Roll Call: Northeast Vice, the Queen and the Motor Cop

By Mikey, Retired LAPD

 

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Hollywood and Western–looks different in the daytime

 

During my vice tour at Northeast, from late 1978 to 1980, I had some very fun times, dangerous times and stake-out boring times. But not everyone saw my job as fun or even tolerable. Because Hollywood Vice was the premier divisional vice unit, vice units’ city-wide were required to send several of their vice coppers to Hollywood for a two-week loan—fresh faces. My partner Sam and I were working the corner of Sunset and Western where the drag-queen community owned the vice business there.  At about 7pm (summertime, still light), Sam dropped me off on Western near the 101 Hollywood freeway and he drove the target area.

 

Five minutes later, he picked me up, saying he’d gotten a lewd conduct violation. We drove back to make the arrest. Instead of slowly driving up to the location and pointing out the violator, Sam went in like the cops, fast and furious, right up to a group where the violator was.

Sam yelled, “That’s him,” pointing at a 5’2” blond who bolted. Now, at the time I was heavy duty weight lifting, NOT running. This is gonna hurt.

The queen is running northeast across Western toward Sunset. No way am I going to catch him so, I yell, “LAPD, stop!”

He stopped, yup—all 5’2” right there, right in front of me and no way was this vice cop gonna come to a stop. I hit him and we both ended up on the street on our butts face to face.

He says, (I heard it ‘cause I was there,) “Why did you hit the queen?”we-talked-to-the-worlds-oldest-performing-drag-queen-on-tour-1970s-1463240357-size_1000

I answered, “You stopped!”

He says, “You told me to stop!”

I said, “NO ONE STOPS WHEN WE YELL STOP!!”

Well, he is bleeding from his forehead so it’s off to get him MT’d (medically treated and cleared) then to misdemeanor booking. The booking line was a bit long so I started on my paper work. My arrestee was standing to my left and there was a motor cop with his arrestee standing to my right and I can see he was not casting a favorable eye on my arrestee. The four of us are there for about 10 minutes, when the queen asked if he can go pee.

“Ok, over there,” and I point at the rest room just adjacent to the booking counters. This is jail after all and there are bars only, no wall, no privacy.

I watched as he sits down to pee when I heard two hands smack together.

The motor cop flashed past me saying, “That’s it!”

Crap, he was headed for the queen so I start after him not knowing what is going to happen.

Now towering over my arrestee, the queen looked up at him in horror as the copper reached down lifting the still urinating man up over his head and yelled, “You are a man, stand up and piss like one!”

The queen was screaming, the copper was cursing and talking in tongues. I was very focused on my arrestee and the fact that I don’t want to spend the night in a hospital with him in the event he is seriously injured. I grabbed the motor officer by his Sam Browne and yelled at him to let the guy go. But noooooo, he keeps screaming and shaking the queen and the queen keeps screaming and peeing!

Booking roomA jail division sergeant grabbed the motor officer’s right arm which brings the copper out of his trance. He slowly lowers the now very hysterical queen down who fainted as he fell back onto the toilet in the sitting position exactly where he started.

The motor cop is escorted out of the rest room and I shook the queen. He came to with a start and screamed! I reassure him that he is OK now and I will not leave his side. We got to the front of the booking line and finished without further incident.

All of this for a misdemeanor!???

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