Sunday, July 14, 2013
During my detective days we were chasing a thug who went by the name of Bonz. He was a well-known drug dealer and often beat the shit out of his adversaries or those that didn't pay up. Sometimes it was with his fists, sometimes with a pipe. He owned his territory and everyone was afraid of him. He often challenged people to fights for no apparent reason other than to beat the hell out of them and parade around how tough he was. He was about 5-11 and close to 200 pounds of mostly solid muscle mixed with a slight beer gut. He was a lot for the police to handle. He ran, he fought. He fought the police hard. He was always a criminal.
Those days chasing him down and dealing with him bled into my patrol days, thus spanned his criminal empire to go on for years before he was put in the federal pen. Enter Fargo a few months before he faced his demise.
I ran into him on the street. I was chatting it up with the local thugs about an aggravated assault I was working. It led back to Bonz, but no one would rat him out. Somehow my snitches gave me his location, maybe it had slipped, maybe I had been convincing, I can't really remember. I just know it was my negotiation magic. Well, that and my snitches were never rocket scientists.
Sneaking up to the house in the ghetto, I could hear the laughter and beer bottle clanking in the back yard. Enter Fargo. This entrance spurred the immediate scatter of large animals and hoodlums. A handful stayed. One of them was Bonz.
I quickly introduced myself, and not that I had to because my shiny badge and flashlight signaled to them it was not Jesus, although for some reason they called out to him. Three were seated on lawn chairs, one on a picnic table bench, and one standing against the house trying to blend into the darkness. My flashlight made its way over their faces and I quickly recognized every one of them.
It settled on Bonz. Not because I was looking for him, but because I almost didn't recognize him. I asked him if he tangled with a grizzly bear. No one said a word. I repeated myself only stating I "really" wanted to know because I probably had a homicide to go looking for. I did not say that in jest. I was certain if his face looked like one of those bouncy asteroid toys, he probably had killed his opponent.
They told me there was no homicide. I told him...bullshit. I also told him I knew his modus operandi. He didn't know Latin. When they questioned what those words meant, I told him "big brother" always know his and it was always the same. Then I told them to "Google it." Thugs don't really like smart ass coppers to say, "Google it."
It took awhile to get them to break down and I had to chat with them for awhile and tell them I wasn't leaving. I also sort of threatened to bring him down to the station, hospital, and whatever I had to do to open an aggravated assault report. His left eye was swollen shut and his head was full of swollen knots, bruises, cuts, and one big fat lip. Pair that with a broken collar bone.
Bonz told me about this kid.