I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bar Fight

In the West End of the little town of Coeburn sits the last of a past relic. The Moonlight Cafe Bar & Grill is the sole survivor of about a dozen little bars that used to dot the corporate limits of Coeburn. At one point in time, a bar fight was a nightly occurrence especially in what was called "The West End". Several shootings and stabbings resulted from these fights. One Virginia State Trooper, Robert Giles was killed in 1954 trying to make an arrest during a bar fight.

We had made a traffic stop Saturday night about two buildings up from the Moonlight Cafe. We were just telling the driver that he was free to go when we heard a lot of loud yelling and screaming. I turned to look and saw a body come flying backwards out of the bar. The guy hit the ground, jumped up, and ran back in only to be thrown right back out. We all took off running to the cafe. As we got to the door, one guy was on the floor against the door frame while another was standing over him. There were 5 or 6 other people pushing and pulling on the two who were fighting. In that kind of situation, the first thing you do is get everyone separated. I grabbed the first body I came to that had hands on one of the two fighters and pulled her outside and told her to put her hands on the hood of a car in front of the door and to not move till I told her to. Going back in I helped the other officers cuff 3 suspects and took them one at a time to our cruiser. By the time I got back from putting the 3rd one in they had determined that the first guy wasn't involved and I went back out and released him. About this time the other officers came outside and as I walked up to them I heard the first lady I had pulled outside ask in a small shaky voice "Can I move now?". We ended up taking the two who were fighting to the magistrate to be charged with disorderly conduct. It's about a 15 minute drive and by the time we got to the magistrates office the two miscreants were laughing and joking like they were the best of friends.

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At 9:51 AM, Blogger madcapmum said...

I'm trying to pick out which one is you in that picture up there...

I guess you have to be a cop or a bar-hopper to have such an exciting life. I think I'll decline.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger H. Stallard said...

I'm the one on the bottom of the pile. That's where I've ended up twice so far.

The 1st time was in the emergency room of the hospital when we were trying to get blood for a DUID (driving under the influence of drugs). As soon as we took the cuffs off he hit the other officer, I grabbed his pony tail and head and took him to the ground. We rolled around for about 5 minutes with me on the bottom more often than not until the Norton police arrived to help. The second time was in the magistrates office. This dude was handcuffed. He jumped up in front of the magistrates desk and charged the other officer. I grabbed his arm and drug him out into the lobby where we struggled for about 2 minutes before getting him on the ground (with me on the bottom again).

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Eleutheros said...

As it happens, I was in Coeburn today. The misrcreant East Virginia Yankee I was with, looked about and said, "You know, these are really good folk here. If I had to bug out of the the place I live now, I could come here."

Lest anyone get the impression that our good Harold is gendrarme in come lawless frontier town, my miscreant Yankee friend parked a block away from old Lay's Hardware store, the site of the Purely Appalachian Crafts do, and I left camera, cell phone, and $2000 of merchandise on the seat of the unlocke car. Was I concerned? Not in the slightest! Coeburn is full of good people. OK they might tussle under the influence with a cop or two. Big deal. Who hasn't done that? But I will tell you that I could have laid a $100 bill on the sidewalk outside of the place and come back in half an hour and it would have still been there, or someone would have come inside and said "Hey, did someone loose this??"

OK, Harold, if you could be a cop somewhere else in the world besides Wise County, where would it be?

No fool, you, I'm thinking.

By the bye, thanks for checking out that PACE stuff. That's working out. Go by and check out my stuff.

At 1:58 AM, Blogger madcapmum said...

You have a CELL PHONE?! My head is spinning. This just doesn't fit the image somehow...

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Eleutheros said...

One of those prepaid thingies that you can leave in the glove box of the truck for six months without using it and so long as you don't use it, it doesn't cost anything. Someone else was driving that day so it just got dumped on the passenger seat and left there for a few hours.

I had no interest in them whatever until the toll phones went all to hell around here. I was trying to call home from the hardware store one day when I had to ante-up half a dollar on the pay phone only to get a message that the call was long distance and would I please deposit and arm and a leg. I managed to get an operator the phone and she said, Yes, you're calling to another state so it's long distance. Yes, it's another state but I can see it from here, I can almost spit on it, and it is not long distance [you moron]. I not only couldn't make the call, I couldn't get my half dollar back. That was the last straw so I got one of these, what's it called, TracFone. It doesn't go dangling off my ear like an ornament every place I go and no one but immediate family has the number. To contact me when I'm afield they have to call the home number and have the message relayed. I think you have to purchase some more minutes for it like once a year or so to keep it active, but after that you can ignore it until it's needed in a pinch.

Appropriate use of technology. I think there are four or five us doing that now of days.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger madcapmum said...

There are lots of people in our area opting out of having a land-line altogether and just having a cell-phone for use both home and abroad, because of how expensive the land-lines are. We have a cell-phone in a junk-drawer that we got when Chive was working up north because there were so few pay-phones available. Once he came home, though, it went in the drawer and we've only turned it on about three times in the past year. I'd hate to be a slave to the damned ringer.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Sarah Elaine said...

Geez, and I thought life with the neighbours was eventful. Yours is much more interesting!


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