Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Police car’

57c4d8a15fa84.image

It was late, Meg had spent a few hours at private investigator Fat Al’s offices reviewing with him the chaotic and seemingly unconnected information he had assembled about Red Star, The Brethren, Vincent Biondi, Sam Coign and Coign’s his law firm. She was sure something in that mess of documents could help her clear up the cause of Stephanie Coign’s death. Later they had dinner together at a little restaurant near the office where they swapped cop stories.  A call from Ray interrupted them: Vince Biondi and someone else was involved in a shootout at a posh hotel in downtown.

They drove down to see for themselves. Fat Al’s retired cop badge and her uniform got them past the police lines. Fat Al spoke with a few of his old colleagues in homicide. It seems the police believed that it was a gangland shooting of some sort. Three people were dead. The hotel’s restaurant staff and four diners had been herded into the large freezer in the kitchen by five armed men. The three dead bodies had been identified as some of the intruders.

Apparently, their target had been some other diner or diners among whom were a middle-aged man and a quite beautiful woman seated by the maitre’d before he was hustled off into the freezer by the gunman. He told the police that he had recognized the man because he had eaten there a few weeks ago with a striking tall hawk nosed woman.

Unfortunately, when they checked they found the reservation book page had been torn out. Al was sure the police investigators would go through the prior reservation lists to try to identify the diner. Meg and he both agreed was probably Vince. It would take them a few days to identify him Al guessed.

After about an hour she decided there was nothing more to learn there. She got back into her cruiser and began the drive back to Half Moon Bay and home.

She approached the incline that rose to pass along the edge of the cliff called Devil’s Slide, where Stephanie’s automobile, like so many others, had slid off the road and crashed into the rocks and surf below. She now was convinced Stephanie’s death was not an accident. She also was sure that somehow it was connected to tonight’s events at the restaurant. Stephanie had begged Vince to meet with her. She said she wanted to share with him some information about her husband’s death. But, she died the night before they could meet. Now someone had tried to kill Vince, or was it the woman he was with? why?

Preoccupied with her thoughts, her car climbed the hill and entered the narrow winding and often impassable road that traversed Devil’s Slide itself. The fog had begun to creep across the road making it slick and the looming curves hard to see. But she had driven this road many times before and knew it like the back of her hand. She chuckled and wondered where that expression came from. Did anyone really know the back or their hand all that well? She raised her hand to look at it and glanced into her rearview mirror. She saw a car following her closely, too closely. Stupid for someone to follow a police patrol car that closely; just looking for a ticket she thought. Then she noticed the car speed up and felt the impact as it plowed into her rear bumper. Her vehicle skidded and went out of control.

Meg had not spent the greater part of her non-working, waking hours taking innumerable high-performance driving courses for no reason. It was her hobby. So, she called upon that expertise, quickly manipulated brake and steering wheel to regain control of her vehicle, even on the crumbling unstable verge along the unbarricaded edge of the cliff and soon found herself behind her attacker. She speeded up, drove to the outside close to the cliff-face and began to pass him. As she came abreast of the other driver, she could see him glance at her and hunch over the steering wheel. She guessed he intended to try to drive her against the escarpment that rose up alongside the road. Before he could act, she floored her cruiser’s accelerator to speed up. As the nose of her vehicle edged past his, she sharply pulled on her steering wheel, turning her wheels so it appeared the nose of her car would cross in front of his bumper and crash into him, forcing him toward the cliff edge. It was a bluff as she almost immediately righted the car again. As she expected her bluff worked. He panicked, swung the steering wheel hard to the right to try to avoid contact, broke into an uncontrolled skid and tumbled over the cliff edge and on to the rocks far below.

Meg slowed to a stop then backed up to where the other car left the road. She carefully parked on the shoulder, put on her blinking emergency lights, calmly reported the accident on her two-way. Then she got out opened the trunk, took out some emergency flares and reflectors and laid them out for about twenty feet along the edge of the road where the other car had gone over.

She then for the first time looked over the edge down to the mangled hunk of metal far below wondering why it had not burst in flame and muttered “Fuck you, asshole,” and slowly began the climb down the precipice to the wreckage.

By the time she arrived, she could hear the sirens of the police cars and ambulances from Pacifica to the north and Half Moon Bay to the south as they converged at the crash site.

The gas tank of the overturned automobile had ruptured. Escaping gasoline dripped on to the rocks and ran off into the surf a little way below. She was relieved it had not ignited.

The driver’s door had sprung open from the impact and the driver appeared still alive and moaning softly. She gingerly extracted him and dragged and carried him far enough from the wreck to be safe from any explosion.

He was in bad shape. He was bleeding from a nasty headroom and both his legs and one of his arms appeared broken. She figured several ribs also and his lungs punctured since he was spitting up blood. He did not look to her as though he would make it until the medical team arrived.

He was conscious though. She knelt leaned in close to him and said, “I will try to help keep you alive until the emergency team get’s here, but first tell me who sent you?”

His pain-wracked eyes hardened and he responded in a whisper through the blood, “Go to hell you fucking Dyke.”

“Wrong answer cock-sucker.”

She grabbed him by his shirt, dragged him back to the wreck and threw him back in, took out a plain Zippo lighter, stepped back a few steps, flicked on the flame and tossed it into a puddle of the leaked gasoline. She quickly retreated a safe distance and the gas flamed up and upon reaching the tank exploded.

She stood for a moment watching the flames devour the automobile then looked up. The emergency vehicles had arrived and the first of the medics were beginning their descent. She turned and began to climb to meet them.

Meg climbed the cliff face toward the road above while the wreck below still blazed. For a moment she wondered if killing a potential witness would make finding Stephanie’s killer more difficult. She dismissed that figuring he would have been dead anyway before he could be questioned and the automobile probably was a rental so it most likely had nothing helpful in it. Whatever there is to be gotten, she was confident the technical people will be able to extract it even from the burned scraps. Besides she thought, whoever killed Steph and tried to kill her made a big mistake, they got her pissed her off.

As she passed the emergency rescue team on the way down, she told them she was unable to get the driver out of the vehicle before it exploded and thought he was probably dead. She said she would send a technical investigation team down to sift through the wreckage.

Arriving at the top, she saw that no one from the Sheriff’s office had arrived yet. She recognized Mike Williams of the Pacifica PD who seemed in charge. She told him the same story she told the emergency rescue team and added that she believed that the automobile and driver may have been connected to a previous incident being investigated by the sheriff’s office. She promised to send a technical investigation team to assist the Pacifica group. She agreed to call Mike tomorrow and coördinate the investigation. As they walked back to her cruiser, Mike joked about the crushed bumper when he saw it.

“Yeah,” she said laconically, “got to get that fixed.” She then got into the car radioed her office to bring them up to date and get things rolling. Picking up her cell phone she called Ray.

She told him everything that happened including with the lighter. He remained silent.

She then said, “Ray, I want to talk to everyone on your list starting with that fucking minister in Blackhawk. About 10 AM OK with you? Can you get it started?”

Ray agreed but insisted he come along on the interviews. She assented. Then following some discussion about coördination she put down the phone, started the car and drove to her home in Half Moon Bay.

She did not go directly into her house but walked the block or so to the beach, sat on a driftwood log watching the foam of the waves shimmer in the moonlight. She allowed the roar of the breakers to drown out all thought. After a while, she got up, took a deep breath, returned to her home, went in and slept deeply and unperturbed.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: