It was a rainy September evening, right around 10 p.m. Officer Johnson was on foot patrol in “Chinatown” NYC. Officer Johnson called into the station that he was going on his meal break and ducked into Dewey Chin’s for a bite to eat. No sooner did he take off his slicker and hat, a woman runs into the restaurant, frantically looking for the soaking wet beat cop that just picked up his menu.
“Officer! Officer” she screamed, while rushing over to his table.
“There are two men in the alley trying to kill each other!!”
Now this is 1978, and this is New York City…EVERYONE was trying to kill each other. Officer Johnson rises from his chair, puts on his slicker and hat, takes his battle tested Colt 38 revolver in hand and slides it into the pocket of his coat. Following the woman to the alley just at the mid point of the block, he could see a throng of cheering spectators, all standing in the pouring rain, encircling two men. The closer he got to the scene, he could make out their weapons of choice…The Switchblade. He stood watching for a moment, deciding on just how he would handle this modern-day reenactment of West Side Story.
As the two combatants waved their knives around, each hoping to slash their target, Officer Johnson moved in closer and closer, until finally being on the innermost ring of the crowd. Officer Johnson slowly pulled his hand and sidearm from the pocket of his raincoat as he watched the two gladiators do battle.
Finally, the woman who had brought the scene to Officer Johnson, screamed at the top of her exasperated lungs… ”Officer !!! Aren’t you going to do anything? …to which, in a booming voice he replied… “YEAH, I’M GONNA SHOOT THE WINNER!!!”.
And just like that, as if washed away by the rain itself, the two brave fighters dropped their blades, and vanished into the mist…as did the crowd of bloodthirsty onlookers. There are times when force is required to handle a situation, there are times when wit will accomplish the same, but when the two are combined with a touch of humor, it makes for a story worth telling…
A New York Cop Story.