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I believe the first time a client threatened my life for doing my job was a home invader, but way before those two words became the coolest criminal term since “carjacking” was coined in Detroit in 1991. Such a fascinating wealth of information, aren’t I?
He’d kicked in a door with a knife in hand and attacked a woman sleeping on her couch. How I caught him isn’t the point of this story, so I’ll just fast-forward to the ride to the Quiet Room and the fact that he said what he said to me in the back of my own car.
Now I’ll tell you…this made me sad.
I had gone to great pains to look out for the victim when tracking my client down so she wouldn’t have to worry about him coming back, and now with this strange twist of fate, he was trying to make me afraid of him coming back as well. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to detect a clear pattern of someone desperately attempting to exercise power and control in a life that clearly has a deficit of both, but it went beyond trying to place me and others in fear, though: It was rude. And that’s what made me “sad.” I’d been very, very nice to him under the circumstances, and I didn’t want the next felonious piece of shit I had to deal with suffer because the one prior was so impolite.
He and I very calmly talked it out. I think we came to a mutual agreement, and I repeated this discussion at his sentencing for one Class E and two Class B Felonies (“murder” is an “A”, for perspective), but what he did was in line with his career, just as tracking him down like a rat in a tampon factory and charging him for both the original crime and his threat was a part of mine. Did I like what he said? Nope. But I could understand it.
Now, fast forward to today. Last February, a local man’s wife was given a traffic citation in Hamilton County and the man responded to the ticket by threatening to “kill any deputy who disrespected him,” and went on to say he was, “…Going to kill this son of a bitch and any other cop who wants to cross me.” Over a ticket? Hello? He went on to say there was “…No point in living like a slave. Come get me you Godless Nazi.” Wife gets a ticket = we now live in a societal sequel to “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” Makes sense.
He and I could probably find some common ground debating the pros and cons of radical authoritarian nationalism, but to call a cop a “Godless Nazi” because the ol’ lady caught a ticket? I deeply suspect that this was merely a symptom of a clearly larger problem, but that’s something for him to work out while also pondering his $175,000 bond.
Now just this month, in response to his mother getting a Warning Ticket (yes: his mother, and yes, a Warning Ticket), a young self-described “political activist” followed suit with the nimrod described above and according to public record, put into writing “I can end his career in one phone call.” Fair enough.
“I may talk to Andy Berke about this.” Also not unbroken ground. Wrong municipal leader, sure, but he was on a roll. And perhaps sensing this was all a bit cliché’, he really began to step up his game: “I’m going straight to the Marine Corps so he better not [explicative] run into me…he can’t do shit.” Personally? I’m still good with this. It’s called “venting.” And at a booking weight of 120 pounds, it’s also called sad comedy.
The clincher in the report, though, is as follows: “You tell Officer [redacted] of [redacted] Police Department if he ever sets foot on my family’s [explicative] property again, I’ll shoot him myself…[expletive].” Home run, sport. You have finally entered the big leagues! Over a warning ticket your mommy received over high beams. Join me at the Table of Assholes, son.
My civilized readers, there is such a thing as freedom of speech; this very column is evidence of such. But there is also such a thing as publicly threatening murder, and you shouldn’t have to struggle to reconcile the two.
What brought this topic to mind though is not how stupid people can be with sufficient access to global media and (presumably) alcohol; on this, I reign as “expert.”
What brought it to mind is how embarrassing it must be to real criminals to be booked on the same TCA code as these chuckleheads. My guy was facing (and did) a decade in prison and threatened my life in person; these donkeys were mad at someone else’s “ticket” for Chrissakes, and threatened a cops life “over the interwebs.” Is this the future of criminality? I weep.
Your names were not mentioned here because I’m a nice guy, but have no fear: They’ll be remembered a very, very long time.
(I’ll hook you up with a conjugal email if you wind up doing time. You do love “the interwebs” after all, right?)