Chicago Warriors: Robbery In Progress

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I woke up from my nap feeling great. My visit with Mac at the hospital, and then my meeting with Father Mike had given me a whole new perspective on things. I felt hopeful about the future, rather than feeling sorry for myself. I needed to get beyond disappointments and hurt, and make the best of the gifts that I had been blessed with.

It was too late to give Beth a call now, but I promised myself that I would call her in the morning and set up a dinner date. I wanted to let her know that I forgave her; wanted her to realize that I still thought we could make it through this test of faith and love. I actually felt a little giddy about it, like a schoolboy that has just passed his first "I love you" note to a girl in the fifth grade. I had truly missed "my Beth" and I wanted my best friend and lover back in my life.

In the meantime, I gathered my equipment and headed to the station. It was Sunday night-there shouldn't be too much going on. It would be a great opportunity to do some car stops with Bens. I got suited up in the locker room and headed to roll call where I took a seat next to my partner.

"Did you get any sleep Marilyn?"
"Enough...I was still kind of jacked up over the car chase. I couldn't get to sleep right away, so I wound up going out for a long run. How about you?"

"The same-I wasn't tired at all after the shift. I went to the hospital...Guess what? Mac is out of ICU and in a room. His doctor did an angio on him and he should be good to go in about six weeks."

"Oh man, that's great," she said. "He sure was lucky. The way he looked that first day..."
"Yeah, I know. I'm so thankful that we didn't lose him, so is Shirley and the grandbabies."

Sgt. Castro walked in the room..."Fall in!"

After inspection he read off the assignments. When he came to Rosato he said, "Rosato, you're going to work alone tonight on 895, the traffic car. You're partner called in sick...well I guess injured on duty is more like it. He was at an in-service a couple days ago at the Academy for a handcuffing and defensive tactics refresher. Seems he got a little over-aggressive with the instructor, John Lanata, and wound up getting his shoulder separated after Lanata took him down hard to the mat."
Rosato laughed and said, "He let that old guy throw him down? I would have kicked his ass."

Castro immediately took umbrage with that remark. "Listen Rosato, Lanata's got 30 years on the job-he was my PT and DT Instructor when I went through recruit training. He's as tough as he ever was, and would make you squeal like a pig if he wanted to. Come and see me when you're 60 years old, show me what kind of shape you're in, and then maybe you can make a disparaging remark like that. Until then you're only putting you enormous ignorance on display for all of us to enjoy."

That had Rosato squirming uncomfortably in his seat. "Well I don't plan on bein' here at 60, only idiots work that long."

The older guys in the room gave Rosato a hard look after he made that remark. He wasn't making any friends with this crowd.

"All right, enough with the chit-chat. It's Sunday night...should be quiet. It's a good night to get your Beat Books up to date, get all the Special Attentions taken care of and any other admin matters that you may be delinquent with. If there are no questions, hit the bricks."
Me and Bens located our squad in the lot and checked everything. We got into the car and headed out.
"Coffee Pete?"

"No," I said. "I'm okay, still pretty charged over last night's activity."

"Yeah, me too. I think that I can make it through tonight without it."

She was looking over the Beat Book while I drove. "Pete, you seem really happy about it Mac?"
"Yes, it's Mac. I'm so grateful that he's going to be okay. But I also had a meeting with our pastor, and I think that I've finally worked out my problems with Beth. He showed me how childish I've been... I'm kind of excited about giving her a call after work."
"Pete, that's great!"

"I'm going to invite her out for dinner and then break the news to her that I want her to come back home. I was being selfish and uncharitable in my behavior. We've been together 15 years; that's not something you just arbitrarily throw away when you face a challenge."
"I think that you're doing the right thing, and the fact that you feel so good about it tells me that you know it's right too."

"Thanks," I said. "I was really getting tired of feeling sad and lonely, but things are looking up...Mac's better, Beth and I will be back together, and I've got a great partner!"

Marilyn turned and smiled at me, "So do I..."
We took a ride through all the alleys on both sides of 63rd St, looking for any activity of break- ins. I was just about to head down to the airport to check on the rental lots and hotels when the radio sprang to life.
"All units in the 8th District and on City-Wide, we've got a silent hold up alarm at Bill's Pizza and Tavern, 3147 W. 71st Street. Any units available?"

Marilyn grabbed the mic..."813's goin' squad."

"895 squad, I'm close by," said Rosato.

I punched it and flew up Pulaski to 71st Street, lights and siren goin' to beat the band, then made a left and barreled toward the address. "That's 71st and Kedzie Bens...should be a tavern right next to the gas station. I know that joint, been in there before. There's a front door and a side door that empties out to the gas station lot. I'm going to put us in the lot to cover the side..."
We flew over the railroad tracks, past the Park District building on the left. I saw 895 come to a halt right at the front door of the place. Rosato hopped out of his car and ran to the front door, gun in hand. At the same time, the robbery suspect came running out the door smack into Rosato, knocking them both to the ground. Rosato's gun went flying one way, while he went the other. We pulled into the gas station lot next door...

"Bens, stay down and cover me. Watch the side door too in case there's more than one offender!"
"Got it Pete!"

Rosato got up slowly and had to retrieve his pistol. That gave the bad guy an opportunity to try to make a run for it. As charged up as I was feeling, that wasn't going to happen. I bolted after him and caught him just as he went around the corner on Troy Street. Grabbing his arm and neck, I quickly threw him down. He tried to offer some resistance, but he was truly outmatched in this contest. I had the cuffs on him so fast that I even surprised myself.

"813, suspect in custody" I said as I hauled him to his feet. I was walking him back around the corner when I heard Bens shouting commands.

"Look away from me; get down on your knees and keep your hands up high in the air...don't move! Rosato, I'll keep him covered-cuff ‘em."

Rosato moved in, put the cuffs on him, then smacked him in the back of the head and gave him a quick shot to the gut. "Are you stupid or what," he shouted at the guy. "Don't you know you can't get mess with The Hammer?" He dragged the guy to his cage car and threw him in the back.
I got on the air and had a wagon come by for our prisoner. Rosato could do what he wanted with his prisoner, but I didn't want him anywhere near our guy.

"Pete, did you see that idiot Rosato? He smacked the guy around after he had him cuffed."

"Yeah, that's his style. It's going to come back to bite him one of these days. We're going to bring this guy to a separate interview room once the wagon drops him off at the station. I don't want Rosato to interfere with this arrestee."

"Yeah, we'll have a beef on our hands if Rosato gets this guy alone in a room."

"Incidentally, good job on calling that second guy out."
"Thanks, but I could hardly control myself after I saw your guy knock Rosato on his butt!"
I laughed, "Yeah, The Hammer got hammered!"

We met the wagon at the station and unloaded our prisoner and then took care of the necessary paperwork. We avoided Rosato as much as we could, but he was going around the station boasting about how he tackled the guy coming out, and then took care of the second suspect. It was typical Hammer was all bogus.

We finished up and went back out on patrol for a few hours, but found nothing much going on. When the shift was over, we went in for check off. Sgt. Morales was handling that tonight. We handed him our paperwork and were about to head to the parking area.

"Shannon,...Benson, hold up a minute," said Morales. "One of the two guys arrested tonight wants to make a beef about getting slapped around when he was arrested. Do you guys know anything about that?"

I looked at him, "He's saying we hit him?"
"No not you...Rosato. Sgt. Castro took the complaint and forwarded it on to OPR. They'll be contacting you both for a statement. He ordered the tape from your dash cam inventoried as evidence too; just wanted to give you guys a heads up."

"Okay Sarge, thanks," said Bens.
"Well, partner, welcome to ‘Hammer's World' where everyone and everything around him becomes tainted."
"Pete, I'm not putting my job in jeopardy for that guy," said Marilyn.

"I know, neither am I. We're going to tell it like it is. Rosato is bad news. He keeps digging his own grave by doing this kind of garbage. Pretty soon it's going to be deep enough for him to fall in and be buried by it."
"I'm not going down with him Pete and neither are you. That guy really ticks me off."

We walked out to our cars together. We had the next two days off, and I was looking forward to calling Beth and setting up our dinner. I said good bye to Marilyn, hopped inside my truck, and said a quick prayer of thanksgiving to St.Michael for backing me up tonight. I wasn't going to let Rosato's stupid behavior ruin my reunion with my wife. I pointed the truck toward home and dialed Beth's cell...this was going to be a great day!

      Next: The Airport
Previous: Forgiveness

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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