Just pass the wine

While working for a large police department, I had a possible homicide. The body was lying up against the wall of a building, on the sidewalk. The building was one of those old apartment buildings renovated for homeless people.

There were visible heel drag marks from the body indicating the direction from where he was dragged. So being the astute investigators that we were, we followed the heel marks back to the corner of the building, down the sidewalk to the building entrance, across the lobby, and onto the elevator.

We stopped at the second floor, but didn’t see the drag marks. We stopped at the third floor and saw the drag marks. We followed them down the hall, turned the corner, and right up to room 314.

We turned the knob and it was unlocked — so, not being bashful, we walked right in.

The drag marks continued across the carpet to the center of the room where we found a group of winos sitting in a circle in the middle of the room.

They were merrily passing around a gallon jug of Tokay wine. They were oblivious to the dead guy, who happened to be the resident of the apartment.

The subsequent investigation revealed that the dead guy had been in the circle too. However, after taking a big swig, he just flopped over dead. So what would any “sensible” person do? Exactly.

They dragged him outside, leaned him against the wall and returned to their drinking.

The author, Brian Smith, served four years in the United States Marine Corps and retired as an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield, California. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Brian at bmsmith778@gmail.com.

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