Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
TITLE: Police Pursuit
By Raymond Bouchoc
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The voice of the dispatcher crackled in Sam’s ear plug, “The suspect is heading down West End Avenue towards the Riverside Subway station. Over.”
“Copy that. We have the station covered. Over,” came the answer.
Sam stood up and brushed himself off. The holes in his tatted jeans allowed the breeze to blow against his legs, which he was thankful for. He pulled his shirt down. He could feel the sweat on his back. He straightened the object under his shirt in the waistline of the back of his jeans. Looking at his phone, he headed towards the Amsterdam station several blocks over.
“The suspect spotted us. He is headed towards the park. We’ve lost him, though. Too many people. We are in pursuit. Over.”
“Chuck and I are at the part entrance across from you. Our eyes are peeled.”
Sam descended the escalator into the station, boarded the subway, and took up the posture he had on the park bench. At 58th street, he got up and exited the train. He stood on the platform and listened to the chatter.
“We see him! We are in pursuit! He’s entering the park at 79th street.”
“Oh, great! Why did you let him in the park?”
“It’s not like I LET him in the park!”
“Ok, children. Keep your composure.”
“Vanessa and I are coming up from the south.”
“I’m coming down from the lake.”
“I’m at the 79th street end on the east end. I need more eyes, though. Too many people.”
“Roger that. Over.”
Sam got on the next train and exited at the 85th street station. There, he got off the train and waited for the one in the opposite direction. The crowd pushed and shoved, trading places at the arrival of each train.
Sam looked at his phone. He checked the time and checked his map app. As the next car approached, Sam walked right up to the yellow line. The train rumbled and reverberated down the tunnel. It wooshed by him.
“I lost him.”
“Did YOU arrest him, yet?”
Sam pulled out the ear piece and shoved it in his pocket. He didn’t need to listen anymore. The train stopped, and, without waiting, Sam forcefully pushed his way through the crowd and sat down in the right seats. He had rammed a man head on, shoving him out of the way, and, otherwise, ignored him completely.
Sam sat down right between two seats, taking up both of them, and didn’t let anyone sit down even though the train overflowed with people. At one point, an old lady asked if she could. “Nope,” he said. He looked straight ahead and didn’t look up at her.
The train approached the Lexington station again. As it slowed, Sam scanned the crowd. The doors opened. Sam studied one face, then another. One man looked around quickly, moving this way, then that.
At the last moment, Sam shifted to one seat. The man spotted the empty seat next to Sam, and threw himself into it.
The doors of the train closed, and the train started onward, leaving the station behind. The man fidgeted next to Sam, bumping him and jostling him, with the movement of the train they rode on.
Without warning, Sam grabbed the man’s wrist, stood, twisted it up, causing the man to slump forward and yell. With practiced precision, Sam reached behind him with his free hand, pulled out the hand cuffs behind him, clamped one end on the man’s wrist, and the other to the hand rail.
Sam turned and called to the crowd around him, “Back up please. Back up. Make room.” Sam carved out an arc of space in the crowd around the man.
The man got up and thrashed and yelled, as the people gave him more room.
Sam pulled out his wallet and flashed his badge. “Police. Please back up.”
When the train stopped, Sam sounded the alarm. The train was cleared of people. The police were called. Sam pulled out his ear piece, and put it in. “Dispatch, this is Sam. Suspect apprehended at the 53rd street subway.”
“Roger that. Good work, Sam.”
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