“Sir! We need to speak with you.” Brian turned to see a guy in a brown suit walking quickly toward him. The suit had a badge hanging from the breast pocket. “Someone said you’re an eye-witness, and we don’t want these guys to get off.”
“Um, okay,” Brian said, “I’m already running really late. And it should be pretty clear who the bad guys are. They are ones unconscious without bullet wounds.”
“This should just take a few more minutes. Would you mind stepping over here? What happened to your shirt?”
“Um, I used it to bandage some of the victims” Brian replied.
“Oh, wow. That was very generous of you. Hey let’s step over here and you can clean up a bit while I ask you a few questions. These folks are really lucky that you happened by.”
Brian accepted an antiseptic towel package, ripped it open and wiped his hands and arms to remove the blood that had dried. “How long is this going to take?”
“Start by telling us what you remember,” the officer said.
Brian replied, “I was walking up 38th toward the bank, when the alarm went off and these guys came running out of the bank, shooting guns. They shot in our direction and I ducked into that alley. When the gunshots stopped, I started helping the victims.”
“I see,” said the officer. “Where were you going when it all went down?”
“Home,” said Brian.
“And where is that?” asked the officer.
“Why do you need to know that?” asked Brian.
“Just in case we need you for additional questions, or for a subpoena if we need you in court. It’s just standard procedure,” said the cop. “Can I see your ID?”
“I don’t have my ID, I was just out for a walk,” said Brian.
“Hmm, okay, what’s your name and address then?” asked the cop.
“My name is Brian Beckett and I live at 462 W 44th,” said Brian.
“Phone number?” asked the cop. “And, uh, where were you coming from?”
“Um, 619-555-3321,” said Brian. “I was just out for a walk, stopped by the library for a while.”
“Ok, so, uh, one more thing, according to some of the other witnesses, you were a bit more than just an eyewitness. Are you sure you don’t want to elaborate a bit more on what you saw, or did?” asked the cop, looking intently into Brian’s eyes.
Brian looked away briefly and noticed a few news trucks had arrived and reporters were questioning the bystanders.
“Listen,” Brian said, “I really need to go meet my elderly mother, can we follow up later?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the cop said, “we should really get as much detail as possible now, while it’s all fresh in your head. Please, just tell me what else you saw — or did.”
“Ok, I heaved a trash can lid at one of the perps.” Brian continued, “Luckily, it hit him in the head and he fell down. I was just trying to distract them so the police had a little more time. But then I ran back into the alley and waited for the noise to stop. Then, I started helping the victims.”
“Were you ever in law enforcement?” asked the cop.
“No, why do you ask?” said Brian.
“Oh, just some of the things you’ve said. Sounds like you had some experience” replied the cop.
“I was a fireman for a while, in New Mexico, not here.” Brian added, “But that was a few years ago, I’m not cut out for that.” Brian tossed the towels in what looked like a trash can. “If you need anything else, you know where to find me. I really gotta go.”
“Ok,” said the cop, “I’m sure we’ll be in touch. Here’s my card if you think of anything else.” The cop handed him a card. Brian looked at the name, Sergeant Pete Brown. He shoved it into his jeans and walked away from the crowd.
“Hey, Mr. Beckett,” Brown yelled, “your place is that way.”
Brian, turned, walking backward, replied “My Mom’s place is this way. And I gotta buy a new shirt.” With that, he turned and picked up the pace.