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When Police Officer Perry Salter first meets crime victim Jeremy, the young man has a rare, debilitating form of autism. Later, Officer Salter confronts evidence of two hideous crimes. His cop instincts say Jeremy is innocent while the evidence and the community say Jeremy is guilty. Salter struggles to find truth and justice despite the very real risk of damaging his rising his career. View table of contents...


Chapters:

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Submitted:Aug 26, 2012    Reads: 7    Comments: 0    Likes: 6   


Jeremy the Germ, Planetary Crime Fighter

by Ben A. Vanguarde

Chapter Eight - Arresting the Bad Guys

"After the interview I found a burglary sergeant and gave her the case. I asked her to find William DeGraffenwright. Two weeks later I got a note from the detective at roll call. Mr. DeGraffenwright worked at Big Sam's used cars in Peterborough but was off on vacation. The watch commander gave me a rookie and said we should go in plain clothes to bring him back here and charge him here.

"Mr. DeGraffenwright surrendered peacefully and immediately lawyered up. After processing, I had the rookie drive. We ignored the prisoner until we made a pit stop an hour out. We took him to the restroom and I bought him and me a fried chicken lunch. I told the rookie to go sit in the car."

"For a guy gunning for a promotion, that was a very risky move, Perry. Done it myself but not when they were looking at me."

"I was all knotted up inside over the other case. I guess I blew it. Anyway I said, 'Mr. DeGraffenwright, I know you asserted your rights. That's Okay,' I said. "Let's just talk, man to man. It won't go any further than you and me. There are no witnesses so you and I can deny everything. Willie, I want to know, did any of the officers tell you what kind of time you're facing?'"

"'Three to Eight years. Is that right?' I could see he had been crying.

"'Well, that's for hardened criminals. Burglary, assault, and conspiracy. This is your first offense. More likely it'll be twelve to twenty-four months. You can do that. But the real kick in the ass is the felony, which will follow you the rest of your life. It will keep you from ever getting good jobs. You'll only be able to work the left over jobs. Nothing against selling cars, Willie. It's a real shame.'

"'I'm so sorry. I never meant it. He forced me 'cause I owed him.' This twenty-three year old man cried like a baby. I know you've seen it before, dad."

"All the time when I was on the job."

"Yah, its sad. 'How could anyone force you?' I asked. 'You're a grown man. You're not weak.'"

"'I owed him. I owed him five hundred for crack. I couldn't stop.'"

"I asked him who and he said Cedric "Bones" Plowder. I'd heard of him before. He's a dealer with a long rap sheet. So I said, 'Bones is a big fish. He's probably on probation. Here's what I'm thinking, Willie. I will go to the District Attorney and recommend misdemeanor breaking and entering with probation, provided you complete drug rehab. You must get clean and stay clean for say eighteen months. In exchange you will testify against "Bones" Plowder in all proceedings we need you for. Are you ready to end this nightmare?'"

"Quit it, you're breaking my heart, Perry." Both men sipped their beer. "So you smoked out DeGraffenwright and he rolled over on Plowder. Pretty good, son. Then what?"

"I watched the SWAT team serve the arrest warrant at Cedric "Bones" Plowder's estate in crackville. There was all kinds of drugs, weapons, money, and he was on probation. He won't be walking the streets for the rest of this century."

"I imaging 'the suits' were happy. This is the kind of stuff that makes them forget all about the missing kids. I'll have to call Fred Wagner and thank him. You know, by letting him win a round of golf or two. He's a pathetic golfer but a hell of a good cop."

"Yah, dad, Sergeant Wagner is letting me run free like a detective. The Captain's counting the kidnappings as closed cases, too, since there was adjudication. I should be happy but I feel sick, like I'm disappointed. Like I cheated on a test but got an 'A', you know?"

"Like planting evidence and getting a conviction."

"What?"

"Oh, never mind," answered Perry's dad. "Son, get us another beer."

"If you don't mind, dad. I've had enough and I feel better for having talked it out with you. It has been emotionally draining, like nothing else I've experienced. You know it's been a year tomorrow since those kids disappeared. One year. I've got the next three days off and I'm gonna start by catching up on all the sleep I've missed."

"Don't get too worked up about this. You're good. You know? You can't prove them all. Just so you know, guilt or innocence. One year, huh? Well, another year and you won't be thinking about this case but something new."

"One year," Perry said looking up. "It just occurred to me, dad, in court Jeremy testified that the aliens were to return in one year. What do you think?"

"I'd say go home and get some sleep. Don't go looking for space monsters; you'll never find them and if you do, you carry a 9mm. You don't have the weapons they do, remember? They carry ray guns. Hah. In thirty years I never had any aliens. Oh, what a crock this is. Forget all this space alien stuff; it won't help you get that promotion. You know how cops are? They'll ridicule you the rest of your career. Just forget it and don't ever mention it to anyone again, you hear? No one. Ever. Unless you make a collar and drag one of them in. No word of this. Now, get going. Don't let them pull you over, son."

On his way home, Perry looked at all the places a cop would hide. Wouldn't that just be my luck getting busted for D.U.I. Uninvited, the image of Jeremy crying on the couch appeared in his mind and the question with no answer, Where are the bodies of Timothy Pollack and Wanda Winkler? What was the purpose of this? Revenge after so many years? Was that really it? How did he do it? And, Why? Perry swerved off the road, knocked over a mailbox, and just missed a tree. That did it; Perry knew what he must do.

Perry pulled out his cell phone and called his Sergeant at home. It was time for the top dog to collect a favor. Cops don't get bonuses for solving cases but they can get extra duty overtime.

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