3 pm roll call, right out of the precinct. Just getting in the radio car to start an evening shift. We liked 10 minutes to grab coffee but not today…
Dispatch – East-1 , respond to 331 Van Horne St, caller stated her husband fired a shot at her. We acknowledged and responded. Minutes later we arrived, we were very aware since the call was shots fired. In front of the home was a women crying. We exited the car and spoke to her. She stated her husband was very angry and fired a shot at her and he had a gun and just left. I asked where he fired the shot, she stated at her out side, her description of where she was when he shot would have made an empty lot as the back drop. Usually when shots are fired, there is a bullet hole somewhere.
Since he just left, I asked her for a description of the vehicle he was driving. She was very upset but gave us a partial plate and a description of the car he was driving. We told her we would like to look around the neighborhood and would be right back. We transmitted the alarm for this actor and drove down the street ,making a right. I looked in the side view mirror and saw a car right behind us that fit the description. I told my partner to pull over and allow the car behind us to go, we looked at the driver, a thin black male, looking real nervous, He was not the only one. My partner and I began to follow this car very close while transmitting the plate and direction we were going.
As we followed, My partner driving, I unhooked my safety strap on my weapon, in case. At that minute the light turned red, The car we were following ran the light and smashed into a car travelling thru the intersection, he panicked. We pulled up quickly as close as we could, I exited from the radio car running toward the driver side. As I approached, the driver was bending down, trying to reach for something.
The window on his side was open, I reached in grabbing him around the neck, pulling him thru the window when I heard a loud thump. My partner and I dragged this actor out of the car, to the ground, handcuffed. Necessary force was used to secure this guy. Once secured, I searched under the driver seat and found what I had heard, a 4in barrel 38 with 5 rounds left ( one he shot at his wife ). I have to admit, I was pretty upset that if not for me being a second faster, he would have shot us. We arrested him and got his wife `s statement.
I was use to going to court pretty soon after an arrest. This case took 4 years to finally get to court. This actor had posted bail on our charges. While out on bail, he murdered a non family victim and was back in jail, no bail. His attorney asked for a “probable cause ” hearing, lost and his client added 10 years for our gun charge and his wife`s aggravated assault charge. Justice served . I must have answered a 100 domestic violence calls at least, most not as dangerous as this one.
Domestic violence calls, not a cop favorite. Too much can and does go wrong. The State of New Jersey and the ” Domestic Violence act ” takes the discretion away from the cop. If probable cause exists, an arrest must happen. In the old days, the cops would just take the abusive husband ” for a ride “, usually drop him at a bar. Too many husbands came back and killed or seriously hurt their wife`s, demanding that cop`s discretion end, saving abused wives.
This Copcall ended well……..