Just the Facts, Ma'am

Thonie Hevron; bringing you the stories behind the badge

And We’re Off And Running, part 3

And We’re Off And Running

part 3 of 3

By Gerry Goldshine

Officer Andy Mazzanti and K-9 Rocky

Sharing a chuckle that comes from regularly working with someone under often trying conditions, I could feel some of my accumulated stress bleed off. Then Officer Andy and K-9 Rocky came up behind Sgt Dave. Petaluma Police had recently reinstated their Canine program; Rocky, a German Shepherd, was still relatively new and had yet been faced with the necessity to bring someone down outside of training.

Before we could strategize any further, the “Yutz” upped the ante on us by getting out of his car and standing next to it. Nothing quite irritates the hell out of a bunch of adrenaline fueled cops more than someone who just doesn’t want to go along with the program in a high risk situation. If the sound of multiple officers yelling at him in both Spanish and English didn’t catch his attention, one would have thought the distinctive sounds of multiple shot-gun actions being worked and the frenzied barking of Rocky would have. It didn’t.

Sgt. Dave told Officer Andy that he and Rocky now had the helm. Officer Andy shouted out that if the suspect didn’t comply with our instructions, he was going to release Rocky or words to that effect. By then, Rocky was very well caught up in the spirit of things and barking in what should have been an menacing manner to any sensible person, sober or not. An officer, who spoke Spanish, repeated Officer Andy’s commands.

No doubt more than one or two of us went slack-jawed when the suspect at last responded by dancing some type of jig in the street next to his car. This alone would have been the height of absurdity had not the suspect finished his little boogie by extending the middle fingers of both hands and held them defiantly aloft for all of us to see.

Succumbing perhaps to the influence of the Simpson’s C. Montgomery Burns, Sergeant Dave simply told Officer Andy, “Release the hound…” Well, at least that’s how I recall it.

Rocky, was off like Rin Tin Tin, eager like any other police rookie to finally put all his hard training to use for the first time. Before our would-be M. C. Hammer could rescind his crude digital display, Rocky leapt and grabbed Twinkle Toes’ right forearm in his jaws. The dog’s forward momentum carried him and the suspect to the ground. Half of us rushed the driver while the others took a most cooperative but rather inebriated passenger into custody. Just like that, the incident was over; it was almost textbook perfect in set-up and execution. The only injury was the bite from Rocky.

Sergeant Dave assigned someone from the Graveyard shift to take the suspect, who was quite clearly drunk, to the local hospital for treatment and a blood alcohol test. The passenger, equally smashed, was arrested and charged with public intoxication.

As everyone started leaving the scene, I saw amongst the assemblage, several units from the California Highway Patrol, a unit from the Sonoma County Sheriff and coming south on Stony Point Road, from his blocking position a half mile ahead of me was a unit from Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety. Quite the team effort. I looked at my watch and shook my head in dismay as I began filling out the CHP Form 180 to have the suspect’s car towed from the scene. It was well after end of watch and I had several hours of report writing ahead of me. “Go get him”, indeed!

Gerry is a regular contributor to Just the Facts, Ma’am. Check in weekly or so to see his newest posts.

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Cop Talk

For all things about cop culture-the work, the family, the days off.

The purpose of this page is to educate writers of all genres to be accurate in their portrayal of law enforcement professionals. This includes meter maids (I was a "lovely Rita" many years ago), dispatcher, patrol officers, detectives, and administrators.

I have many resources in my 35 year career in California law enforcement. I index and explain common errors that found in all media. Guests will also post about police professionalism today and tomorrow as well as historical articles about the way things used to be, "back in the day".

Examples of police media myths: missing persons cannot be reported by anyone but the family; missing persons reports can't be taken until the subject has been missing 24 hours; all cops eat donuts.

You get my drift.

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Just the Facts, Ma'am posts Sundays and Fridays. Sundays scheduled writers Hal Collier, Ed Meckle, Mikey, and John Schick take us through the days and nights of those who protect and serve.
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Extra postings will include California 'Officer Down' notices or something special. I will update progress of my current literary project as they develop.
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