lieutenant marvel january had been a cop for 26 and a half years. he always added the half or the quarter or whatever it amounted to. he thought it was important to do so. he wasn’t sure why. he just did it.
marvel found his partner, sgt mick johns, in the men’s room and told him they had to roll. eddie catalina had just called from ontario and the ontario pd were sitting with him. johns zipped up and said.
no shit? eddie called huh?
yeah. couple of minutes ago.
he say anything?
no. i did most of the talking and he just agreed to stuff.
man, this job is amazing at times.
the two men made it down to the street and their 7 year old crown vic. old but still newer than most of the other detective barges. marvel was a good cop who closed cases and he knew things. hence, the newer ride, plus he took care of the vic. he took it home a few times a year and hand waxed it himself. though he told the rest of the unit he paid to get it done at a car wash near his place. no one ever suspected a thing. the lieutenant got in the passenger seat. he rarely drove and he sure as hell wasn’t going to drive way out to ontario and back. not today anyway. besides johns was a good driver. the sergeant spoke.
sure why not. we can’t have an ontario black and white tied up too long now can we?
both men buckled up and the car sped away from the curb. first the lights then the siren. johns also tapped on the horn as he made a wide left at the first intersection heading towards interstate 10 east. january smiled as the car skidded around the corner. they always got some looks when johns was in his mario andretti mode. marvel figured they must be a sight. an old shinny cop barge. lights. siren. screeching tires. a very large black man in the passenger seat more or less lounging and a big white guy driving while pounding on the steering wheel not unlike popeye doyle in the movie ‘the french connection’.
with half closed eyes january gave his partner a semi sideways look and said.
try not to kill anybody before we hit the freeway. ok?
i haven’t yet. and i don’t plan on it today. all i need is some room to move. take a nap. ok?
that was their standard and usual mantra whenever they first went code 3. after that they both settled in for the ride. lt january lost in his own thoughts and sgt johns ripping up the road and scaring the citizens. the lapd brass had given up trying to get the two of them to change. marvel january and mick johns got results. regardless.
once lapd figured out they had two dead mobsters on their hands. one of them an upper level hood the case had been handed over to lapd’s elite robbery homicide unit. lt marvel january and his partner mick johns in particular. two old hands at getting results and closing the book on lala land weirdness as marvel was fond of saying. though this one had eluded them so far but that was about to change.
when they hit the freeway the sargent turned off the siren and only used it occasionally to get people to move out of their way. the lights stayed on. by the time they made it through west covina the traffic had thinned out some and johns made up for lost time.
we’re flying low now, partner.
marvel just grunted and kept his eyes closed.
once over kellogg hill and down into the pomona valley johns was able to take the car pool lane again and stay in it. he blipped the siren once or twice to move cars out of the way.
almost there loot.
let’s see. take vineyard. not archibald. then hit a left at holt. i’m thinking you’ll see the place on the right. hit the siren as we pull into the lot. the patrol guys should bring him out then.
the crown vic left the freeway and made it’s way to the cheap motel. johns hit the siren once as they entered the parking lot. the two ontario officers walked eddie out of the room and down the stairs to the waiting lapd car.
thank you, officers. we’ll take over from here. sergeant, get your cuffs on mr. catalina so the ontario guys can get theirs and head out on patrol.
while that was going on marvel spoke again.
eddie. i’m lt marvel january lapd robbery homicide. this is my partner, sgt mick johns. you sure as hell made my day when you called. i was beginning to have visions of being transferred out to hollywood vice. ok. here’s the deal. you stay cuffed and we take you back to l.a. just sit tight and don’t say anything. ok?
you start talking and i’ll have to mirandize you. i don’t wanna do that just yet. capisco? we’ll chat back at headquarters.
sergeant, get eddie in the car and let’s get out of here.
the wind blew up a small dust devil as the crown vic sped out of the lot and headed west back toward downtown l.a.
this originally appeared here in august of 2014.