Matt Yeager was sitting in his blue and white police cruiser outside a sandwich shop on South Gessner St. His attention was on the Ipad that he held in his hands. With a subscription paid to access the At Bat application, he could watch the Astros matinee game while sitting in his car. The team was having its worst year in twenty, but Matt didn’t care. He was a huge Astros fan. It was 2:00 PM and the sun was hot shining into the cars driver’s window. It was well past Matt’s lunch hour and he knew he should be back on patrol but nothing was going to keep him from seeing his beloved Astros play the Yankees in their home field. Matt wished he was at Minute Maid Park drinking a $5.00 beer and watching Lucas Harrell play what Matt thought would be his sixth home win.
The speaker box on the cars radio lit up as a call from dispatch rang out. “9261,” the dispatcher said.
Matt looked from his tablet toward the radio with a disappointed look. He picked up his microphone and answered, “9261 go ahead.”
“8300 Sands Point Dr. Resident reports a confrontation with a man threatening him with a knife. The man was described as a black male, 20 to 30 years of age, wearing a dark blue hooded jacket and baggy jeans. Complainant states that the man is still outside of his apartment yelling and screaming.”
Matt looked back at his Ipad. He raised the microphone back to his mouth and answered, “9261 clear. Show me in route, 5 minutes out.”
He threw the ipad into the passenger seat and turned the key in the ignition. Matt was angry. Another crazy domestic that he would have to deal with that would probably keep him from seeing the remainder of his game. With his lights flashing Matt made a mad dash the two miles to the apartment complex at the corner of Gessner and Sands Point Dr. As he turned the corner he began to look for the man described by the resident. He slowed the vehicle and picked up his microphone.
“9261 go ahead.”
“Do we have an apartment number at 8300 Sands Point drive?”
“Complainant stated apartment number 106.”
“That clear, show me out at that location.”
“9261 that clear. Showing you out at 8300 Sands Point.”
Matt pulled his cruiser in front of the apartment labeled 106. He stepped out of the car and walked to the apartment door. He was thinking about the game and how the last time he looked, the Astros were up by two points in the bottom of the 4th inning. Matt reached for the doorbell. Just as his finger touched the button the door swung open and a large Hispanic man was staring down the barrel of a large bore pistol that was aimed directly at Matt’s head.
The man yelled, “Back up!”
Matt lifted his hands and said, “Easy sir, there’s no need for that. What’s going on?”
“Just back up and get away from my door.”
“Sir, I was responding to a call to this address about someone threatening a resident with a knife. Was that you that called?”
The man looked scared. He was wide eyed and had sweat beading up on his forehead.
“Sir, how about you put down the gun and let’s just talk about what’s going on here.”
Matt had stepped back two steps but the pistol followed him and stayed no more than 18” from his face.
“Sir, I’m off your porch and away from your door. Just lower your pistol and tell me what’s going on.”
The man had the gun in both hands and had his finger firmly pressed into the trigger. He wasn’t responding to Matt’s requests to lower his gun. He knew, that at that distance, there would be no way he could miss. One wrong word, one wrong move and the distraught man may twitch and Matt’s career and or his life would end right where he stood.
“Sir, how can we end this? Do you want be to leave?”
The man looked up from the pistol but kept it pointed at Matt’s head. “No,” the man replied. “I need you.”
“Okay, that’s why I’m here. Now why don’t you lower that pistol just a little bit, and tell me what’s going on.”
Slowly the man lowered the pistol as he stared at Matt with wide eyes. He looked as if he was staring straight through him. Matt began to lower his hands as the guns aim moved down his body.
“That’s it, easy does it.” He said as the man brought the gun lower and lower. He reached for the pistol slowly as he stared into the man’s wild eyes. “Just hand the pistol to me nice and easy.” Matt reach out and grabbed the gun from the man’s hands and removed it from his grip. He took the gun and stuffed it into the back of belt. He grabbed the man’s hand and twisted it behind his back and placed them in handcuffs. He pointed to the ground and asked the man to have a seat on the edge of the porch.
“Now tell me what’s going on here. What’s got you so upset?”
The man began to tell his story. Matt had difficulty understanding him. Between his horrible accent and his obvious intoxication Matt had to really listen to try and understand what the man was saying.
His name was Arturo Villeneuve; he was 63 years old and had come to this country from Reynosa on a work Visa six months before. He was living with his nephew, Juan Castaneda and his wife Daniela. He was home alone after returning from work and a young black man opened his door and walked in screaming and yelling looking for his nephew. Arturo told the man he was not home and he needed to get out. An altercation arose in the family’s living room with Arturo and the intruder pushing and shoving. With his size advantage, Arturo was able to push the man out into the street telling him he would kick his ass if he returned. The man pulled a knife and Arturo ran back into the house and called 911.
Matt asked him if he knew where the intruder was now and he said he disappeared right after he called 911.
“Mr. Villeneuve, where did you get the gun?”
“My nephew, it’s my nephew’s gun.”
“Where is Juan right now, Mr. Villeneuve?”
“Don’t know,” he answered.
“Arturo, is there anyone else in the house?”
Matt reached down and grabbed Arturo by the arm.
“Stand up for me sir.”
He stood and Matt patted him down finding only his wallet. He opened it and removed his identification card. “Mr. Villeneuve, I’m taking your identification card out of your wallet and I’m going to go back to my car and call my dispatch. Do you understand?”
He nodded his head as Matt lowered him back down and had him sit.
“You sit right here and I will be right back.”
Matt walked back to his car and sat down in the driver’s seat watching Arturo through the windshield.
“9261 go ahead.”
“I need to run check on a Mexican national. Name Arturo Villeneuve, date of birth, October 23, 1950, Work Visa Control Number, 73247,Lima, Lima, Hotel, 734710001.”
“9261 that’s clear stand by.”
Matt watched Arturo as he waited for dispatch. His heart was still in his throat from the gun being crammed into his face when the door opened. Arturo was scared. He had obviously been drinking and probably thought the intruder had returned when he stepped up to the door. Wild with adrenaline he probably never noticed the uniform or that he wasn’t the black kid that had threatened him earlier. Matt was six foot tall with red hair and fair complexion. He watch him through the windshield as he weaved back and forth he slumped forward slowly and Matt thought he was going to throw up. Then before dispatch returned the man began to fall over to his left. Matt jump up from the car and ran to his prisoner. Arturo lay still on the ground. Matt grabbed at his throat attempting to feel for a heartbeat. There was no pulse. He quickly undid the restraints from his hands and laid him on his back across the ground. He listened to his chest and heard no heartbeat. He placed his left hand on Arturo’s chest across his breastbone and placed his right on top of his left hand and began chest compressions just like the department had taught him. He looked across the street at the crowd that had gathered.
“I need someone to call 911,” he yelled.
He leaned down to Arturo, lifted his chin and placed his mouth over Arturo’s mouth and gave him two rescue breaths.
“Is someone calling 911?” he yelled again.
“My wife is calling now.” A young back man yelled back from the street.
“You come here,” Matt cried.
The man ran over and knelt down next to Arturo’s body. “I’m gonna need someone to take over for me here in a few minutes. Do you know how to do this?”
“Go find me someone who does.” Matt leaned down and gave Arturo two more rescue breaths and jumped up to start compressions again. “Go find me someone!” He yelled.
The man jumped up and took off running across the street yelling, asking if anyone knew how to do CPR. Matt heard someone yell back “Yeah, I do.”
Matt looked up to see another young black man run from the crowd in his direction. As he dropped to one knee beside Arturo Matt looked up and asked, “You know how this is done?”
“I’m gonna get tired here in a minute and you and I need to trade off.”
“No problem, I can do it. I work at Methodist hospital. We all get trained in this kind of thing.”
Matt looked at the kid. He was about 25 years old and wore a blue hooded jacket and baggy jeans.
“What’s your name kid?”
“Michael Williams,” he answered.
“Do you know this man?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes sir, I’m sure.”
Matt continued his CPR and was reluctant to turn it over to the kid. What if he was the black male that threatened Arturo and he really didn’t know how to do CPR. He could finish the man off right there and Matt would have helped him do it. Because Matt was unsure he decided he would have to keep giving Arturo the life saving CPR himself until the ambulance showed.
“Officer, you look tired, let me take over.”
Matt didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to tell the kid to forget it. If he was the intruder that Arturo spoke of and he did have a knife, Matt was in no position to deal with him.
“I’m okay right now kid, hang in there, you’ll get your turn.”
Matt continued the compressions and the rescue breaths. After twelve minutes he began to hear the sirens. He was tired. His arms ached from the constant compressions to Arturo’s chest. The young man continued to sit there and was counting for Matt as he bounced up and down.
“You sure you don’t want me to take over?” Michael asked.
“It’s okay, I hear the ambulance, they’ll be here any minute now. I got it,” Matt replied through his labored breathing.
Sweat was pouring from Matts face and his uniform was soaked. The kid stopped counting and stood up. Matt watched and his hands began to fidget and his face had a look of anger.
“What’s the matter Michael? Calm down.”
The kid looked over his shoulder and began to walk across the street just as the ambulance pulled up and the paramedic ran to relieve Matt. A young kid in a Houston Fire Department Paramedic uniform run up, dropped to his knees and said, I got this officer back up and take a breath. Matt stopped the CPR. He was exhausted. He couldn’t stop though. He had to go find the kid. He lifted his exhausted frame fro the pavement and started across the street. He stopped at his car and reached in to grab his portable radio. As he began to jog toward where Michael was headed he keyed the microphone on the portable radio and said, “9261 requesting backup. 8300 Sands Point Dr. Officer in pursuit on foot of a black male, 20 to 30 years of age wearing a blue hooded jacket and baggy jeans last seen walking eastbound on Sands Point.”
“9261 clear.” The dispatcher replied. “Anyone in the vicinity of South Gessner and Sands Point Drive. Officer requesting backup.”
Matt heard when a fellow officer returned the call “7754, show me out at that Sands Point address.”
Matt was swiftly walking eastbound on Sands point with his Sig Sauer drawn and checking everywhere in search of Michael Williams.
“9261, this 7754. What’s your location?”
Sargent, I’m eastbound, on foot, 300 yard from Allday Dr.”
Just then Matt saw movement behind a dumpster in the parking lot next to one of the apartment buildings across the street. He ran across the street and positioned himself where he could cover the area just in front of the dumpster.
No reply. Matt moved closer. “Williams if that’s you need to come on out son.”
There was still no reply. Matt began to walk toward the dumpster and moving to his left to keep his view clear. Just then a shot rang out and a bullet hit Matt in the back stopped on by his vest. It knocked the breath from his lungs and the shock caused him to drop his pistol. He heard footsteps running up behind him as he rolled over to see who was coming toward him. He had just enough time to see the shooter before another shot rang out and Michael Williams’s head exploded into a huge splash of blood and tissue. He dropped to the ground and Matt rolled to left to see where the shot came from. Standing in the street 30 yards away was Sargent Johnson. He was still standing with his 45 pointed toward where Williams had fallen. It had been one hour since Matt was comfortably sitting in his car watching a baseball game and trying to make the day pass. In that time he had had a gun shoved in his face by a frightened old man. That same old man had had a heart attach that he was forced to perform CPR for over 15 minutes and while doing so a killer sat watching him only three feet away. If that wasn’t enough the kid then shot him and was the killed as he stood to finish the job.
What’s next? What’s next is he goes back on patrol and it starts all over again. Every day, every week, every year, that’s the life of a policeman.