Your heart beats, you forget to breathe.
Keep up and don’t wreck.
Depending on how it ends, determines what you do. You just kinda go where he’s going.
That’s a little of what it’s like when an officer is involved in a pursuit, former Brownwood patrolman — now detective — James Fuller explained one recent morning.
I don’t think Fuller quite knew why I was down in the office he’s occupied at the Law Enforcement Center since July, harassing him for his insight on some of the details of police work. He’d been nowhere near a pursuit that had happened the night before, which involved patrolmen including Brandon Arnold and ended with the arrest of a driver on multiple charges.
You’ve been a patrolman, I reminded Fuller (as though that’s something he would forget). You experienced all these events. So what goes through your mind when this or that happens? Talk, you.
“You want to catch the bad guy, so you watch where he goes and go where he’s going,” Fuller said. “Your mind is to put him in handcuffs and his mind is to not. You do what you’ve been trained to do,” Fuller said — it all goes back to training.
Fuller, a 1990 graduate of Brownwood High School, served in the Army for nine years and has been with the Brownwood Police Department for 8 1/2 years.
He was assigned to the criminal investigation division in July, and he now wears civilian clothes to work rather than a blue uniform.
Fuller said he likes his new job, which has him following up on the work the patrol division does and investigating crimes.
“You get the rest of the story — you get the Paul Harvey side of it,” Fuller said.
There is a difference in his interaction with suspects now that he’s a detective: “The suspects lie to me in greater detail. They lie better because they’ve had time to think about it,” he said.
I told Fuller that the officers’ reports from the previous day reflected a variety of calls from thefts of bicycles to the pursuit.
“Every call is interesting in its own way, and the important thing is to do the call the right way.”
The excitement factor is missing from calls in which the suspect isn’t on the scene, Fuller said. “There is no excitement for these calls but they’re interesting. You have to put it in your mind that this call is important to them,” Fuller said.
A sampling of the calls from the previous day and night:
Cpl. Fred Bastardo was dispatched to Kroger, where store officials had confronted a shoplifter. He’d stuffed five DVD movies into his pants and pockets. “I didn’t walk out, I didn’t walk out,” he exclaimed nervously.
The shoplifter decided he didn’t need to talk to the police, and he left in a green Ford Expedition before Bastardo arrived.
Officer Danny Hutchins was dispatched to the 1900 block of Vincent, where a 12-year-old boy said his 20-inch Next Trail Bandit bicycle had been stolen.
Officer Shade Tidwell was dispatched to the 1200 block of Melwood, where he met with a man about a burglary.
City Marshal Dean Kilburn went to the Camp Bowie Mobile Home Park, where he issued a criminal trespass warning to a man who’d been arrested earlier at one of the trailers and wasn’t welcome there.
Officer Aaron Taylor was dispatched to the 3500 block of Arrowhead, where he took a report on a vehicle burglary.
Taylor was dispatched to the 1800 block of Avenue D, where Guardian EMS was tending to a man who’d passed out. Taylor arrested a younger man who was present for public intoxication.
Later, Taylor was dispatched to Brownwood Regional Medical Center in reference to the older man. He didn’t have anyone to come get him. His wife wouldn’t. The man smelled of booze, and Taylor arrested him for public intoxication.
Officer Brandon Arnold was dispatched to Coggin Park on a report that a woman had just relieved herself by the playground area. He arrested the woman for public intoxication.
Steve Nash writes his column for the Brownwood Bulletin on Thursdays. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.