings, and – wait for it – $15,000 in cash.

I mean, I don’t want to call the guy a liar, but I can’t think of a way to finish that sentence.

Oh, this is unrelated, but I have a Kyle update. Yesterday as I was driving to work, Kyle sent me this text message:

“For lunch they had… chicken fried steak. UD wins!”

When I asked him if it was good, he replied, “Surprisingly, it was very good.” The kid is practically a Texan already.

True Detective Stories

So the other day I mentioned the fact I was subpoenaed for a domestic assault case. I was the assigned detective, and despite not being called for any of the preliminaries, I was called for the waiver trial.

Hopes for an in-and-out, early exit, git-‘er-done trial were dashed rather quickly. The offender’s lawyer started making all types of irrational demands, and the victim was in an anteroom, weeping much of the time. (The guy “allegedly” beat the hell out of her.)

The assistant district attorney was new, but she was very nice and straightforward. She didn’t believe I would need to testify, but the arresting officers probably would. She asked if I could stick around, and I agreed.


The trial was progressing rather smoothly, and at the last minute the offender decided he wanted to testify. I guess his lawyer is hourly. Before the offender took the stand, I saw the two officers walk out of the courtroom. (I always sit in the hallway, because 1. court testimony is boring, and 2. the DA can’t bother me if I’m in the hall.) One of the court officers walked out after the cops, and he had a very angry look on his face.

The three stop where I’m sitting, and one cop says, “Wow, we really f**ked up.” I took out my headphones and asked, “What?” The court officer explained the two arresting officers were sitting in the courtroom before the case began, fell asleep, and slept through the victim’s testimony.

The judge ordered sequestration for every party involved, so the officers’ presence – and nap – was a major violation; one which would usually result in a mistrial.

The ADA came out of the room moments after, and looked at me while my mouth was still agape. I asked, “Is it over?” She responded, “Not yet, but the case is likely going to be tossed because of those officers.” The ADA then apologized to me for the cops’ idiocy, and I replied, “I should be apologizing to you.”

Both lawyers approached the bench and the judge said he would not make a decision at this time, claiming he had to take in all what happened. That’s judge speak for the offender will soon be free as a bird. The entire case, gone, because two officers couldn’t take a 5-Hour Energy.

True Detective Stories

So this was the sight which greeted me this morning as I arrived at work.

The intersection was cordoned off and no one was able to enter the building through the front doors. A vehicle was parked inside the crime scene with its doors open, and police cars surrounded the area. Because, really, is there nothing more satisfying than seeing a crime scene right in front of a Divisional Headquarters?

Apparently, a fine, upstanding gentleman was feeling lonely, so he inquired about a woman’s “stress relief” services. The woman, a working girl, if you will, agreed to the terms and entered the gentleman’s vehicle. Before the stress relief occurred, the working girl needed to reduce her stress by injecting heroin.

Sadly, the woman suffered an overdose and died in the gentleman’s car.

(For the record, I mean that sincerely. Heroin is a blight on this country.)

While the woman was slowly dying, the gentleman and his friend continued driving. After a while the two men realized something was very wrong, and decided to head to the nearest police station. During their journey, they passed a hospital, ignored it, continued to the division, and grabbed an officer.

The depths to which humans will sink never ceases to amaze me.

Courting The System

Today I will be the invisible blogger. Now, you may say to yourself, “But Wyatt, you’re always scarce anymore.” Also yes, but today I have a legitimate reason: I have court.

The case is, naturally, from six months ago. It’s a domestic assault case I handled during one of the days I was alone in the office for the first hour. The case was listed twice already, and our fabulous assistant district attorney’s never saw the need to subpoena me previously. This time, however, the case is listed as “Must Be Tried.”

Either judges or lawyers – ADAs or Defense Attorneys – can request a case be marked “must be tried.” It is usually only granted after three or more court cases where either the victim, the defendant, or the arresting officers failed to show up for court.

The problem with an MBT is it forces everyone involved in the case to appear in court. Normally, I would be happy to go if I was making some sweet, sweet overtime, but I’m daywork today. So instead of doing my primary job, I will be sitting inside a courtroom for hours, listening to boring lawyers argue over minutiae. As a result, a fill-in will be doing my job, which means I’ll spend the first few hours Saturday cleaning up his mess.

So thank you, ADA, for pulling me out of the busiest division in the city to appear at a case where I was never needed.


Less than one week after six police officers were shot, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross has resigned, effectively immediately. According to reports, the commissioner ignored a sexual harassment complaint from a police corporal, who also had a previous affair with the commissioner.


Mayor Jim Kenney did not address that specific allegation in a news release announcing the departure, five days after he had proclaimed Ross “the best police commissioner in America.”

Instead, he said that Ross had not adequately responded to allegations of racial and sexual discrimination within the department, which were included in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint and lawsuit filed by Cpl. Audra McCowan — the woman who alleged the affair — and Officer Jennifer Allen.


As part of our annual recertification training, one day was blocked for sexual harassment “training.” The entire class consisted on some lieutenant (who really loved the subject matter) reminding us again, again, and again that the mayor and the commissioner were making this a hot button issue.


Mayor Kenney is married and living with another married woman. Commissioner Ross “allegedly” had an affair with one of his officers. But please, remind me again about this hot button issue.


According to the complaint, McCowan texted and called Ross in February to tell him about a male colleague who repeatedly sexually harassed her.

The complaint says that Ross responded by asking, “So why don’t you just order his dumb ass to go sit down and get out of your face?” During the same conversation, McCowan alleges, Ross said he would “school” her on sexual harassment — and that he was standing in the way of her complaints getting addressed “in retribution for breaking off their two-year affair” between 2009 and 2011.


When you read the laughs, try to do so in a Heath Ledger voice.

For years, officers in the department kept telling us how Ross was a stand-up guy, and how he was very pro-police. Sadly, Ross was the exact opposite. Under his “leadership,” the department pivoted away from stopping crime and focused upon jamming up cops for the most minute infractions.

Ross was also the man who decided we would wait out the man who shot six police officers, instead of letting SWAT hit the house and drag his ass outside. I mean, who doesn’t want a commander who worries more about a gun-toting felon than his own troops?

So, no, I will not miss Ross, nor will I shed one tear about his predicament. Good riddance.


True Detective Stories

I think it’s safe to say this has been a rather terrible week, and I hate to keep bringing up Wednesday’s shooting, but if I didn’t rant about this, I’d go insane.

Well, more insane.

Yesterday I stopped at the local Wawa – it’s a convenience store – for some drinks for work. (Sadly, not of the alcoholic variety.) I’m dressed in a shirt and tie, khakis, my badge is on my belt and my service weapon is holstered on my left side. While walking from my car to the store, a man yells out, “I’m getting kinda concerned with that open carry.”

Now considering the events of Wednesday night, I was in no mood for a large-mouth ass. I kept walking and said over my shoulder, “Really? I’m kinda concerned six of my coworkers were shot last night.” The jackass was behind me and asked, “Oh, are you a cop?”

Me, sternly, “Yeah, the badge on my belt shoulda told ya.”

The bloated skin-sac then felt the need to follow me into the Wawa, and tell me how great police officers are, how hard my job is, and how it was a shame those officers were shot. I replied with little more than random “Uh huhs.” The sac stood behind me in line as I was checking out, still flapping his gums, when I finally had enough.

“Look sir, I’ve had a very bad couple of days. If you want to save yourself from future embarrassment, most armed criminals don’t wear badges, dress in shirts and ties, or keep their firearms in holsters.”

Seriously, why can’t people just leave me alone?

Shot Officers Released From Hospital

All the Philly police officers shot yesterday have been released from the hospital. Similarly, my sister and my cousin’s wife – a nurse and a surgeon in North Philly – were also eventually released from work.

The piece of filth surrendered after midnight (EDT) with a little help from SWAT and tear gas.

You may remember when I mentioned protesters were gathering around the shooting scene last night. Apparently that story was absolutely true.

While Philadelphia police officers were dealing with a gunman who shot six of their own during a standoff at a home in the Nicetown-Tioga section, cops also had to deal with being taunted by some bystanders. CBS3’s Alexandria Hoff reports a crowd of people laughed and yelled at officers in the midst of gunfire during a standoff on Wednesday…

“I mentioned this at 10 and since I was harassed during that live shot, I’ll mention it here too. A major moment of disappointment this evening was watching a crowd of people taunt police officers, laughing and yelling at them in the midst of the gunfire. #PhiladelphiaShooting”

— Alexandria Hoff (@AlexandriaHoff) August 15, 2019

Apparently, many of the laughing, taunting protesters were from the block where the shootings occurred. If you just went numb from that mental image, consider the fact dozens and dozens of police officers raced toward gunfire at high speeds to stop an armed assailant from murdering innocent people. Six of those officers were shot, and three more injured.

These men and women would literally give their lives for yours and you shout at them? You laugh as the bullets rain down upon them? The irony here is those protesters probably don’t deserve police service, but we’re still going to race toward that next gunshots call.

Race and hatred may define them, but it does not define us; no matter what Barack Obama, Colin Kaepernick, or Cory Booker believe.

There’s more below the fold…

Continue reading “Shot Officers Released From Hospital”