I have a great deal of respect for first responders, they rush in when others are running out. They risk their lives every day for complete strangers and often, really stupid or careless complete strangers. First responders, especially law enforcement officials, have probably seen things most people would never believe. I thought I’d share a couple of them with you tonight. And since you’re here and reading them, I figured that you would believe.
Police were called to an accident on the highway. During a quick surveillance of the site, the first officer on the scene could see that the Cadillac leaning haphazardly against the guardrail had run a red light and caused the six-car pileup.
Rushing to the first car, the Cadillac, the officer saw the man, who was obviously driving under the influence, was not harmed. Since he wasn’t at risk, the officer ran back towards the other cars.
The frantic movements of a woman in a small sedan caught his attention. Her arms were pinned, but she was desperately trying to pull them out of the mangled steel. He ran up to her broken window, concerned that her movements could be causing more damage.
“Just hold still,” he called out as he ran towards the car.
“My boys,” she called back to him. “Are my boys oaky.”
He reached the car and looked into the back seat. No one was in there. “There’s no one in there, ma’am,” he said.
“My twin boys were in there,” she cried. “They were in their seatbelts. They have to be there.”
He looked again at the crushed back seat and shook his head. “No, ma’am,” he said. “No one is back there.”
“They’re only four,” she sobbed. “Did they get thrown?”
“We’ll find them,” he assured her, but his heart sank at the thought of two little boys thrown from a car in the midst of this wreckage.
Firemen arrived and cut her loose, she kept begging them to find her boys. The first officer came back from walking the ditch, there was no sight of her little boys. Suddenly there was a call on his radio from a county sheriff’s deputy. He’d been out searching for the boys on the other side of the highway, but when he came back he found them both in the back seat of his car.
The officer relayed the information to the mother and helped her walk to the deputy’s car. When they arrived at the car, the deputy stepped forward, he wanted to question the mother before she saw her boys. But the mother pushed past him and ran to hug her little ones.
“Ma’am,” the deputy said. “I didn’t want to question you in front of your sons, but I suppose you leave me no other choice.”
She turned a tearful face up to the deputy and nodded. “I’m sorry, I just couldn’t wait,” she said.
“Well, your boys told me that their daddy put them in my unit,” he said. “I’ve searched for him. But it appears he fled the scene. That doesn’t look good.”
The mother hugged her boys again and then turned back to the deputy. “My husband could not have fled the scene,” she explained. “He died over a year ago.”
The first officer on the scene shook his head. “What?” he asked, dumbfounded.
“Mommy, daddy came to see us,” the first little boy shouted.
“He told us you would be fine,” his brother added. “We were real scared.”
“He told us this car would be a safe place to wait,” the first said, then he dropped his head. “Then he said he had to go.”
“Did he have to go back to God?” the second asked earnestly.
The mother nodded, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Yes, sweetheart,” she whispered. “He had to go back to God.”
Later that night at the police station the officer told his peers. “A guardian angel was at the accident on the highway tonight.”
This next one is not quite as warm and fuzzy as the last one.
I worked as a police officer in a small town in rural Nebraska. Back in the 90’s, I was patrolling through town in winter. We had several abandoned houses in town, but one seemed to have the attraction of copper thieves, so we were told to keep an eye on it.
I initially drove by it around seven that night. Since it sat on a corner lot, I had a clear view of all four sides of the house. As I drove around the corner. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, so I continued on patrol.
About two hours later, I drove by again and noticed that the back door was wide open. I knew the back door hadn’t been open when I drove by earlier. So, I stopped the car to investigate.
The first thing I noticed was that there are no footprints in the snow going up to the porch. I wondered if it could have simply been a wind incident. But, just to be sure, I radioed dispatch and told them that I was investigating an open door on the property and asked them to send me some backup, just in case.
I walked to the door and pulled out my flashlight. I shined it inside, into the darkness. The inside of the house had been gutted. The plaster walls had been torn down, there were piles of debris everywhere and the plaster dust was about an inch thick.
The second thing I noticed was there were no footprints in the dust either. I shook my head, this must have been a wind event.
I was about to secure the door and call off the backup when I heard a loud thump coming from upstairs. Then I heard what sounded like kids laughing. My fear turned immediately to annoyance. Stupid kids, they could get hurt playing in abandoned buildings, I thought.
I walked inside the house and yelled, “Police department, come downstairs!”
But instead of complying, I heard more sounds of them playing upstairs. I called dispatch to let them know that it sounded like there were kids in the house. I moved into the house, using my flashlight beam to navigate around the piles of garbage. I turn and shine the flashlight back behind me to see that my feet are making tracks in the plaster dust. Well, at least my backup will be able to follow me.
I walked through what used to be the kitchen, shining the light around to see the ends of pipes poking out of the wall and an old kitchen sink laying on the floor. I kicked aside loose, yellowed linoleum pieces and heard a soft skittering, probably a mouse. Then I moved into the living room. I thought the stairs to the second floor would be somewhere off the living room hall.
I moved slowly, scanning the room with my light. I sure didn’t want anything to surprise me. As I moved through the house, I heard more noise from upstairs. Whoever was up there had no fear of the law. I began to wonder if maybe it was an animal up there, my steps became even slower.
I heard it again and I could swear it sounded like a child’s laughter. I wondered if someone was playing a trick on me.
Finally, I decided to head upstairs. I knew my backup wasn’t far behind and if it were just kids, I could handle it.
The staircase was narrow and tall. Once I placed my foot on the first step, everything went quiet. I slowly went up the stairs, shining my flashlight around, to pick up any movement. When I got to the top, I could see that the upstairs was small, almost a finished attic. The short hallway at the top of the stairs ended with a room straight ahead, another bedroom on the left side and one on the right. I began to move forward, when I heard a thump coming from the bedroom on the left.
I carefully peeked around the door and shined my flashlight inside. The room was empty except for a small pile of plaster and wood debris in the middle. I moved closer. There was something sitting on top of the pile of debris. I shined my flashlight down and there was a page torn out of a child’s book with a picture of a police officer on it.
The hair stood up on the back of my neck. I backed out of that room, quickly cleared the other rooms upstairs, and got the hell out of there. I swear when I reached the kitchen I heard the laughter again. I called dispatch and told them nobody was in the house. Then I locked the back door and never went back in there again.