Ch. 3: After hospital, a ride to McD’s in a squad car

Amidst trauma that probably should have left me for dead, there are heroes.

Even with PTSD, you know who the heroes are.

Well, when it comes to police it can be hard. But I can tell you a story about a cop who I believe to be good.

The story speaks for itself.

I had been released from UnityPoint Trinity after two terrifying nights held in the Rock Island County Jail on no charges at all.

Upon walking out the doors of UnityPoint Trinity, who would I call?

Probably not who you would think after being terrorized by Moline police at dad’s memory care institution, roughed up, and taken to jail for raising my voice thinking my dad and I were in danger.

It’s all coming into focus now. “You’ll never get anywhere with Moline PD.”

Another story. But I have figured out so much. And it’s scary. But I’m safe.

Back to walking out the doors of the hospital. Who did I call?

In fact, I called 911. Because I was in Rock Island now. Where police are honest.

Well, most of them. At least nine out of 10, I’d wager.

I hope.

Not only did the dispatcher not laugh at me, I was treated with complete and total respect.

RIPD good as (crimson and) gold

Let me say here: I am humbled by the respect I have received from the Rock Island Police Department.

Humbled beyond belief.

There are bad eggs coming out of good chickens every day.

When I dialed 911, I asked for an officer to meet me at my home because I feared it could have been booby-trapped while I was held in the jail on no charges.

I knew it had been illegally searched. I heard them talking when I was inside the jail.

Of course, it took me a long time to get that officially confirmed, even though my neighbors saw them do it.

The cop met me at my house. Intense, good cop who will give himself a heart attack trying to do the right thing in a corrupt town.

At least that’s how it looks to me. I could be wrong

Meet a key character in my book: Officer Billy Ray.

Billy Ray arrives on scene at Redneck Ritz HQ

The officer met me at my house. Although he was edgy, I knew he was good.

He immediately asked me for mail in case “your brother tries to say it’s his house.”

I heard at the hospital someone say, “The brother says he rents it and he pays his rent on time but always has candles burning when the brother shows up to inspect.”

And just because I heard things doesn’t make them truth. Much of what I heard inside the jail was master fu*&ery, for example. But much of it I thought to be that has turned out to be true, some of which I never could have believed to be true.

People say I have ESP. Indeed, the high-ranking politician inside the jail said, “How can Dave hear us?” and “It’s almost like Dave’s clairvoyant.”

So somehow, I knew a day may come when I had to PROVE I was a resident of my dad’s house, where I was his caregiver and had received mail for one year.

I had it all ready to go under my mattress. Officer Billy Ray did not seem particularly fazed that I was so prepared.

But before your mind goes there, Billy Ray did something exceptional.

“I am on deadline for a story for Healthline, and I need to get to McDonald’s so I can file my story and get paid and pay my electric bill.”

My brother forbade me to get internet. The emails all are there. Mediacom said I had to get my brother’s POA approval to add internet even though I paid the bill.

Long story short, Officer Billy Ray drove me to McDonald’s.

“I’m sorry, you have to ride in the back seat,” he said.

Arrival at McDonald’s in police escort, still wearing hospital band

When Officer Ray let me out of the back of the squad, and I walked into the McDonald’s with a hospital bracelet and a blood draw Band-Aid, it drew stares.

One group of men stared a long time. They are retirees. One is a bailiff at the Rock Island County Courthouse and I have known him more than 40 years.

At any rate, this elderly woman who attends Edgewood Baptist Church, who I believe to be the kind of true Christian like my Grandma Nellie (mom’s side) of many years gone by, gazed into my eyes.

I felt safe.

Suddenly, a man who sort of looks like me walked by with a blood draw Band-Aid also.

And the elderly woman exclaimed, “Except HE! (and pointed at me) has the hospital bracelet, too!

I’d love to tell you all I am creative enough to make this all up, but I am not. It is all true.

Finally, the nosy retiree club sent over an ambassador.

“Can I ask you why that cop just dropped you off at McDonald’s?”

My response? “That’s none of your business.”

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