Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last night the couple above me got into a big fight. It sounded horrible. I was going to call the cops. Then, I heard the woman walk down the stairwell crying. I poked my head out the window to see her walking and weeping down the sidewalk toward her car holding an overnight bag. I watched her get into her Mustang and leave expecting the boyfriend to come running after her. I thought things were done for the night.

About two hours later, around 10:30, I was in the front room doing some work on my computer when I heard voices down below on the street. I peered behind the curtains to see a patrol car directly below. I looked down the street and saw at least three more. I switched windows to get a view of the gate to the stairwell that we share with the couple upstairs. There were at least five cops at my front gate with flak jackets and rifles. I decided to see what was up. I threw on my jacket and slippers, turned on the stairwell light, and walked down. "Out of the stairwell!" they said. I got out of the stairwell. They asked me which apartment of I was from. I immediately became worried about my wife who was still up in our flat. They didn't seem concerned and wanted to know if there was any way out of the building besides the front gate. I told them there were back stairs that emptied out to the door we were standing in front of next to the stairwell, but it couldn't be opened from the street. They asked me to open it. I asked them if it had anything to do with a domestic dispute earlier that night. They said yes, and I ran up stairs, told my wife the cops were coming, got a flashlight, and ran down the back stairs to open the door.

The cops then went into game plan mode. "Can you open your front door, so we can stand in it?" they asked me. They explained that posting a cop in our door would prevent a "fatal funnel" in which the suspect would be able to gun everybody down (fatal) in the stairwell (funnel). I immediately had visions of the recent Oakland cop massacre happening in my stairwell. "Where should we go while you're in our front door?" I asked. "As far back as possible," he replied. I ran upstairs, left the front door open for the cops, walked into the bedroom where Sandy was, closed the door behind me, walked to the far side of the room and sat on the ground.

They went into action, knocked on his door, ran upstairs, and arrested him. No gun shots. The cops later thanked me and took a statement about the fight I heard earlier.

Apparently, after the fight, the woman from upstairs drove over to the cop station and reported the battery. She must have given them her keys, because I saw them return to the apartment a little later looking for something. She must have also told them he had guns. That's why they were brandishing rifles.

He's going to have to come back to get his stuff. Not looking forward to that.


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