Sheriff Porter 9
I woke up Sunday morning in the middle of the night to the sound of my phone. I searched through the pile of my clothes till I found it. “This better be good Simpson,” I said.
“Actually it’s bad. There was a high school basketball game last night at the Northern High School gym. There was an accident outside the gym as the crowd left,” Simpson said.
“How bad,” I asked.
“Car ran into the crowd. Six kids are in the hospital, one is in critical condition,” he said.
“I’ll get in my car and head that way. I’m not sure how long it will take, but if anyone asks I’m on my way. Where do I need to be, the scene of the accident or the hospital?” I asked.
“Wilson is on the car and he is processing it. The driver left the car and the scene. We are looking for him now,” Simpson said.
“Get in though the highway patrol road block and find out who owns that damn car. Get the owner’s driving record and the registration and call me back,” I said. “If Wilson wants to call me with the registration information that’s fine. Get somebody out to the owner’s house now. Find out who was driving that car.”
“Sheriff, I have it covered. We will be headed out to the house as soon as we get the registration information,” Simpson said.
“We do this right Detective Simpson. Dot every eye and cross every tee. Everybody gets to work. If the driver is still MIA hold the night shift over,” I said.
“I got it boss,” he said.
“All right I’m on my way. If you get the driver call me and I’ll go to the hospital, if not I plan to be standing right there,” I said.”
“I got it,” he said.
“Stay away from the press till we get the driver,” I said. “If you can’t get the driver at least find out who the driver is.”
Shit the night was a total cluster fuck. I couldn’t believe so many things could go wrong on so many fronts in the same night. While we were intimidating the college boy, a car was plowing into a bunch of school kids. Somebody’s ass was going to swing for that one. I could only hope it wouldn’t be mine as well as the driver.
I kissed Liam goodbye before I went to the bathhouse to clean up. I had to dress in the same clothes I wore the night before, but at least it wasn’t some sleazy slutty outfit. I headed to the hospital for a quick visit to the ER. I managed to get an update from the officers on the scene. One of mine was there as well as a couple of state boys.
“So Deputy how are the victims?” I asked.
“One of the victims died, two more have been admitted to the hospital and three were treated and released under the new medical rules,” he said.
“Okay, I’m going to the scene to try to get things going there. If you are pressed to talk to anyone, don’t. Trust me no matter how hard you try to say the right things, you can’t,” I said.
“Yes Ma’am,” he said. “The press is calling, but they are talking to the ER doctors not us yet. When they run out of good quotes from the highway patrol and the doctors they may get down to me, but I won’t say a word.”
“Good,” I said. Then I went to the parking lot and got into the little Ford pick up truck. I drove it to the scene of the accident. I really was in no hurry. I hated horror movies, let alone real life. I also knew there was very little I could do.
When I pulled in I noticed that half the parking lot was taped off. Wilson was through with the car and was walking around with a very large flashlight picking up things and putting them in evidence bags. I walked to him.
“Wilson do you need any help,” I asked solemnly.
“No,” he said quietly. He obviously wanted to be sure it was done right.
“If you need anything, you just have to ask, understand?” I asked.
“Thanks Sheriff,” he replied.
I found Detective Eddie Simpson on the phone. I waited until he finished his call then asked. “Eddie who was driving?”
“I can’t be sure yet, but the car belongs to Rose Briggs,” he replied.
“Do we know, if she was driving?” I asked.
“I can’t get in touch with her. She did call in a half hour after the accident to report the car stolen. But I can’t get her to answer her phone now.”
“Then it’s time we go to her house and beat the door down,” I suggested. “What’s her record look like?”
“She has a drug arrest for possession of a controlled substance,” Detective Simpson said.
“So what was the substance?” I asked.
“Heroin but she went into rehab as part of her sentence,” he said.
“Well, for her sake I hope it took,” I said. “We need to talk to her about the car.”
“Oh yes,” Simpson said.
“You drive, since you have the County car,” I said.
It was only a ten minute drive to the Briggs’ house. “If Rose Briggs was driving what was she doing at a high school basket ball game? I asked.
“Her birth date on the DMV records make her only 28 years old. She is too young to have a child there. Maybe a brother, sister or even a younger boyfriend though,” Simpson guessed.
“She is going to deny she was there, so we have to find out who she would be there to pickup. If not then why the hell was she there?” I asked.
“Maybe it wasn’t her driving. It could have been a high school kid stole the car to joyride and drove to the school to impress his girlfriend,” Simpson guessed.
“True but we won’t know till we find the car’s owner,” I suggested.
Shortly thereafter we pulled into the yard of a double wide mobile home. It was after midnight when I knocked on the door. I actually pounded on it. “Rose Briggs, it’s Sheriff Porter. We need to talk to you,” I said and waited. The drive was empty but that didn’t really mean much, since she claimed her car had been stolen.
“Eddie do you have her cell number?” I asked.
“Yes I do,” Simpson said. “I’ll give her a try.”
There was no answer to our calls. I listened carefully at the door, but I didn’t hear anything. It was too late to wake the neighbors, but I was really tempted.
Okay Simpson how did the driver get away. Did she walk or did she get a ride with someone? Maybe she called someone to come get her?” I suggested.
“We need some better technology than we have,” he suggested. It might be time to call the SBI,” he said.
“Let me try something first, give me her cell number, and take a walk around back and check this building,” I said.
I dialed the telephone for the swamp. Liam answered the company phone. “You are up late,” I said.
“Yes I have been waiting for you to call and tell me what you need,” he said. “Colonel Martin said to give you anything you need.”
“I need the GPS coordinates of this telephone number,” I said then I read him the number.
“I’ll be back with you in ten minutes the geek is away down at the coast,” Liam said.
“Okay Eddie, we will have her GPS coordinates in about fifteen minutes,” I said.
“What’s all this cooperation going to cost you?” he asked.
“Do we care what it costs right now?” I asked.
“No I’d make a deal with the devil as well. I have no idea who you are dealing with, but if they come up with her location, I don’t care,” he admitted. “As long as you don’t ask me to make the payment.”
“You better know this Eddie, this office and the people who work for it, will never be compromised. I’ll take the bullet first,” I said and I meant it when I said it.
“I’ll never ask or question you again,” he said.
Shortly thereafter the silence in the Sheriff’s car sitting in the Briggs’s drive was broken by the ringing of the phone. I left it on speaker so Eddie would know what the price of the information was. Just so he would know.
“Liam where do we go?” I asked.
“Here are the coordinates I have no idea what is there,” he said reading me the longitude and latitude where her phone was located. “So what’s it gonna cost.”
“Colonel Martin considers it paid forward. Besides he has an ex-wife and kids somewhere. He knows what it feels like I expect. As for the geek, you probably know. Would you like for me to kick his ass or do you want to do it.”
“Hell Liam, I don’t mind giving the geek a blow job, if this turns out to break the case,” I said.
“Well I might mind you doing it old girl,” he said.
“Then have him put it on my bill,” I said. “I already owe him a couple of favors.”
While I was bantering with Liam Detective Simpson was driving to the GPS coordinates. The GPS took us right back to the school. “She never left,” I said. “She is holed up somewhere till she gets straight.”
“Dispatch this is Sheriff Porter. Send me everything that rolls to the North High School. If you need them you can pull them back, but for now send them here.”
As they came in I gave them areas to search. It took almost two hours but we found Rose Briggs. She was hiding behind a dumpster, and she was high. She couldn’t really give coherent answers, so I had her taken to the county jail. “Tell the jailer to keep her away from anyone else, and when she is back in the land of the living call me no matter what time it is.”
I should have gone home, taken a shower, and went to bed. Instead I went to the trailer and pounded on the bag. I pounded it hoping I would get the sight of the blood stained concrete out of my mind so that I could sleep. All I managed to do was wear my ass out.
I went inside the house and sat down at the computer but all I could do was check my email. I was exhausted. I used the cell phone to call Simpson. I didn’t leave a message, I wanted to ask him to forget about the outside assistance we got. He probably didn’t know exactly who it came from. Hell he might think it was the CIA or something. I really didn’t care who he thought it was as long as the information didn’t come back to be used against us by the defense team for Rose Briggs.
I took a shower then tried Simpson again. That time I reached him and I explained why I was asking. “Don’t worry Sheriff I have nothing to say to anyone. After we left the house we took a chance that Rose was still on the school grounds. If she hadn’t been we would have gotten dogs to come try their noses at it,” Simpson said.
“You are a damn good man,” I said.
“I want to thank you for putting me back in the field. I didn’t realize how much I hated that fucking paperwork,” Eddie said.
“I was pretty sure you would feel that way when I made the changes. I could never figure out what Webster did,” I said.
“I can tell you this, we never had a Sheriff like you and I doubt anyone else has either,” Simpson said.
“Thanks Eddie, I just got out of the shower and I’m exhausted,” I said and hung up on him before he could say that it wasn’t a complement.
Edited by Walt