Last night started out a Sunday night like any other: Rocco whining he didn't want to go to work even as he changed into various layers of clothes...me wishing he could stay home and hang out with me and Puppy Girl on the couch.
I chatted with him several times via text; he even sent me a silly picture of him taking the police car through a car wash. Through the suds, you could barely see the NYPD moniker.
Then the text came: Be a little late. Going to Jacobi. Had a fight. OK. Just a few cuts and a fat lip. Blood all over.
Jacobi Medical Center is located not far from Roc's SoB precinct.
My text back: OMG, please call me ASAP!!!!!!!
Then I waited.
Eventually, another text. Updates, reassurances. I was climbing the walls, telling myself that if he was able to text me it couldn't be that bad. He got an X-ray on his hand; Internal Affairs Bureau showed up, the doctors finally releasing him sometime around 3am.
When he got in the door at almost five o'clock this morning, I shot bolt upright out of bed and gave him a long and tender hug. Then he told me the whole story.
Apparently, there was a call for a domestic incident over the radio. The sector that was supposed to pick it up did, but Roc and his partner were nearby, so they put it over the radio that they would back up the job. The problem was that they got there first. Initially, Roc said it wasn't that chaotic; there was a woman complaining that she wanted her boyfriend out of the apartment. She stated that she had an order of protection against him. He had been fighting with her brother, and she wanted him out. Roc and his partner separated the two men, then Roc followed the one man into the bedroom, keeping an eye on him while he packed some things. The man in the bedroom turned on Roc and a fight ensued. Things got out of control pretty fast. The other sector showed up then and it was all four cops could do to contain the perp---he was hopped up on something and was operating under what cops sometimes call Super-Crack Strength---nothing they did seemed to stop him. One cop took a severe blow to the face, and then another cop started screaming for more cops and ambulances over the radio. The girlfriend (complainant) got back into the mix then and broke a vase over the Perp's (boyfriend) head. Roc and two other cops ended up with shrapnel from the glass vase all over their hands and arms. By the time they finally had him handcuffed, there were about thirty cops on the scene and four ambulances. My husband and his partner went into one of them.
To hear Roc tell it, there was blood all over the place because they hit the Perp on the head. This particular perp was a huge guy with a prison build and he just wouldn't stop coming at them.
A Policy Note: The NYPD allows only Sergeants and those ranked above Sergeant to carry a Taser. Would a taser have been a good call in this scenario? Although some people are immune to the effects of a taser, I wish to hell that the NYPD would allow officers to carry a taser, especially in incidents such as these. They let them carry a gun; just not a taser. Makes sense.
A Personal Note: Rocco's okay. He's got some cuts and scrapes, and is perhaps a little tender here and there. One of the other four initial cops on the scene will go Line of Duty for a lot longer than he will. As for his heart and mind...well...I can't believe that all these incidents just pile into some corner of your psyche and stay there and do no harm. I worry for him more about the emotional effects than the physical...time will tell.
A Societal Note: Unfortunately, I know first-hand how fast these domestic incidents can erupt and then spin right out of control. I can remember one incident growing up where it took several police officers to subdue the drug-addicted domestic terrorist that my mother was married to...it was scary then, and it's scary now, being on the opposite side of the fence. Much later on, when Roc made his way back to the precinct, he found out from the officer who was drawing up the arrest that the Perp had been arrested just last week for strangling the same woman. So why was he out of jail? And how fast can we get him back in there?