Jaywalkers move to top of crime heap
News item: Honolulu police going undercover in effort to catch jaywalkers.
CALL ME Serpico. It's not my real name. My real name is Maurice. But I hate that name. Serpico was a legendary undercover cop in New York. I walk in his shoes. Well, rubber slippers. I wear rubber slippers because I'm undercover. I'm like a ghost, drifting unseen through the gritty underbelly of paradise. Catching the bad guys.
My beat is the streets. The mean streets. I'm part of a special undercover strike force targeting some of the most dangerous criminals in Honolulu: jaywalkers. I know, jaywalkers don't get the big headlines like dope pushers, car hijackers and copper thieves. But jaywalkers are the backbone of the criminal underworld. They flaunt their ability to wantonly break the law. Whenever they illegally cross a street, they send a message to all their crooked cohorts that the Thin Blue Line can be broken. It's just a small step from jaywalking to knocking over a major federally insured financial institution.
Look there. See that old lady getting ready to dart across Bishop Street? See her eyes, darting back and forth, looking for the law? She can't see me. I'm invisible in my metallic pink papaya and mango aloha shirt, surf trunks and shades. There she goes! Come to papa, auntie. She's flyin'. If it weren't for that walker, she'd be across already.
I SIP AT my Starbucks, fingering my cuffs. I sip some more. And some more. Geeze, grandma, get it on. I don't got all day. She's stopped for a breather. I see a Handivan bearing down on her at a high rate of speed. I race out and stop the Handivan before it creams her. Then I help her the remaining way to the sidewalk.
"Thank you, sonny," she says sweetly.
"You're busted, Bonny Parker," I say, whipping out the handcuffs.
She slams the walker in my gut and stomps on my toes. (I knew I should have worn shoes.)
"Back off, buster!" she yells, and then spritzes me in the face with pepper spray.
"Murder! Murder!" she screams. Man, this granny's got some pipes!
"Backup! I need backup!" I yell into my Nextel. "Code 5! Code 5! Code 5!"
I'm not sure what a Code 5 is, but it seems work. Two big guys in aloha shirts are running toward me. They must be undercover, too. They throw me to the ground and begin punching and kicking me.
"You pervert!" one yells, putting me in a headlock. "Leave the old lady alone!"
Maybe they aren't undercover. They take my handcuffs and cuff my hands behind my back.
The uniformed police come. In the scuffle, my badge and a rubber slipper have fallen into a storm drain. As I'm driven away in the back of a squad car, I see the old lady giving an interview to Channel 2's Tina Shelton. It's not easy being a member of the jaywalking undercover strike force. I rub my burning eyes wondering if this ever happened to Serpico.
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