Just when I thought my day might finally come to an end, my unit got redeployed to the corner of West 4th and 12th street, right in front of the Cubby Hole…a lesbian bar.
The Gay Pride Parade had ended hours earlier, but the sidewalk outside the Cubby Hole was still jam packed — nothing but girls as far as the eye could see. For a heterosexual male like me, seeing all these women together in one spot with no men around was like a dream come true. It felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. Except in this heaven, none of chicks were into me… and even if I tried to talk to one of them, all the other girls would hiss at me and shoo me away. To add insult to injury, it was 1:00am and still over 80 degrees. My bulletproof vest was drenched in sweat, and my feet felt like numb stumps. This was as far from heaven as I could get.
The only girl in this sea of thousands who wanted anything to do with me was an irate, stocky Latina sporting a boy’s haircut, a wife beater, and a real bad attitude. When she approached me, her first words were, “I swear on my kids, Officer, if my girlfriend comes out of that bar with another bitch, I’m killing her!”
So I asked the irate Latina to calm down and tell me what happened. She told me that she and her girlfriend had gone to the parade, and then to the Cubby Hole. The girlfriend started flirting with another girl, she got mad and wanted to leave…but her girlfriend wanted to stay.
The whole time she was telling me this story, the irate Latina was pacing back and forth and flailing her arms in the air, like a Hip Hop Rapper — never taking her eyes off the front door of the bar. When her girlfriend finally did exit the bar with the new “bitch,” the irate Latina freaked, let out a blood curdling scream, and took off after them. Lucky for me, she wasn’t that fast, and somehow my tired dogs woke up enough to cut in front of her and block her path before any violence ensued. Other Officers rushed over to help me and we formed a little blue wall to keep the parties separated.
To be honest, I felt the irate Latina’s pain. Her girlfriend was hot — a really pretty petite brunette who turned out to be quite the little bitch. Even though I had an Officer escort her safely off the block, she kept coming back every few minutes just to stir things up again. On one of those occasions, irate Latina took a running start at me. Between her aggression, her size, her haircut, and my fatigue, I completely forgot that I was dealing with a female. So when she came at me in full speed, I pushed her–I pushed her quite hard and she flew backwards. Luckily she didn’t fall to the ground or get hurt.
But she did start crying…like she had just given up. I gave her some tissues and got her some water. I told her to go home and get a good night sleep and deal with it the next day with a clear head. Eventually she thanked me and took off.
Cops get asked the same questions all the time: Did you ever shoot anyone?
Did you ever get shot? What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Yet, not once has anyone ever asked me to tell them a story of how I helped someone.
I could’ve locked up irate Latina during any one of her numerous attempts to get at her cheating girlfriend: She punched me; she kicked me; and she even bit my forearm…but she didn’t need to get locked up that night. She needed a little sympathy and compassion. She need to vent and for someone to listen. So I didn’t lock her up…I hooked her up.
Back in the day when I was still on the job, I worked every single parade, protest and demonstration NYC had to offer. On New Years Eve, I made sure to dress in layers to stay warm. For summertime parades I made sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. For every occasion I saved a little patience for the end of the day. Just in case I needed it. The only thing you can count on with the NYPD is that tomorrow will not be boring.