Just Doing What the Officer Told Me
Perhaps I’m being presumptuous, but I would bet that growing up there was at least one person in the neighborhood that for whatever reason you just didn’t get along with. It may have not even been anything that was said or done, you just didn’t get along or like this person. There was one guy in the neighborhood that I fought with off and on like kids do, but we were both so young that neither one of us could hurt the other. We would just fist fight from time to time, and then go back to playing again. However, when I got older, perhaps about seventeen, and I don’t even remember how it started, but this particular person would start insulting me every time he saw me, and he usually did this when he had a couple of other guys with him. It didn’t bother me too much when he threw personal insults at me, but then he started saying things like “hey Thomas, your mother… or your father” and this seemed to happen every time I would run across him.
One evening I was up at Dan’s sub shop as I use to hang out up there at this time, I ran across a cop named Skip. Skip was a young policeman who had only been on the force for a short time. He was young and looking back, he liked to try and impress the girls up there, and tried to come off like a really cool dude. I would usually say hi to him, but this time I went up to him and told him what was happening with this guy from the neighborhood, and that he was insulting my mother and such and asked him what I should do? Without hesitating he said, “I would beat the crap out of him”(not exactly the words he used). So I thought well, if the police officer said I should do it….
One evening I was walking down on Ashton Street, just below the Brooks house across the street from Westside Shopping Center. Well, who happened to be walking in the opposite direction on the other side of the street but this guy and two of his buddies. As soon as he saw me, he yelled out “hey Thomas, your mother”…. Without even thinking, I walked slowly across the street, up to the three, and as he said, “yea what” I just hauled back and hit him right in his jaw. He dropped so quickly that I don’t remember it even happening, but I recall asking the other guys if they had anything to say? They both shook their heads as their buddy started to get up as he was holding his jaw, and calling me everything but a nice guy. I was going to hit him again but he looked like he was in pretty bad shape so I just slowly walked to the other side of the street and continued on my way.
I found out later that I had done more damage to him then I realized as he had to go the hospital and get his mouth sewed up with stitches. I heard that his father was looking for me, and I was quite scared as I figured I was going to get beat up by some adult or even get locked up. I saw Skip the police officer the next day or so, and I told him what had happened. Skip sort of turned a bit pale, and he started telling me “oh shit, don’t tell anybody I told you to do that, oh man”. Well the only person I told was my brothers, and eventually the whole thing blew over, and nothing more came of it. I don’t remember running into the guy or his buddies after that, and if I did, nothing was said.
We were told as kids, if you have any interactions with the police, just do what the police officer tells you. Well, I was just following the police officer’s advice and although he wasn’t too happy that I had, his advice took care of the problem that I had with my neighborhood nemesis.
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