Vargas: A Thanksgiving that was memorable for the wrong reasons


As you enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, please remember there are officers who are working out there today.

More than likely they will be responding to alcohol-related domestic violence calls and drunken driving  —  it’s a holiday tradition of sorts for police officers everywhere.

In keeping with that theme, here is a story shared by retired Officer Greg Lawson, one of my retired coworkers, about one of his most memorable Thanksgiving calls:

The Thanksgiving call I remember most was one my partner and I handled as a two-man car.

A crying 6-year-old child called dispatch saying his mom and dad were fighting and hitting each other.

When we arrived, we went to the front door and I could hear a man saying, “C’mon baby, it’s ok get up.”

This scene is still vivid in my head.

We quietly walked in and peeked into the kitchen area. This drunken disheveled guy was standing over an unconscious female. He was pouring a cold can of beer on her face. Everything in the place was overturned and broken.

There was this turkey roll, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, etc. all over the floor. Two dogs were aggressively eating it as if they had just struck the food mother load.

I pushed the guy back and he had this huge knot on his forehead.

The lady, now conscious, was helped up.

The two of them were on-call cab drivers and dog breeders. Piles of dog feces and the smell of dog urine were an absolute feast for the senses.

The wife had prepared a Thanksgiving meal and he was too drunk to eat it.

This started a pushing and shoving match.

She picked up the first thing that was handy: a big turtle shell that said, “Welcome to Florida the Sunshine State.”

She swung it and hit him hard on the head. This created the enraged retaliatory punch from him that knocked her out.

The poor 6-year-old caller and his brother were absolutely traumatized and shaken. We comforted them as best we could.

After some investigating, we wound up arresting the couple and took the kids into protective custody.

This time of year I often wonder how they turned out. Odds are probably not very good.

It was the first and only time a turtle shell was ever booked into evidence as a deadly weapon.

Please remember to drink moderately these holidays because the lives you impact aren’t just your own.

If you or someone is the victim of domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department. This time of year your call won’t be unexpected.