Sunday, July 29, 2007

All in the family

Lincolnites intrigued with the ongoing saga of the media-darling defendant, Ricky Turco, got a taste of family dynamics in a recent article in the Lincoln Journal Star that provided some insight into Ricky's situation. Let's just say his namesake was not exactly a great role model.

Sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

We had another example of this axiom at last week's ACUDAT meeting. A discussion took place concerning a series of offenses committed recently by four brothers, ages 10, 11, 12, 15, and 16. We're not talking egging a house or letting the air out of tires--more like commercial burglary and auto theft. These boys seem to have arrived in Lincoln with their mother in 2005 from parts unkown. Unfortunately, people don't arrive the the back seat of the patrol car with a complete social history. Not-entirely-jokingly, I told those in attendance at ACUDAT to grab the a copy of the intelligence bulletin on these youths, put it on your clipboard, and keep it there until you retire.

It reminded me of Charles, Earl and Melvin--three teenage brothers who showed up in Lincoln in the early 1980's and soon thereafter became very well known to all Lincoln police officers. The brothers distinguished themselves quickly, graduating from misdemeanors and juvenile court to adult felonies, accumulating hundreds of arrests, and sharing several prison terms.

So it is, in policing. When you start as a young man or woman, you will inevitably watch your youthful charges grow up, give birth, become grandparents, and with depressing regularity pass on their lifestyle and livelihood to future generations. Most Lincoln police officers should be able to fill in the last names of Charles, Earl and Melvin, as well as all of the following. Come to think of it, though we've never talked about this, I'd wager that Det. Sgt. Jim Breen would score 100% on this quiz within 60 seconds:

  • Ricky, Nikki, and Ronnie
  • Charlotte, Benita, Ricky and Allen
  • Jason and Derek
  • Pam, Eric, and Kevin
  • Demond and Demond
  • Leo and Leo
  • Beth, Kenny, and Farrell (and sometimes Henry)
  • Ida, Monique, Melanie and Mindy
  • Theresa, Lee, Paul, David, and Anthony
  • Evelyn, Tammy, Tina, and the grandchildren

Veteran officers won't have any trouble remembering Evelyn's husband, either. When Victor was killed in 1988, his death ended a string of 206 arrests by the Lincoln police department in the eight previous years. (We didn't computerize our arrest records until 1980, and it was just too much work to go back into the 3 x 5 index cards on Victor.) Evelyn and Tammy are still living at the same place. The retired officers who read this blog would all be able to recite the address by heart.

I always liked Victor and Evelyn, despite the huge burden on police resources they represented. One day, we had a misdemeanor arrest warrant for Victor. Steve and I were dispatched to their home to execute the warrant. The couple was watching a TV sitcom in the living room. We told Victor that we had to take him in. He asked if we could wait a few minutes until the show ended. We knew him well enough to realize that our choice was really to have a fight or not, and the choce was clear. Evelyn offered us dessert, so we sat down, had a bowl of ice cream, and watched the end of All in the Family before trundling Victor off to jail in high spirits. No need to muss the uniform over a short delay awaiting the next commercial break.

Evelyn called me at home on a Saturday morning a couple weekends ago. She was having an ongoing argument with Tammy, and had summoned the police a couple of times during the previous week. She was none too happy with Officer David Strom, a young whippersnapper that just plain refused to do what she wanted--make Tammy leave. We reminisced about old times, I convinced her that David was really a pretty good guy, then I had her put Tammy on the phone. After commiserating with each about the unreasonableness of the other, I asked both of them to help us out by leaving one another alone. Then, after a cheerful adieu, I returned from this alternate universe to the British Open. I love this job.


Anonymous said...

Chief I hope I am not losing it but this looks awful familiar to one of of your posts a few days ago.

Tom Casady said...

Losing it:

Okay, eagle eye, you're not having deja vu. Last Friday morning, when I started drafting this post, I inadvertently hit "publish" rather than "save draft". I didn't realize it for a few minutes. Nice catch.

Anonymous said...

Well the first three I used to know quite well. The first one has deceased, nick is on parole, and ron is still out on the streets after a stay in fed prison.
I can name all but one of those names, so famous is is famose does.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, the trio of brothers from St. Louis. What are they doing now? Time?

Tom Casady said...

Charles and Melvin are both out, and have both been arrested by LPD this summer. Earl was just paroled in June, and so far, so good--no new arrests yet.

Anonymous said...

Isnt there supposed to be a Mozell added to Charles,Melvin and Earl? Just thought the names looked a little familiar

Tom Casady said...

Give that anonymous 10:06 the prize! Yes, I was one brother short of a full load, and you're the first to note that.

Presently awaiting trial on his most recent offense in June.

Anonymous said...

A may Zing

I worked at the Jennie B. Harrell Attention Center back in the mid 80's, and even my fading memory recognizes many of those names...especially Mozell, Charles, and Co.

I've often wondered what the final stats were on the old IDSA program...I know of at least 5 of it's alumni who are now residing at Highway 2 and 14th Street.

Anonymous said...

I got a 100% I get to be ranked with the Jim Breens of the law enforcement world???

Anonymous said...

I just ran across your All in the Family story. Too bad the court system won't give some of Evelyn's grandchildren a chance for a better life.