Fortunately Sgt. Biafra was not hurt and moved quickly and efficiently - tasering and subduing the young woman in black first. And that's where things started to go wrong. Naturally, the arrest itself drew comments and criticism about police brutality from the very public Sgt. Biafra was trying to protect - something of a recurring theme in Asphyxiation Point. Even worse, a weapon was produced by the man in white and one of the dissenting voices was taken hostage. Sgt Biafra tried to reason with the man, but was only fired upon in response causing both the crowd and him to duck.
Coincidentally, the fire truck showed up right that moment to put out the fire which was blazing by this point. And that's where the arrest went really really wrong. While it is unclear whether the assailants were just in the wrong place or whether the fireman took it upon himself to do a little crowd control, the man in white found himself directly in the path of the high pressure jet. The hostage was violently released but in the ensuing flood of water and fire retardant, the couple managed to make their escape.
Confused by the turn of events, none of the 3 officers on the scene offered any kind of pursuit. I took it upon myself to comment about the apparent bungling of this arrest to Chief DeSanta. I shouldn't have. To my defense, the article on Officer Bookem being killed was still in print at the time and no one had mentioned it to me. The chief understandably went on a rant about the Times only covering what we wanted to cover and where I had been yesterday when one of their own had been killed in the line of duty.
I can understand the Chief's frustration. It must seem to him as if the Times only points out the obvious blunders and the lack of crime solving while they do do their best to keep us safe. While the perpetrators got away, no one was hurt at least as a result of the PD and FD's actions today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer Bookem's family and his friends on the force. And we as a community share the Chief's feelings... wanting nothing more than to have our streets safe again.
Reported by S.D. Miller