Police work is difficult enough, then you run into a person who has an cold-blooded hatred for the police. I just started my shift in the old 18th District. It was customary for me to receive the most unflattering assignments because of my recruit status. I was dispatched to Henrotin Hospital to guard a prisoner who woke up one day and decided to kill a Chicago Police Officer. After creating a barricade to block an alley, the offender called 911 and reported shots fired to the dispatcher. The 911 operator dispatched the call as shots fired in an alley where a Sergeant happened to be close by. He slowly made the transition from the street to the alley, attempting to be as stealthy as a blue and white squad car would allow him. He drove down the alley with an ear out the window, listening intently for the sounds of danger. Squinting his eyes, he spotted something half way down the alley. Garbage cans and other debris blocked the alley. With the hair on his neck standing up, the Sergeant stopped short and quickly exited his squad. Before he had time to find cover, a man appeared directly in front of him pointing a .22 caliber sawed-off riffle at his mid-section. The Sergeant had drawn his revolver and with the drama of the old wild west, he and the unknown assailant stared into each other’s eyes. The Sergeant fired first, striking his assailant twice. The first round struck the attacker directly in the knee and the second round found his other leg, separating the bone just above the knee. The offender was down. Recovering the rifle and scanning the yards and bushes for other assailants, the Sergeant screamed out his situation over the police radio. Within seconds squad cars poured into the alley. The lone gunman was eventually loaded into an ambulance and I was now guarding him at Henrotin Hospital.
Now for the other part of the story. As I relieved the earlier police guard, I was informed that this guy had a broken bone above the knee and the other leg had a bullet lodged in the kneecap. Both his knees by now, had swollen to size of watermelons. This guy was going nowhere. Just the same, I handcuffed one of his wrists to the bed rail, just to make him a little more uncomfortable. He did try to kill a Chicago Police Sergeant.
About a half hour after I started my guard duty, a male attendant came to take this arrestee to x-ray, before continuing on to surgery. Chit-chatting as I walked alongside the gurney with our arrestee, I noticed that his feet were stretched over the edge of the gurney in order to make him more comfortable. Waiting for the elevator, the young attendant asked what the patient had done to get shot by the police. I informed him about the ambush he set for the responding officers. I explained that miraculously, his .22 caliber rifle jammed, and the Sergeant was able to defend himself without being harmed. The elevator doors slowly opened and without alerting me, the attendant pushed the gurney into the elevator and bounced the arrestee’s feet off the rear of the elevator wall. The screams echoed off the inside of the elevator, and I immediately felt sympathy pains shoot into my knees. The attendant looked at me and with a very calm voice announced, that it was so morally wrong for anyone to attempt to kill a police officer. After a lingering smile, the attendant pushed the button and the elevator began to move. We do have friends out there.