Behind the Badge

"Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips."
Joel 1:5

Hot Pickled Marine

One night at about eleven o'clock I was patrolling on US 21 near the Marine Corps Air Station. As I came up a little hill heading toward the base from the direction of Beaufort, I observed a man walking in the middle of the right-hand lane with his back toward oncoming traffic. He did not move to the side of the road or even look back as I came up on him. He was within about twenty feet of the entrance to the parking lot of the Air Station Credit Union so I pulled into the parking lot.

I got out of my patrol car about the time he came even with it. He was still in the middle of the road looking straight ahead. I yelled to him, but he still did not look or move out of the road. I got back into my car and drove up right beside him along side of the road.

I got out again and told him, "Hey, you've got to get out of the road before you get killed!" He just kept on walking, so I grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out of the highway. When I let him go I asked for some identification. After telling me to F--- myself he headed back into the highway. I felt at this time that the man needed a little attitude adjustment so I grabbed him again and pulled him out of the road.

He was highly intoxicated, but I felt sure he knew enough about what was going on to know that I meant what I said. I again asked him for some identification. He cursed me again and tried to walk past me. I grabbed him and told him he was under arrest for Public Disorderly Conduct.

Many people thought we picked on the Marines just because they were drunk and trying to get back to base. This was not true, most of us were former Marines ourselves. You just could not let them get killed by walking in the road, and you couldn't get them out of the road without arresting them. Be that as it may, this night I arrested this Marine. We were at the front of my patrol car when I grabbed him. He tried to get away from me, but I spun him around and pushed him against my car. As I pushed, I lifted him slightly so that he was bent forward at the waist with his head and chest flat on the hood of my patrol car. I attempted to grab his arms so I could handcuff him. He started to come up off the hood of my patrol car. I pushed him back down and again tried to get his hands behind him. This time he came up more forcefully as if he were going to try to fight me, so I knocked him back down onto the hood. This went on for several minutes before I was finally able to get him handcuffed.

I pulled him up off the car and started toward the back of the car to put him in the back seat behind the cage. I looked up and saw my Sergeant sitting in the middle of the road facing the opposite direction of my car. He had his driver's side window down. He was smiling at me and he asked, "You need any help?"

I told him no, I had it covered now. I transported the drunk Marine to jail. When I came out of the jail, my Sergeant was standing by my patrol car waiting for me. "You have any idea why he was fighting you so hard?" he asked.

"I guess just because he was drunk." I replied.

Without saying a word my Sergeant grabbed me by the wrist and placed my hand palm down on the top of my patrol car hood. I immediately pulled back. That thing was hot enough to fry an egg on. It was a hot and humid night to start with, and that police interceptor engine was really putting out some heat.

I felt a little sorry for the Marine then, but if he had listened to me in the first place I would not have been forced to perform a roadside character modification on him.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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