Off Duty

Off Duty
By Mark Riddering.

When I was first beginning as a police officer, my wife Sue and I went to meet my mother and father-in-law in Hollywood for dinner at Laurie’s restaurant. We arrived early so we decided to head to Griffith observatory to view the big city. While making our way through traffic I decided to take a shortcut through a residential neighborhood. All of a sudden a large Lincoln Continental began driving head on in my lane at a high rate of speed. I was driving our small economy car and quickly diverted into a nearby driveway.

The larger car skidded to a stop right in front of us. The neighborhood was apartments on both sides of the street. Many people were milling about. The passenger of the Lincoln exited with a chromed 45-caliber semi auto handgun. He began shooting into a crowd of people as he charged them. Sue and I were seated watching. Sue was pregnant with our first child. She crouched low for safety as I moved out to call for LAPD. A time prior to cell phones. After getting someone to call 911 I returned as the shooter was returning to the Lincoln. The Lincoln sped off. Not catching the license plate Sue and I began a pursuit/surveillance, (during a time in our youth when we felt more invincible). After a few blocks we obtained a license plate and a number as LAPDs finest came speeding toward us from the opposite direction. We waved down the first unit and pointed out the Lincoln. The first few units went into high-speed pursuit. Another LAPD unit instructed we follow them. With a unit code 3 in front and back of us we joined the pursuit. Now who can say they’ve been in pursuit of a murder suspect, in their small sedan, in Hollywood, with a pregnant wife? Americas a great place. Well after a few miles the Lincoln spun out and the suspects and guns were taken into custody by LAPD.

After giving a statement we still weren’t too late for dinner. It was difficult to share our story with our family. It seemed right at the time. Little did we know it was just the beginning of many adventures to come.

One thought on “Off Duty”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>