Garland Parker was one of my first Patrol supervisors when I was a rookie cop. He had a saying that I’ve taken to calling “Parkers Law”. It states that “Criminals break the law because they don’t expect to be caught. If they planned on being caught, they probably wouldn’t do what they did”. This is about Parke’s Law.
I started work on what can only be described as a bridge chapter. It’s going to cover the events of a couple of months, and how Will manages to get RJ, a deputy he works closely with, promoted to detective. I quickly chronicle a case they worked, one which I actually worked in real life.
It seems there was this old man living in one of the communities in our county. One day, his son gets a call from the bank saying that his father is dreadfully overdrawn. He finds his dads checkbook missing a stack of checks, his dad’s healthcare worker and her boyfriend missing. I got the case. I was already pretty good at working fraud cases, and so I rounded up all the evidence I could find, got my writing samples and all, and of course, interviewed the old man.
I remember when I went over to the house to interview the old timer; I noticed an old black and white picture of a young soldier. I talked to a young lady there who told me that was her grandfather. I also saw a picture of the same soldier being presented with a medal by a general I recognized as George Patton. Seems he’d taken out a sniper, and for that General Patton made sure he got a commendation.
The statement he gave me just made me angrier. According to what he said, his healthcare worker’s boyfriend came in one day, demanding money. Of course all the money he had was in the bank. He told me in his statement that the boyfriend had assaulted him (slapped him across the face), and told him that unless he signed a bunch of checks for him, he’d beat him senseless. He also said that if he said anything, he’d return and really hurt him. The action and the threat made it robbery.
I knew who the boyfriend was. He’d been a guest in our jail . He had never been in on anything more serious than a couple of bad checks. I reckoned he was now playing with the big time. I got a warrant, and went looking for him.
Only he and the girl were nowhere to be found. His brother told me that he’d taken off to El Paso, that he had a job down there. I notified El Paso PD and they promised they’d keep an eye open for him.
A few days later, hearing that there was a warrant chasing her around as well, his girlfriend walked into the Sheriff’s Office and surrendered herself. She had a black eye and a split lip and she claimed he had given them to her. I read her rights, she waived them, and she gave me a statement that basically said he’d been beating her for a while, and when he threatened her to get him access to her client, she consented.
In exchange for her testimony, the DA dropped the charges without prejudice, meaning if she tried to back out, the charges would resurface. She said he’d been moving around between cheap motels, and had even tried to go into Mexico. Seems he ran afoul of the Mexican police, and decided he preferred the possibility of an American jail versus a Mexican one.
El Paso PD was good to their word. A few weeks later, they arrested him for drunk driving and were holding him on my felony warrant. I contacted the DA and said I wanted him. And that’s when the fun began. We told El Paso we wanted him. He decided to fight extradition. His only hope against coming back and facing justice in Colorado was that our DA would look at things, and decide it was too costly to go after him.
He hadn’t counted a couple of things. First, there was no way I was going to let anyone rip off a WW II vet. The DA was an old military man and he felt the same way I did. We both felt we owed this old soldier a debt of honor. Long and short, his bid to fight extradition from Texas failed. They were more than happy to give him to us.
Shortly afterwards, another deputy and I drove down and got him. We’d made arrangements with a sheriff in New Mexico to house him overnight while the deputy and I ate steak and slept at a Howard Johnsons.
When we got back, he met with the public defender and was shown the evidence against him. He ended up playing let’s make a deal.
El Paso had impounded his car when they arrested him. We were able to get some of the victim’s money back through its sell.
He went to prison for what he did. And there was some additional justice to this one. It seems that he’s told someone there what he did. That information got into the ears of someone who respected World War II vets, and considered himself a patriot.
The beating he took was epic.
Reckon Parker’s Law applied in spades to this guy. I’m sure if he’d added up the costs, he would never have done it.