“Two victims assaulted with a baseball bat. One lost an eye. The eye is on scene. Have EMS respond.” Gio looks at the mope in the backseat as he talks. “What are you, fuckin’ Babe Ruth?” he asks as he lets go of the handset.
Gio stays near the car and keeps looking at the guy. He’s beaten and cuffed but that doesn’t mean he won’t try to rabbit on us. My shirt sticks to my back with sweat and the front’s bloody from the takedown, probably from the guy he hit. I move out into the street to keep anyone from parking or stepping on the eye and wait for EMS. Two uniform City Cops from the 9th Precinct pull up to help secure the scene.
“Hey,” one of the uniforms says after looking at the eyeball in the street, “I got my eye on you.”
“Eye caramba,” the other uniform says, looking at the Bart shirt. “Eye yi yi.”
I don’t say anything and just stare at the first uniform cop to shut him the fuck up. Both uniforms get the picture and slither away.
EMS arrives a short time later. One tech is a burly guy who looks after the first bat victim. The other is a tall, skinny, big cheekbone brunette that could’ve been a runway model a few years earlier. She takes in the scene expressionlessly, goes around back, gets an organ box and kneels on the blacktop. She unconsciously bites her tongue while carefully picking the eye up between her rubber gloved fingers and gently setting it in the box. It’s strangely sexy. She has a tattoo on her forearm. It’s still a few years before that becomes common.
“You can save it?” I ask her.
“Nah. Usually they dangle on the cheek by the nerves when they get knocked out,” she says to me as she gets up. The uniforms try to think of something clever. “You’d wrap it in gauze against his head and transport, but like this…? No chance. Do you know how much violent force it takes to actually clear the head like this?”
I shrug and nod, pointing to where her partner works like a dervish on Puerto Rican Bart. Scalp wounds bleed like crazy and the tech looks like he’s been serving sloppy joes with his hands. “He took a few practice swings on him,” I reply. She kneels to help and everyone, including her partner, automatically checks out her ass.
On the way back to our Housing Precinct Command, Gio looks at me crooked for a second.
“What the fuck was that?” He asks.
“What was what?” I know what he’s saying, and we both like to break balls.
“The thing. With the foot?” Some cops love guns and collect them and know all the names of the different ammunition loads and accessories and stuff. That’s not my thing. I collect beat-down moves. One week I’m training in kick-boxing, the next maybe in Hawaiian Kempo. There’s plenty of opportunities to try out the stuff I learn while on the clock. I’ve been boxing since I was a kid and eventually I will discover Gracie jiu-jitsu a Brazilian grappling style that suits me well. But my first years in plainclothes I’m still sort of a pilgrim wanderer when it comes to working with my hands.