Chicago Warriors: Past Curfew

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Right out of the chute while driving north down St. Louis Avenue, we spotted a couple of teens on the street. It was past curfew and they both looked younger than seventeen, so we decided to pull over and try to watch them for a while to see what they were up to. A short time later we were rewarded for our patience when they stopped by a fancy import car; one of the two smashed the driver's side window with a hammer. The kid with the hammer quickly got into the car, while his buddy served as a lookout.

"Our best chance is to stick with the kid in the car Bens, agreed?"

"Gotcha, the lookout's going to bolt. I'll try to put out a message on him if I can-let's go!"

I floored our car and made the half a block in time to watch the lookout take off down the street. The kid inside the car had been under the dash disconnecting something and had more of a delayed reaction to what was happening. That was all we needed to grab him as he tried to escape.

"Police! You're under arrest!" Marilyn let the kid know what was happening, as if he didn't already know. We put him spread eagle on the car; I searched him while Marilyn let the other units in the area know what had happened and gave a description of the other culprit on the run. The kid was clean; we cuffed him and had another unit transport him to the station for us while we got the info on the car and its owner. It seems that they had gone after the GPS unit and a CD player, things easily moved on the street. We notified the owner, who wasn't too pleased about the damage, and then went in to process our arrestee.

The kid turned out to be sixteen; we found out later that his accomplice was none other than his fifteen year old little brother. Although our guy was playing the tough guy role and wouldn't give up the information on why they were busting into cars, an hour later we called the boy's father and had him come in to pick him up. When the father came to the station, he told us that he had witnessed his other boy come home in a rush, sweating profusely. A couple key questions and a smack from the father quickly produced the story of what the duo had been involved in. It appeared that the boys feared their father's justice, more than the courts. Hopefully we wouldn't see these two kids out there again.

We decided to head over for some coffee at Tommy's donut shop. As we pulled in I could see Tommy behind the counter.

"Hi Tommy," said Marilyn. "How's Lisa doing; when is she coming back?"

"Hi guys. Physically she's fine, but I don't think Lisa's coming back to work. That whole incident with the shooting has changed her. She doesn't even want me to work here anymore. I think that we're going to sell our business."

"Oh, that's too bad," said Marilyn, "but I can't blame her for being afraid. She was very fortunate to have survived that gunshot wound."

"Yeah," replied Tommy, "she doesn't even want to get behind the counter anymore, even if it's on the day shift. That's why I'm working midnights. I hired my nephew to work days for me."

We got our coffees from him. "So Tommy, what will you do? Are you going to start at a different location?"
"No Pete, I think this whole robbery thing has been a sign that we need to count our blessings and retire. Both Lisa and I have been working hard all of our lives. We've been successful and made good money and good investments. It's time to quit while we're still healthy and put ourselves first for a change."

"Now you're talkin' Tommy," said Marilyn. "I think that's a great plan, you've earned it and made plenty of sacrifices over the years. God bless you and Lisa."
"Thank you both," he said. "You know I won't miss the business as much as I'll miss folks like the two of you. Lisa and I have been fortunate to have met some very wonderful people through the years..."

"The feeling is mutual Tommy; we'll miss seeing you guys. Good night..."

We rolled out of the lot and cruised the airport for awhile sipping our coffees.

"I really enjoyed myself at your party Pete; you have great friends and family."

"Thanks Marilyn. I saw you and Joe talking... What did you think?"

Marilyn took a drink, "I think that you're right-he's definitely still hurting. But I think that all he needs is a friend to talk to get it all out and put him back on track. He seems like a great guy with a lot going for him. It's sad that he's kind of put his life on hold for two years. I'm having coffee with him today."

"Really....that's great. He is a good guy with a wealth of knowledge about the job that he should be putting to good use. Not that the tee shirt job isn't worthwhile, but that's just not Joe."

"I don't know if he'll go back to the job," she said. "But I'd just like to see him move forward. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel a pull toward God is telling me to minister to him to help get him through this crisis."

"You could be right," I said. "He does work in mysterious ways..."

As we finished out the night I thought about what Marilyn had said. Had the Father brought them together while both were in the midst of a storm that could destroy their lives? Marilyn's rape and Joe's loss-could these two tragedies be the catalyst that changes their lives for the better?

Lord, I pray that you have chosen to work through Marilyn. May you give her the tools that she needs to mend both of their hearts and give them rest.

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John Wills spent 2 years in the U.S. Army before serving 12 years with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). He left the CPD to become an FBI Special Agent, working organized crime, violent crime, and drugs.  John Wills is an author of Chicago Warriors: Midnight Battles in the Windy City published by

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