Continued from Chapter 28.
As cover officers hurried up the stairs to the third floor, Sergeant Buddy Clark and Officer Rusty McGee stood by, waiting in the covered parking garage. They watched as Penney Travers and another patrol officer helped Carl Jessop onto a couch in the motel lobby. Rusty began to inch ever closer to the stairwell, his revolver drawn.
“Porkchop, just hang loose. The guy’s barricaded himself. They’re going to have to call in SWAT to get him out. You and I have got to keep things under control down here,” said the sergeant, trying to calm Rusty.
“Geez, Sarge, I found the car. I should at least be in on this,” whined Rusty.
Their attention was suddenly drawn to the edge of the garage by a loud “clunk.” They both looked in the direction of a shoe which had appeared from nowhere. They walked to the edge of the covered garage, stuck their heads out cautiously and peered up the side of the building. They gasped simultaneously.
“Holy shit!” blurted Clark.
Directly above them, dangling from a makeshift rope of bed sheets was Leonard Jefferson. He was almost level with the windows of the second floor. When he saw the two officers he began struggling on the sheets. His gyrations caused the pistol in his waistband to slip out and fall.
“Look out!” yelled Clark, pulling Rusty out of the path of the pistol. It hit the ground with a metallic “crack” and skittered across the pavement. The two officers stuck their heads back out cautiously. Jefferson swung back and forth banging into the wall of the motel.
Rusty pointed his revolver and shouted, “Hold it right there!”
Sergeant Clark pulled his handi-talkie from his gun belt. “All units, we have the suspect on the outside of the building, west side…repeat…on the outside of the building! West side…”
Jefferson looked down at the two officers and smiled.
“Fuck you,” he said. With a push of both legs he arched away from the building and flew against and through a window on the second floor.
“Holy shit…he just swung through a window on the second floor,” said Sergeant Clark, finishing his transmission.
The honeymoon couple from Arkansas would never forget the morning the man with one shoe flew through their second floor motel room. With a tremendous sound of shattering glass the man suddenly appeared in their room as they were consummating their vows for the third time that morning. The young woman screamed as her husband stopped mid-stroke. He tried to pull from her grasp, but she would not let him go as she screamed hysterically.
The man stood up, his face and hands covered with cuts. He smiled lecherously at the two and snorted. “Give the bitch a couple for me,” he laughed. He then limped across the floor, opened the door and left.
Had it been anyone other than Buddy Clark transmitting the last message, Colin would have asked for a repeat. The transmission was clear. Leonard Jefferson had escaped out of the motel room window and was now on the second floor. Colin turned and raced downstairs to the second floor. Through the window of the fire door he could see Leonard Jefferson coming straight at him, cuts on his face and hands and one bloody bare foot. Colin pulled open the door and prepared to take a combat stance. Before he could raise his pistol and point, Jefferson was on him. The struggle lasted seconds. Jefferson hit Colin at dead run and knocked him back into the stairwell and retreated back through the fire door. Colin regained his feet and reached for the door. Jefferson was on the other side. When he felt Colin pull on the door, he hurled the entire weight of his body against it. The force knocked Colin into the cinderblock stairwell wall, dazing him. His pistol flew from his hand and clattered down the stairs.
Colin slid down the wall to a squatting position. Jefferson grabbed Colin’s hair and pulled his head down as he drove his knee into Colin’s face. Stars exploded in front of Colin as Jefferson let his limp body fall to floor. Jefferson heard the sound of thundering boots coming from above and below in the stair well. He turned and hobbled back down the hall, leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind.
Colin was dazed, but the adrenaline in his system forced him to his feet. He could feel blood gushing from his nose and mouth as he pulled the fire door open. Jefferson was now halfway down the hall. Colin stumbled into the hall. He was not going to let him get away. Jefferson reached the other end of the hall, turned and saw Colin coming toward him.
“Just die, Fucker!” yelled Jefferson.
Colin did not alter his progress. He made the far end of the hall and cautiously opened the fire door. There, perched in the open concrete window of the stairwell, was Jefferson, like some huge bloody vulture. He was facing away from Colin, but when Colin opened the door he turned his head.
“You can’t catch me. I can fly,” said Jefferson calmly.
With that, Jefferson turned back and sprung from the second story window. Colin rushed to the window in time to see Jefferson plummet into the river. His body disappeared below the water. Colin slumped against the window, waiting. He almost thought Jefferson was dead when he exploded from the water. Colin watched helplessly as Jefferson thrashed across the river to the opposite bank. Upon reaching the other side, Jefferson pulled himself up on the bank. He stopped and turned to face Colin. He smiled, then turned and began running across the golf course.
What I’m going to do if I catch this guy, thought Colin. Colin pulled his handi-talkie from his coat pocket. “Unit 21-23 Fahey, suspect is running north across the golf course. Repeat he is out of the building and running north across the golf course.” Colin sat down and slipped into unconsciousness.
Officer David Slocum and his partner had been monitoring the radio transmissions of the melee at the Motel Seventeen.
“Sounds like they could use our help, partner,” said Slocum.
His partner, business as usual, looked straight ahead.
Slocum had fallen in love with his partner the minute they met. His dark black hair with light brown highlights, bright brown eyes, strong legs, and boundless energy were the first things that had attracted Slocum to him. Over the two years they worked together, they had developed a bond closer than most officers could ever imagine. Although Slocum had vowed to himself not to jump in bed with his partner, it happened the first night. There was really nothing quite like having that cold wet nose wake you up in the morning.
Slocum’s partner, Blitzkrieg, was an Alsatian, more commonly known as a German Shepherd. As far as Slocum was concerned, Blitzkrieg had no equal on the Department. And they were going to do what they did best. Catch a bad guy.
Slocum drove to the parking lot of the Motel Seventeen and parked next to the river. Slocum could see Jefferson, the only person on the golf course, running in the distance. He put a leash on Blitzkrieg and headed straight for the river. They waded across together. On the opposite side, Slocum took off the leash and told Blitzkrieg, “Find him and eat him!”
Blitzkrieg took off like a missile after Jefferson.
Leonard Jefferson was actually enjoying the whole situation. By now he was convinced it was the police and not Joaquin who was after him. And he had got away. As he hobbled across the golf course, he could see the traffic on Friars Road just a few yards away. A low fence separated him from the road and a chance to hijack a car to complete his escape. He stopped for a moment to see if anyone had been able to follow him.
He caught his breath. The biggest, meanest looking dog he had ever seen was making a beeline for him. He broke into a full run, ignoring the pain in his legs and reached the fence in seconds. As he clambered over it, he felt the dog soundlessly bite his ankle and begin pulling him off. With a final effort, he managed to kick the dog in the snout with his free foot. It recoiled with a yelp and then renewed its attack as Jefferson hurled himself over the fence. The dog threw itself against the fence on the opposite side, snarling and snapping. Jefferson smacked the fence with his hand, taunting the dog who simply became more enraged.
Across the road was a small strip mall. In one corner was a Mexican restaurant, where a small older man was sweeping up in front. Leonard set off across the road intent on finding a car.
“El Escondido” restaurant was a hobby for its owner, Emilio Cantar. Emilio was far better known, and better paid, for his character roles in film and stage plays. He had opened the restaurant several years ago as a way to relax between jobs, and also a way to get out of the house. On the days he was in town, he worked the restaurant, the walls of which were covered with framed autographed photos of the various movie stars he had worked with over the years. His restaurant was a showcase of the Latino acting community.
Emilio had just finished sweeping the front of the restaurant when the big, bloody man burst through the front door.
“I’m sorry, we are not open yet,” he said, hoping the man would leave.
“Do you have a car?” the big man demanded.
“Of course,” said Emilio, not thinking.
“Give me your keys!”
Emilio realized this man was big trouble. Trouble he wanted nothing to do with.
“Sure, they’re in the back. I’ll go get them,” said Emilio. The man was looking out the front door nervously. Emilio made his way quickly into the kitchen.
“Hey wait, come back here!” yelled the man, following after him.
The copper skillet was more for looks than actual cooking, but it was just about the right weight. As the man stepped through the kitchen door, Emilio swung with all his might, estimating where the man’s face would be. The loud “bong” signified a direct hit. Emilio could hear the man fall to the ground. He stepped through the door and saw the man crouched holding his face with both hands, moaning.
“Now, you just get out of here. Understand?”
The man tried to lunge at Emilio, but caught the skillet on the side of his head instead. He fell over with a curse.
“I’m not going to say it again, get out of here!” yelled Emilio.
The man began to stand. He looked sideways at Emilio, who hoisted the skillet for another swing. The man apparently thought better of trying anything else. He made his way to the door and left. He had taken only a few steps when Emilio saw a huge hairy beast appear from nowhere.
“Dios mio!” gasped Emilio, as Blitzkrieg chomped down on Leonard Jefferson’s crotch. Leonard howled in pain, but made no attempt to escape.
The first officers to arrive at “El Escondido” stood by helplessly. Blitzkrieg was not going to let this one get away. Only with the arrival of Slocum, some five minutes later, did Blitzkrieg release Leonard Jefferson into the hands of the waiting officers. By then, he had no more fight left in him.
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