CRIES IN THE NIGHT
The rash of child abductions that plagued the neighborhoods of Brickhearst, Florida created a panic that threatened the security of every resident. At least twelve households had lost toddlers or infants to the methodical designs of vicious intruders who seemed to know where and when to strike the targeted domains. Local authorities were certain it was a coordinated endeavor.
Despite precautions and other measures taken by police, the culprits continued to invade the homes of wary parents and abscond with the most valuable treasures they’d ever possess.
Throughout the winter months, these soulless perpetrators had victimized the wealthiest segments of the city, but on an unseasonably chilly night in late march, three masked assailants in a restored 1957 Buick Road Master Rivera parked about a block away from the single-story green house at the corner of Clemmons and Rockford. The driver remained in the vehicle while the other two descended upon the recently constructed rental property.
Beneath the tempered glimmer of nearby street lights, the savvy encroachers were able to maintain a reasonable view of their surroundings. Dobson was the name on the mailbox. There was a pick-up truck in the driveway. Everything looked right for the taking. So with uncompromising precision, the shadowy figures broke into the residence and proceeded to accomplish their despicable mission.
It looked like another innocent family was about to mourn the loss of their child, but there was something the prowlers didn’t know. Someone in the vicinity had dialed 911. Fortunately, a patrol unit was less than a half-mile away.
By the time Lieutenant Katherine Gregory and Senior Patrol Officer Katrina Samson arrived on the scene, the duped despoilers had been alerted by the wail of the approaching siren and were running toward their awaiting car.
The officers opened their respective doors and took cover with their weapons drawn. “Police officers!” Gregory shouted. “Stop and show me your hands.”
Armed with .380 semiautomatic pistols, one of the perps responded with a sudden blast that shattered the passenger side window and sent the Lieutenant somersaulting over the asphalt!
“You alright, Lieutenant?” Samson asked.
“They just winged me. Get those creeps!”
Samson returned fire, striking the shooter in the shoulder. Helping his fallen comrade up, the second gunman got off three rounds, as the two of them proceeded down the street.
The Senior Patrol Officer gave chase and pursued the fleeing bandits to the corner where they shuffled into their awaiting Buick.
Suddenly, Samson was startled by the blinding glare of the vehicle’s headlights! With a thunderous rev of the engine and the screeching of its tires, the vintage hard top rocketed toward her like a guided missile. She fired several rounds into the windshield, but the driver was unrelenting. The daring patrolwoman leaped off the pavement and went tumbling across the grass as the raging hot rod sped past her!
Lieutenant Gregory had retrieved a pump-action shotgun from the unit and was positioned beside a utility pole. When she fired, the charging killing machine nearly careened out of control, sideswiping the patrol car, as it swerved to the edge of the adjacent street. Gregory destroyed the rear windshield with a final shot. Unfortunately, her offensive was too little too late. The pernicious interlopers made it to the highway and vanished into the night.
“Samson,” Gregory called out. “Where are you?”
“Here, Lieutenant,” she responded, returning to the unit. “We may still be able to catch them.”
“Don’t worry about them.”
“But their getting away.”
“The other units can head them off. A classic ride like that shouldn’t be hard to spot. Besides, there may be victims in the house. Did you get a make on the license plate?”
“I got a partial.”
“Then call it in. CSI should be able to tell us whether or not the thug you shot is in the system. Ballistics will need to have a look at all these shell casings scattered about the yard. Check out that pick-up and let’s get inside.”