Behind the Badge

Man of his word

I responded to a shooting one night. When I got there, I found the victim lying in the driveway in front of his car. He had been shot in the legs. I tried to talk to him to see what had happened, but he was in too much pain.

The victim's Father came outside, and I asked what had happened. I found that the victim, who was in his mid-twenties, lived with his Mother. The father lived alone. The victim had gotten drunk and for some unknown reason decided to go to see his Father. When he got to his Father's house, he had started yelling and cursing out in the front yard.

The old man told me, "Sheriff, I told the boy to leave but he just wouldn't listen." I asked him what happened then, and he said, "I told him I was going to bust his butt if he didn't get. He still wouldn't listen so I busted his butt!" I asked the old man what he meant by that, and he said "I shot his butt!!"

The car that the victim was lying in front of had blood all over the hood, so I asked the old man how it got there. He grinned and said, "Well I shot him once and he landed on the car so I shot him off of it!"

I asked him where the gun was, and he said he put it up. He said he would go get it for me. He went and got his 12 gauge shot gun for me. He even unloaded it so no one would get hurt. The way he looked at the whole thing was that if you tell someone you are going to do something then you better do it. I worked several cases with this old man and I found that he was an honest person. If he shot or cut someone he would say so. Also I found him to be a man of his word, if he told someone he was going to do something, he was going to do it.

For a while he lived with a woman who had to learn the hard way. She started in on him one night and he told her to shut up or he was going to get up along side her head. She kept on and he grabbed the closest thing he could find, a crowbar, and nailed her along side her head. It cut her pretty badly but did not hurt her seriously. He even took her to the hospital to get fixed up.

In all the times I had to arrest him or investigate something he did, I never once saw him offer to lift a hand to a Police Officer. Of course if he had ever told me that he was going to bust my butt, I think I would have backed up a couple of steps and shot him.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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