|Photo from New London Pintrest|
Fall, 2001. Shaw Street, New London, CT. Jimmy and I were looking for JT, a Jamaican guy who was wanted for murder in Jamaica as well as attempted murder here in Connecticut. What was different about this case is that it originated in New Haven. His Connecticut attempted murder charge was on a rival gang member who JT scared out of Connecticut. We knew JT wasn't going back to Jamaica because he was wanted for murder there. He also had a lot of money on the street here in the Connecticut as well as New York. About a month into the case, after searching all over New Haven, Hartford and some spots in Queens NY, we tracked him to New London of all places. It's weird like that sometimes. The guy had no ties to New London, but everything pointed to him hiding out in the Shaw Street area. We went down to Shaw a few times talking to residents. They didn't want this murderer hiding out where they lived. On top of that he was an outsider, New London is pretty close knit. They were eager to help get this jerk off the street and out of their neighborhood. Four or five residents had my cell number just in case they spotted this guy.
On this particular day, Jim and I had to go to Part A. Part A is a courthouse in New London where the more serious criminal offenses are dealt with. I had to testify regarding a fugitive I tracked to, arrested in, and transported back from Puerto Rico. When we arrested the guy he was carrying a pistol. Since he was already a felon and had a pistol on him, I had to testify to that fact. While we were in the prosecutor’s office I got a call from one of the residents on Shaw Street about our fugitive, JT. He was just seen standing on the porch of a house on Shaw Street. YES! I yelled out. Anyway, Jim and I were dressed to testify in front of a judge, not hit a door.
“Hey, Mr. Prosecutor. We really have to go. We're looking for this guy JT wanted for murder and attempted murder who has ties in Jamaica. I just got a call that he is over on Shaw street.”
“Go! I'll tell the judge and just get your statement later instead. If you have to come back, you have to come back.”
Off we go. In our best court room attire. Down to Shaw Street. We roll up and park on a side street, Dennison Avenue. We didn’t want to draw attention by parking a strange car on Shaw Street in case JT was still on the porch or happened to be doing the window peep. Jim and I get about three houses away from where JT was supposed to be and there he is standing in the doorway of the house.
I threw a raid jacket on and Jim and I reviewed the plan. Jim is to walk in front of the house slowly and actually walk past it if he has to, so we don’t spook him. I will approach from behind the neighbor houses and come up low between the house directly next door and the house where JT was spotted. Then I will surprise him and take him down at gun point. When I run up on him, Jim would turn around and back me up. Then we take this guy into custody. It was a plan we have done lots of times without any issues.
Seemed straightforward, just like many times before. This time though, it was a different story. I went around the back of the houses next door and through their backyards. I started to go low between the house directly next door to JT and Jim had just walked passed him. I drew my weapon and crept up to the side of the porch. Everything was good. Except for what happened next.
Just before I was about to surprise JT I heard a guy next door shout something. I couldn't make out exactly what he said so I turned to see who was there and what he was shouting about. That’s when I saw a guy in an open window of the house next door with a light brown pit bull in his arms.
Everything changed at that moment.
The guy threw the pit bull out of the window at me. This surprised the hell outta me. The dog attacked me and latched on to my leg just above my knee. JT turned from watching Jim walk by his house to look and see what was going on next door to his house. I had my weapon in my hand and immediately screamed identifying myself to the owner and to call the dog off of me or I may have to shoot the dog. Not something I wanted to do but I'm not going to die from a dog attack or from JT. I had to worry about both the dog and JT. Two threats. One had already killed one person and attempted to kill another and this dog was now attached to my leg. The femoral artery is huge and a couple holes in it will kill you in just a couple of minutes. Thankfully Jim was right there and pounced on JT from behind and slapped the cuffs on him while he was looking over the side of the porch to see what was going on.
This allowed me to holster my gun and grab my OC spray. I use an OC canister that has a fog type spray instead of a stream. Makes aiming foolproof, especially when getting chomped on. I dumped so much OC directly into the dogs face. He didn't want to let go. Tough dog. I love pit bulls by the way... Anyway. The dog finally let go and was running around in circles after that. The dog owner ran back into the house. He initially ran outside to get his dog when he realized we were there for JT not him.
I decided to call back to the New London Police Department and tell them what happened. I had already called them before we got to Shaw Street to let them know we were about to serve a warrant and take this JT clown into custody. Agencies do that so the local department knows there are guys on the job and not some criminals working their area if they were to receive calls from residents about suspicious individuals lurking around. So when I called again, they already knew we were there.
It took about 30 seconds, at the most, for them to arrive.
NLPD sent a cavalry. Four cars showed up. They were not messing around that day. They knew me. I never call with problems. EVER. So the one time I did call for assistance, I think they figured something must be up. I explained what happened and they decided that they should probably ask the neighbor why he was so quick to throw his pit bull at someone who was tying to arrest the murderer hiding in the house next door to him.
They went in the house and about 10 seconds later one of the officers came back out the front smiling. “You're not going to believe this,” he said. “There's a lot of drugs".
In the end they took the neighbor into custody for operating a drug factory, as well as a few other charges. They asked Jim and I to fill out a statement for their arrest. That guy had his own big issues now and we had our guy.
We never found out what happened to the dog. It wasn't the dog’s fault. It was the scumbag. Again, I love dogs and Jim loves dogs. Pit bulls included. Jim wanted to take the dog home and give him a better life.