Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Friday... Mi viernes

I spent the strangest evening ever...  After hearing what the policeman told me, the EMT, neighbors, and what I myself witnessed, here is what happened.

The suspect was hanging around a gas station on Avenida 65 de Infantería.

He watched a young female, and when she turned to pay for gas, he jumped in the car and left.

The lady sounded the alarm, and someone, perhaps the gas station attendant or the same young woman called the police, who were immediately on his tail.

He didn't know that there was a 1-year-old baby girl in the back seat.

Some time after 6 PM, perhaps close to 6:30, I heard some car tires screeching very close to my home.  I heard a crashing sound like it was that same car, heard more car tires screeching and suddenly saw a white car speeding down my street.

My street is a dead-end street, and it's obviously the person isn't from these parts because he didin't know this and crashed into a fence that is at the end of the street.  This street ends in a sort of turn, and then a fence, to protect people from a creek about 20 feet or less from the end.

A few seconds after seeing that car screeching down my street, and btw, if my daughter had still been home, her car would have been parked out in front and he would have careened into it, that's how fast he was going, I counted at least 15 police cars going after him.

Shortly after stopping my counting police cars at patrol car number 20, I think it was, along with unmarked police cars, the whole street, which is really a short street, was swarming with police officers, National Guardsmen and the SWAT team.  They were searching each carport, checking out the rooftops and looking for the suspect, who had abandoned the car and taken off towards the creek.

It has been raining a lot this whole summer and also this past week, so the creek had risen and the current was dangerous enough to pull anybody into it.  

By this time, I am seeing a police helicopter hovering overhead, so I know the person has not been caught. 
The SWAT team entered my little property and searched the back yard (the creek is behind it) and the roof, and even the side of the house, because there is an area where a person can hide, plus the tree house. They are checking each house that has the creek behind it because the obvious conclusion is that the suspect is in one of our back yards since he can't cross the creek.
They declare it "Clear!" and leave, admonishing me to keep everything locked up and not to open up for anybody.  I'm alone because Son #2 had gone to pick his father up from work, and Eddie was recording a guitar for some music production, I think. So, I'm alone and somewhat rattled by this whole thing.

I called Eddie, who said he would be home as soon as possible.  When he actually gets here, he doesn't.  I saw my car go  to the end of the street instead of into the carport, so I'm sure that the boys, (Son and friends) are curious about the abandoned car and want to see it.  Eddie comes in shortly afterward.  I see a police tow truck drive to the end of the street.

The boys return to our house, talking about the whole thing, because, of course, their friends and neighbors who live in this street kept them abreast of everything.  The car is now on a flatbed almost in front of my house.  Eddie took a picture, but you can't see it very well.  We keep on talking and exclaiming over the whole thing, and things start to quiet down when I hear a voice, coming from THE SIDE OF MY HOUSE.  The only way you can reach that window is if you come either from the roof or from the back yard, and you will recall that behind my yard is a sort of slope and then a few feet down is the creek.  Anybody can, slowly, hop over the chain link fence and get into my yard, or they can access this window from the roof.  We have Spanish-style roofs, flat, the houses are close together, so someone can hop from roof to roof and reach here, which seems to be the obvious thing that happened, since the next house is a two story, and has chain link fencing all around on the top.  

We hear a voice saying something like, Family, good evening!  Could you please help me!  At which time I panicked because I didn't know if the man was armed or not.  We were in the carport, and I think he must have seen the lights in the living room or my bedroom, and thought to take a chance. Eddie tried to engage him while the boys sneaked out and ran to the end of the street to get the cops.  A few seconds later they arrived, but they were too late.  The suspect had hopped over the fence to Edwin's back yard, then over his fence to Gloria's yard and on to a field.  If the cops don't get him soon, he's gone because eventually that field has access to the creek, which eventually ends up on 65th Avenue, and his getaway is assured.

I later find out that he was trying to get my husband to let him make a phone call to his mother, so he said, so she could come and pick him up.  He implored Eddie NOT to call the police, and Eddie agreed not to call, knowing that I had them on my cell phone.  He then tells Eddie to tell his wife not to call, at which Eddie calls out, "Don't call the police!" but I never heard, and Eddie was trying to tell him to give himself up, to which he replied, "I can't give myself up, I can't I can't!!".  When he realized that the police had been brought in, that's when he ran away.

So, the police again went through my carport, to the back, but couldn't reach him on time, I had called 9-1-1 and told them that the carjacker was here, and I only saw TWO police squad cars come to our street.  It's a pity, because if they had had the back-up they needed, they could have secured the perimeter and apprehended the suspect.

We stayed sort of huddled together, talking about this, neighbors came and we found out that the police had been searching for a brown SUV, but a smart policewoman had said, forget the description of the car, look up the tags, found out it was WHITE and then the chase really began.

At 11 PM, we watched the news:  "This evening, an automobile was carjacked from a gas station on 65th Avenue, and a baby girl was in the back seat.  The police gave chase and the suspect abandoned the car, fleeing into a field.  The baby was recovered with no injuries."

That was the news coverage.  

My night ended by making hamburgers for the guys and serving them water and potato salad, and trying to relax.