Always the unexpected
In five minutes, perhaps less, the whole scene had turned into countless vehicles with red and blue flashing lights, screams from the victims, and yelling from the rescuers.
I was still under police guard, but coming from the other side of the scene, a rather battered and bleeding street policeman came running towards us, stopping short of the man standing back, the one I assumed was in charge.
“Tell me you’ve got them”, he gasped, then looking from the man in charge to me then back again, looking very concerned.
“We have.” He looked very calm and pleased with himself.
“What? Him?” He nodded in my direction. “He was blown up in the blast and from what I saw was chasing the real culprits, two men covered in dust, one of whom was carrying a large duffel bag.”
“This guy was caught running from the scene.”
I decided to add my bit to the discussion. “Your car drove straight past them. I can’t see how you missed them.”
He was starting to look worried. “We were given his exact description from an anonymous tip.”
The battered policeman bent over and the collapsed to the ground. Two of my captors went towards him, but he motioned them away. “Of course you did, by the two men escaping. Get after them, before it’s too late. And free this guy. He’s got nothing to do with the blast.”
After removing the cuffs they jumped back in their car and headed back in the direction they came. Too late now, the two men would be long gone.
I went over to the policeman on the ground just as another ambulance pulled up and as the paramedics got out, I motioned to them to come and attend him.
“What happened”, I asked him.
“A bank robbery, the clowns used far too much explosive and almost brought the building down on them. Not so lucky for the neighbours.”
He was looking around, then stopped, looking at the place where I’d just been held down. I followed his gaze and then saw what he saw. The cuffs were still on the ground where the man who removed them had obviously dropped them.
His expression changed, and for a moment I thought he was going to explode.
“What’s wrong?” Obviously something was but I couldn’t see it.
“The cuffs. We haven’t used those for years now. They weren’t real police.”
My mind clicked into gear at the same time as he uttered the words.
They were there to help the others escape whilst holding us both up with a phony arrest. I wonder what they would do if they hadn’t been sent after their fellow robbers.
The battered policeman just sighed and lay down on the pavement and let the paramedics work on him.
Only then did I notice he had a piece of an iron bar sticking out of his side.
© Charles Heath 2018-2019