Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Frequent flier

I keep a manila folder in my lower left desk drawer labeled "Bad B&G". It's been there for over a decade. The B&G stands for "Boys & Girls." It's a single-spaced two page list of every person arrested or cited for a criminal offense by the Lincoln Police Department 200 times or more, since we computerized our records in 1980. There are 83 names on the list, which was just updated late last month.

Eddie, with 652 Lincoln Police Department arrests since 1980, is perched at the top. He's our Hank Aaron. When I started keeping the file, I could ask any Lincoln police officer who the most-arrested person in the city was, and the instant answer from everyone was "Eddie." Today, there are a growing number of officers who never had the honor, because Eddie died back in January, 2004. I figured his record was safe, and that no one would ever match his staying power.

I was wrong. Barring his untimely demise, Kevin should rocket past Eddie in 2008. His 615 arrests leave him in third place at the moment, but he had a prolific 2007, with 66 arrests. He enjoys a distinct advantage over number one and two--he's still alive. Those 66 arrests are quite an accomplishment, given the limited amount of time he had during the year when he was not in jail. He's in the slammer now, serving a 180 day assault sentence for beating, kicking, and biting a girlfriend. He went in on November 18, so if he's been good, he should be back out shortly and can continue his climb to the top of the page.

Like many of my Bad B&Gs, Kevin is an alcoholic drug abuser, and many of his arrests are for public order crimes like drinking in public, panhandling, trespassing, urinating in public, and so forth. But he's also been arrested for robbery, false imprisonment, weapons offenses, and assault--25 times for assault. Among the assaults is a 1997 case in which Kevin was convicted of slashing the throat of a 34 year old victim who barely survived. That one landed him a five year prison sentence for 2nd degree assault and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

All told, Kevin has been sentenced to 5,086 days in prison or jail since he landed in Lincoln in 1989. That's 14 years. He's also been fined $31,576. I doubt if he paid any of those fines, rather he sat them out in jail at $60 or so a day--another year and a half.

The revelation that a 43 year old man can be arrested 615 times is a shocker for most people, but it's not for police officers--in Lincoln or elsewhere. A couple years ago, Capt. Dennis Duckworth inadvertently created a little dust-up in his early morning press briefing when he mentioned an overnight arrest. He casually noted that it was the defendant's 226th arrest by LPD. The story hit the wire, and was published worldwide. I ended up with a Chicago Tribune columnist, Howard Witt, in my office chatting about the phenomenon.

Mr. Witt, unlike many, understood that this had nothing to do with Lincoln or with Nebraska. The same frequent fliers (not to mention their offspring) are on a first name basis with the police in any city. The difference in Lincoln was simply that--unlike L.A., Chicago, or Houston--in Lincoln the information on past arrests is accurately and instantly available to the overnight shift commander giving the boring details of a slow night to the bleary-eyed reporter at 5:00 a.m..

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chief, move these habitual offenders forever to a world all their own far from the law-abiding public. Leave them to lie, cheat, steal, and abuse each other at will. Obviously, it's a lifestyle they know and love.

Anonymous said...

Here is an individual who has sucked millions of dollars of resources out of society, and has probably contributed nothing, sad indeed.

Is it possible to rehab an individual such as this?

Anonymous said...

I know the Eddie and Kevin you are talking about and haven't even seen the list. I've put them both in jail numerous times and detox even more. Too bad we don't know how much time they spent in detox. Eddie was always entertaining and was actually a nice guy when he was sober. I remember a brief foot chase with Kevin one night. He ran behind a house and covered his eyes as if he couldn't see me so I couldn't see him. He's not very bright.

Anonymous said...

Crowed chants "Go Kevin GO"
Rinse Lather and repeat.

Anonymous said...

Whats crazy is if you talk to Kevin when he is sober, he actually seems decent and non confrontational. Kind of like Eddie was

West A Dad said...

At what point does Kevin stay incarcerated for being habitual? Does Nebraska have a "three strikes" program?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:00 AM,

In order for a person to change in a Rehab Program the person needs to be willing to change or realize he has a problem.

This person has had many chances to reflect on his life. He doesn’t seem to believe he has a problem, so I don't think rehab would help in his case.

I sure hope the next woman that is interested him will do be a background check before getting involved.

JoeMerchant24 said...

Chief, I know this out of your control, but do you know how many of the 5,086 days in prison Eddie has actually served?

Would I be far off if I guessed less than half?

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds injected Kevin with steroids and HGH in order to help him break the record. Can we get a Congressional hearing on this?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:00 am.....

The woman he assaulted has been arrested over 70 times. I'm guessing she doesn't do too many background checks on her men.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered what happened to Eddie. When I was younger I worked at a local recycling company and Eddie had a job there. He was a nice guy, but I guess all that changed when he got off work and started drinking.

I supposed it is bound to catch up with you sooner or later.

Tom Casady said...

West A dad:

The offense of being an habitual criminal is applicable for a third or subsequent felony conviction. You can accumulate an unlimited number of misdemeanor convictions without ever being subject to the enhanced penalty of habitual cirminal. Moreover, it's not automatic--the prosecutor has to file it.

joemerchant24:

You're right, the time served will be about half, I imagine--due to good time laws that basically give you a day off your sentence for every day served on good behavior. The formula's not quite this simple, but the thumbnail version is to divide the sentence in half.

I could add up the actual days Kevin served, but it would take a few hours to do so, (or remember the Excel formula to convert a begin/end date strings to a numeric, and calculate the number of days).

Anonymous 8:00--

Believe it or not, there are occasional success stories found among the chronically arrested. The arrest record of number 16 on my list (with 311 arrests) came to a standstill with his last arrest: disturbing the peace on February 10, 1998. For the next seven years prior to his death in 2005, he was a sober, tax paying contributor to his community, who worked in a human service agency and helped others battling addiction.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you could figure out how many days Kevin has spent behind bars easy enough. Count the days he DIDN'T get arrested.

Anonymous said...

Where does Levi fall on your list of arrests??

Anonymous said...

If it's the Kevin I'm thinking about..he was on FOX news and also his siblings are trouble makers too!!

Anonymous said...

This star tran bus runs a stop sign onto Superior street in front of a school
http://ca.youtube.com/user/BARBREAK

Tom Casady said...

Anonymous 9:06-

No, different person. The one you're referring to is only in the mid-200's.

Anonymous said...

Eddie was contacted so much he started saying "location" when the officers arrived. One day a 300 series thought it would be funny to let Eddie call "location". As expected Eddie called 'loooocation" and then added his moniker at the end, B!!!!!!!tch.
-the poor speller

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I don't think he'll be running anywhere else soon...

Anonymous said...

I think Levi is more of a regular at detox than jail when he's in town. I don't think he even steals that no name mouthwash and rubbing alcohol he drinks.

Beretta said...

I hope it's not the same Kevin I'm thinking of. I kicked him out of the liquor store more times than I sold to him before we finally banned him from purchasing...

Anonymous said...

I remember when Eddie started using his moniker, it was one night in the old drunk tank. This is going to date me but oh well. I was also in the husgow but in a four man along the same wall. Got the time frame now? When a CO "Riggs", so new still in plain clothes came down to try to calm Eddie. Another CO warned her about his abusive talk but she was insistant that she could calm him. Needless to say she didnt and nobody got sleep that night! She only caused him to be louder.

Seems funny to me now, glad I have not been back since the Old Jail. I had the not so distinct pleasure of being in the night they came in and transfered us to the new jail. I also remember saying to myself this is not as much fun. I never went back!

Sorry to read about Eddie, He was truely a nice person when not intoxicated. Very polite and careing about others feelings.

Anonymous said...

I think that is is messed up that you are keeping track of how many times that people have been aressted like it is a good thing. U might get someone that wants to beat the record and make a name for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I thank the chief for displaying a wonderful sense of humor by publishing this story. A great sense of humor is a huge asset to anyone in the law enforcement profession.

Here is the solution that will put an end to habitual offenders like this: A new welfare policy titled "If You Don't Work, You Don't Eat Relief Act" (no program explanation needed). Also, to the do-gooders in the community that slip Eddie a buck or two when he comes panhandling a question: Do you know that every cent you give Eddie goes toward the purchase a bottle or two of Hurricane? (not "food" or "lunch" like Eddie said when he approached you). I'd even go so far as to say the local soup kitchen and men's shelter are counterproductive because they allow Eddie to just keep being Eddie and don't force him to turn the page and become a semi-productive citizen.

This is the perspective of a citizen with 20 years of law-enforcement experience.