DG: I’ve actually been able to help them without them knowing about this part of my life. Believe it or not, when you go on patrols, very little is going to happen. And that’s a good patrol.
One incident happened two years ago. This woman came into where I was working at the time. I’m an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes. Because of him I’ve learned to catch the smaller details of things. I could see she had marks on her arm where she was physically grabbed. I noticed she was recovering from a black eye on this side here (points to his right eye). And every time someone would come through the door, and she would hear the door chime, she would jump. And she had luggage with her, so that told me she was running from somebody. Someone that must have done that to her.
So, I said, “Ma’am, what’s going on? Are you all right?”
I bought her a cup of coffee, we talked, and she told me she was on the run from an abusive ex-husband. Well, I got her a place to stay, and helped her find a job nearby. She was staying with a friend of mine at the time, but then [the ex-husband] found her and started bugging her at work. So I went to where she worked one day, and sat there and waited on him.
I said to him, “Sir, I’ve seen what you’ve done to this woman. Personally, if I had my way, if I was judge and jury, you wouldn’t walk outta of here, you’d limp outta here. You have no right to bug her. So I suggest you take yourself back to North Tennessee.”
He left and he’s never bothered her again. She’s now a very happy woman.
TP: The relationship between a city and its police can be complicated, as we’ve seen with the recent outcry over the reinstatement of Officers Emmer and Cooley.
DG: Yeah, that’s why I didn’t become a cop, like I originally wanted to.
TP: Why not just join the police force?
DG: Well, like you said, the example of those two gentlemen. That power can corrupt people. Being one good cop amongst all that corruption, you can’t do your job. You get overrun with corruption and red tape and you can’t actually help the citizens like you’re supposed to. They’re here to serve and protect, and yet—look what they did.
TP: What’s been the reaction to you from law enforcement?
DG: I have one police sergeant who’s on my Facebook page. He’s actually said openly that he supports people like us.
TP: Have you ever been in a situation that made you think you were about to get seriously injured or killed?
DG: One time that I turned in a cocaine dealer to the police, and he tried to follow me home from work. Well, I pulled over, and I grabbed a tire iron. He saw what I was doing, and he kept driving, because he apparently didn’t have anything to back it up with.
TP: What’s the most serious crime you’ve ever stopped?
DG: I’d probably have to say the drug dealers. Because, if you look at every crime, anywhere… drug dealing, gangs, it all goes together. You can link just about every crime to drugs. Either someone is doing it to get drugs, or because they are pushing drugs.
TP: What’s your #1 favorite, “I really did some good,” moment so far?
DG: When I saved a little boy from getting run over. He had gotten out of the vehicle he was in with his mom, he had jumped out. He made a beeline straight towards this busy road. I had to snatch him. (Marks out relative positions with his hands, showing that the boy was halfway into the road.)