Breaking in a Rookie Cop — BLOG 63

Sunday, December 4, 1988

(c) Google images

(c) Google images

I popped some rookie’s cherry this morning.

They gave me the kid because his Field Training Officer was off sick. He was good— he’ll make it, but I guarantee he’s never going to forget me or what happened about 0200 this morning.

The bars were letting out for the night, and I was driving. Some guy was cruising around Clement Street on a big-ass motorcycle with no muffler. So I pulled him over and was going to give him ticket for no muffler. I approached him as his bike was still running. The noise was loud and disorienting. I got to about ten feet from him when he gunned the engine and started eastbound on Clement.

I ran back to the radio car, but by the time I was able to get going, he was about a block and a half ahead of me. Suddenly, a huge shower of sparks from the bike lit up the night.

Yeah, the asshole dumped his bike!

When we finally reached him, I realized why he’d gone down. Some guy had wandered out of a bar into the street and right into his path.

Wham! Bam!

The bike slid for almost a full city block until it hit a parked car. The rider was down and fucked up, but he was alive and screaming.

The pedestrian, not so fortune, had had a traumatic amputation of his lower leg: The bones of his leg were sticking out the torn end of his jeans and looked like a Leg of Lamb in a meat market. Amazingly, the muscles had contract and there was no blood.

The rookie stayed with the rider and I called for the fire department and an ambulance. They arrived within minutes and took over the injured pedestrian. A sergeant arrived and was now handling the rider.

As I was standing there, a woman looking ghost-white came up to me and said, “Officer, that man’s foot is under that car over there.”

So I walked over to check it out. Sure enough there it was. The shoe was missing, but a heavy wool gray sock was still in place. I reached down and picked it up. I was surprised at how heavy it felt. I was carrying it over to one of the paramedics working on the pedestrian when I spotted the rookie.

I called him over and handed him the foot. “Here, Rook. Give this to that paramedic over there.”

Welcome to the SFPD!