Close Call in Oakland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A Sailor on Liberty makes a wrong turn while heading back to the base and gets caught in an attempted hold up.

 Close Call in Oakland

 

Late 1993, I finished up shore duty and headed to my last sea tour assignment. USS Kiska, home port, Alameda California. I accepted the orders thinking this would be a “gravy train” way to finish out my career. Kiska was a supply ship, more time pier side than underway and just across the bay from beautiful San Francisco!

The only problem with being “across the bay” was that to get from Alameda to San Francisco it was necessary to drive through Oakland. There were places in Oakland where strangers would be smart to not make eye contact. Just look straight ahead, don't speed but drive with hast and try not draw attention to yourself. Good creed to try and live by but not easy to adhere to.

Just a few weeks after arrival I was out late one night, decided to catch a movie, Tombstone. While I was in the theater the bay fog rolled in and reduced visibility to maybe a couple of hundred feet. On the way back to the base it became way too apparent that a right when I should have gone left, a left when I should have gone straight had left me, lost.

Street signs were becoming hard to see with the thickening fog so I rolled down the drivers side window of my truck. At the next intersection I stuck my head out to try and read the street name, didn't help much, still couldn't see. I leaned over towards the passenger side to try and look out the other window and that's when I heard the voice!

Get outa the Truck man! Get outa the Truck! Get outa the Truck man”!

He may have said it twice, three times or ten, all I know is that when I sat upright and turned to the left I was staring straight into the business end of a pistol! On the other end of the gun was a white male, best I can remember he seemed young and about the only image that is still clear to me is his Oakland Raiders ball cap.

I seriously can't recall exactly what happened over the next few seconds, I just remember pulling the handle up and trying to ease the door open. The drivers side door had a catch in it that took a little shove to pop it loose. When I did this his arm got stuck in the window somehow and he almost dropped the gun. Instinct, not bravado, took over and a short wrestling match between him and me took place. There was an explosion and for five or ten seconds, I blacked out.

Somewhere in a deep dream of mine I could hear two voices shouting. They were different voices but saying the same thing

Run, Run, Run”!

Not dreaming, not dreaming, reality! I was on one knee leaning against the side of my truck, down the road two ghostly figures were disappearing into the fog. I wasn't sure why they ran but I sure didn't intend to find out! I climbed back into my truck with the engine still running. Made a U turn and headed in the opposite direction. About three blocks away I crossed the street that I had been looking for. Now you show up! My only thought was to get back to the safety of the base and never leave again! Red light, had to stop and that's when I felt a burning sensation in my left side.

While stopped I turned on the dome light and twisted so I could see what was burning. There was a small hole in my shirt with what looked like someone had tried to burn through it with a cigarette lighter. Pulling up my shirt and discovering a wound in my side about the size of the tip of my little finger. No blood, just a hole so I took my thumb and index finger and gently put pressure on each side, now there was blood! A steam shot from the wound like someone turned on a water hose, some landed on the wheel, some on the dash board and even all the way to the windshield!

I had no idea where the nearest hospital was but I knew if I followed this street it would lead me to the base and back to my ship. I showed my ID at the gate but didn't want to stop there, I wanted to get treated by my own Corpsman. By now the burning had become pain! Pain to the point of wanting to scream! I parked as near to the ship as I could and by the time I got to the bottom of the gangplank I could not stand up straight! Half way up I shouted to the crew on watch that I had been shot! The Corpsman was summoned to the quarterdeck and minutes later half the crew was coming up to see what had happened. I thought I would be treated in sickbay but within a half hour I was in an ambulance headed to the emergency room.

The emergency room physicians discovered that the bullet had entered and exited through my left side just above my hip. They passed a swab through the wound just to make sure my stomach lining hat not been punctured. Several Policemen showed up with lots of questions. They thought they may have apprehended the guys and walked to men by the recovery room door but neither looked like the shooter. It was determined that when the gun went off it scared them both so they took off running, probably their first car jacking attempt.

I never heard anything else about the investigation and was discharged two days later. The gun was a small caliber, maybe a .22 but that small hole caused my left side to turn black and blue from my hip all the way up to the top of my rib cage. I returned to the ship with three belly buttons, two ineys and an outey and a new nick name “Target”!

It was very difficult for me to venture off the base for quite awhile but I did discover one good thing about getting shot. DEMEROL!

 

 

 

 


Submitted: December 28, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Billy Coy Sample. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Criss Sole

Wow. You really went through a lot. Glad to see you have a sense of humour about it.

Thu, February 7th, 2013 3:09pm

Billy Coy Sample

Thanks Criss, the longer ago it was the less dramatic it seems! Some things happen that you can only laugh about later!

Sat, February 9th, 2013 3:40am

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