The dark-skinned man groaned as he rolled to his hands and knees, laying flat and spreading his arms out spread-eagle on the wooden pier as the heavyset woman waited for backup. It got to the pier in five minutes, along with a police cruiser. The two men were handed over to the police while both Skid and the security guard’s statements were recorded. “How’d you find them?”, the officer asked Skid.
“Uh, I saw the crates out of alignment, when I went down the pier I saw they were twisted. It looked like they’d been looking for something.” The officer looked at the heavy gouges in the pier, down towards the end, then back up near the front of the row of pallets. “Any idea how that happened? Did the two suspects cause this?”
“Um, I never saw it happen. It looks like a big something was drug along. I don’t think they could have done that.” The officer wrote down Skid’s statement in his notebook. He looked at Skid, then down at his feet. The combat boots he wore were abraded down to almost nothing, the soles thin, the heels worn flat. The officer, raised his gaze slowly, then arched an eyebrow. “You’re certain you didn’t notice anything that might have caused this?”
Skid gulped. If I say yes, then I’m gonna get in trouble again. But if I say no, I’m lying to the man. I don’t know what to do! “That came from one of the forklifts today”, Ms Menendez said. “Some dumbass tried to lift more than the fork could handle, and lost control of it. The officer stared hard at the woman, who returned his gaze with her own, challenging him. The officer straightened up, eyes narrowing. “If you say so ma’am.” He started to put the notebook in his shirt pocket.
“Uh, sir, umm” Skid fumbled, sounding a lot like his seventeen years of age. “I uh, did that. I ran too fast and tried to stop too fast. That’s what happened.” He looked down, face reddening in embarrassment, then looked up at the officer. “I overran where I wanted to stop, and when I turned around, there they were one guy on the crates, the other on the ground.”
The officer, jotted notes into his book. “I’m glad you came clean. I can put this down as collateral damage pursuant to capture.” Skid blinked at the officer, as did Mendez. “Say what?”, Skid said incredulously. “It means it happened during the arrest, so the crooks will be charged with the damage, not the person seeking to legally arrest them.” The officer smiled faintly, then stuck his notebook back into his pocket. “Good work you two. Makes my job easier. But stay out of the habit. Getting involved is all well and good, but this could have gone down a lot different.
Geez, I’m a hero, after all, cut me a break. “Yes, sir”, was what Skid said politely. The other officers had finished putting the two men in the police cruiser, and the two cars drove off, leaving the dock much more subdued and quiet, it seemed to Skid.
“So, now that you got lucky, and caught ’em. What are you going to do?” Skid looked at Menendez for a moment before answering. “Go looking for trouble, I guess. Kinda what I’m supposed to do, you know?” Menendez smiled. “Yeah, that suit makes it hard not to.” She turned back to her car. “See you around, kid.” “It’s Skid.” “Yeah, Skid.” She waved her hand at him and sat down in the car. There was a slight breeze. When she looked up, Skid had vanished. She chuckled, shaking her head. “See you around.” She started the car and went back to her rounds on the docks.