Chivalry Was Not Dead


It was a busy Manhattan summer back in 1983, a Saturday night in the NYPD’s 13th Precinct. The dense humidity soaked into the station house even though the air conditioning was running full blast: (that’s full blast for an under maintained New York City municipal building). The craziness from the streets invaded the station house as well. It seemed like every strange person within the confines of the command compiled with some exotic call. Somewhat like the zombies from The Night of the Living Dead movie. Then again, it was kind of a fun night.

 

There must have been a full moon.

 

I was assigned to Telephone/Switchboard duty. Positioned right at the inside entrance of the station house to intercept all visitors and answer the telephone. My partner was on vacation so the Lieutenant gave me the choice of either working inside or sitting on a sick prisoner at Bellevue Hospital.  No heavy gun belt, no sweaty bullet resistant vest, a simple choice - I took the station house assignment.

A few times there was a lull in the action. During the first one, a really drunk male of some Eastern European extraction about fifty years old walked in crying and begging to give himself up. In a heavy accent, he claimed he knifed a man to death on East 14th Street a few nights ago. I remember we had some nutcase in here last week who claimed he was the REAL Son of Sam, and now this guy.





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