White Guy hits again, fast, then again, faster–like chopping down a tree. Either his fourth or fifth swing catches Hispanic guy #2 sharp across the temple. The guy’s eye pops out as if he had an eject button on the side of his head. The eye’s not just out, it’s torn completely loose. I’ve never seen anything like it. I bounce the RMP up onto the curb as the eye rolls to a stop in the street. All I can think of is the time a kid lost a finger tip in shop class in Canarsie and the teacher kept yelling “save the piece” before getting sick on the floor.
“Police, get down! Get down!” Gio yells. We’re out with guns drawn in a heartbeat maybe ten yards from White Guy with the bat.
“Drop the bat, get on the ground!” Gio’s got no cover.
“Do it!” I add coming around the car alongside him. “On the ground now. Right now!”
White Guy stops hitting but doesn’t start following instructions. Fuck. I hate this part. Once you pull your gun the game is rarely automatically over. It’s not paper, rock, and scissors. Gun beats bat? If you train a barrel on a bad guy and he says “fuck you!” what then? Shoot, threaten, reason, beg, what? We’re moving closer to him carefully but fast. I don’t want to pull the trigger.
“Get down!” Gio says again. Even if he won’t drop the bat, if we get the guy on the ground that’s as good as disarming him. If he had anything hairier than the bat on him, we’d probably have found out by now. The bat drops a few inches as White Guy’s shoulders slump. He’s spent. His mind is having a hard time processing what he just did. Good, at least he’s not crazy. Gio holsters his gun a second before I put mine away, too. We go for a tackle.
Planting my left foot, I spring up and kick out with my right. My leg hooks the guy, pulling him off balance. Gio slams into him as hard as he can. I swing my other leg around and manage to catch the guy in the side of the head with my foot as he tumbles to the sidewalk then fall on top of him, using his rib cage as a nice flexy, landing pad. He isn’t going to want to laugh, cough or sneeze for a few days. Somehow Gio’s still standing up. He drops down and cuffs the guy hard. We both grab him, letting him know that he’s helpless. I toss him fast; keys, wallet, condom–bingo–a few bags of dope. He’s not up to talking right now but we’ll make time to discuss that last item later. We shove him into the back of the RMP. A crowd lazily gathers. Nearly everyone points at the eye.
Gio grabs the radio through the driver side window. “RMP 9864, have EMS respond to Sixth and D, two victims in serious condition.”
Dispatch comes back. “What do have at Sixth and D, K?”