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The Rex Barton Story Chapter 12

The Rex Barton Story Chapter 12

The Rex Barton Story Chapter 12

Wrong but Right

All of my life was on the job training. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a guide before puberty? ‘What if'?

It was the first time in my life that I could share my thoughts, feelings, and fears with someone who would listen and could understand and not condemn me. I call it heart talk. I could hear others hurts and the genuine pain of someone else's life as we shared our experiences on the bluffs Isle Vista, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

These were guilty days as we knew the error of our ways, but nothing could have stopped us but common sense and God himself. The problem was we didn't listen if God was talking to us because we weren't looking in His direction. Funny thing though, God will, at some point in time, get your attention. In all honesty, today Annie and I prefer shorter leashes but not when we had started out together.

Occasionally we would spy a sailboat cruising by as we sat on the bluffs of Isla Vista beach. How fun we shared, to buy a similar vessel, and sail away to distant lands and shores unknown. We just wanted to continue doing what we were doing, only without the pain that was looming above us, and we felt its heaviness. The terrible times of our sins were about to gang up on us. You cannot be irresponsible and sin before the eyes of God without consequences. Sorry, but it is true. Whether you believe it or not, God has the last instruction and the previous word.

Many years ago, we asked forgiveness from all the family and friends that we hurt. God, is good even though not all were able to accept. We continue to this day to pray for those we damaged or compromised as the results of our foolishness.

The lecture is over, and the story continues.

The three bedrooms and two bath tricky track homes with the white picket fences and the two children and dog were gone. Everything lost in both divorces — our cars, furniture, toys, everything, gone. Everything! Jenny asked me at some point if I would consider counseling? She said she would now go and I said I no. It was too late.

My actions were devastating to Annie's family and mine. We had stretched the rubber band too far, and it broke. Annie was now seeing a psychiatrist. Before long, we were both seeing the same fellow. Our families had all moved on, and Annie and I were just about ready to take the next step in our relationship.

The psychiatrist probably broke all the rules, but he was also my best friend and best man at our wedding. Having worked through so much, we were finally ready to let God take the lead in our life. On a beach in the central coast area of California, one day, Annie gave her life to Christ, and I rededicated my life without reservation or stipulations. No, if's, no buts, just here I am lord. Your well be done please not mine. Giving it all to God meant I didn't have IT, anymore.

Different pressures came and went; lives changed but growing up was our goal. During this period, one of the biggest challenges was overcoming a chemical mace accident while on a family disturbance call out, at the college one night.

As I was leaving our daily briefing room, the sergeant told me to take one of the new rookies with me, and at the same time, he threw him a new can of mace. Of course, he dropped it, picked back it up and put it in his pocket. On the way, out to the college, I would give the rookie instructions as to what we might expect and what I expected of the rookie.

Mainly stay close behind me and don't leave my shadow. Watch my back and keep that can of mace in your pocket until you have smelled the perfume personally. Maze is nothing to mess with if you have not been adequately trained. He was not only not educated on the stuff he had never seen it before or its effects.

"Ok, John said. What if there are too many of them?"

"Too many of what, aliens?"

"No, Hawk, what do you do if there are too many people fighting, John inquired?"

"Stand in the doorway, and I will grab one at a time as I throw them out to you, and then you handcuff them. Do you have the extra plastic cords to use as cuffs if we need them?"


"Ever been in a fight before John, sensing that this kid was scared as hell?"

"No, sir."

"Not really. Ok hold on, I am going to kick this thing into high gear. As soon as we get within the borders of the college turn the siren off."


"My name is Hawk, John. We use first names here. Ok."

"Yes sir, I mean Hawk."

I pulled up in front of the apartment building on the opposite side of the street. As I got out of the patrol car, I put my nightstick in its holder and started toward the stairs of the apartment complex. I then looked back at the rookie. What I saw made me angry and laughed at the same time. John had forgotten to disengage his seatbelt buckle as he was departing the patrol car.

What happened next, was a rooky cop half in and half out of the patrol car, upside down on his head in the street. Cell phones with cameras had not been invented yet thankfully, or that would have been the pic of the day. It would have gone viral for sure.

Not caring and wanting to save lives more, I ran up one flight of stairs and looked through the open front door. What I saw was one middle-aged father and mother on the bottom of the pile, with two older sons in their twenty's, on top of them.

The stench of beer permeated the room, and beer bottles were everywhere. Empty bottles scattered all over the tables and floor, with beer still coming out of a few of the ones knocked over.

One of the sons had a full-length cast on one leg. The television was blaring so loud I could not hear myself think. I yelled, stop as loud as I could when I walked in. The heap of bodies was momentarily startled and tried to regain a bit of a composer. Trouble was they were all too drunk to stand up.

The first thing I did was yank the TV cord out of the wall, then I reached the pile of bodies in two strides and grabbed both young men, one under each arm and pulled them off of the parents. With each in tow, one under each of my arms, I took them out of the apartment and started down the stairs with the intent to handcuff them once we landed on solid ground where I would have room to put them face down on the cement.

My plans to walk each kid down the stairs failed; My eager rookie partner was attempting to assist me, even though I had the situation was under control. John met us running up the stairs as we were coming down. What I saw next was red, and then nothing.

The blinding pain in my eyes was unapparelled to anything I had ever experienced, including the gas chambers in basic training. John had pulled the can of mace out of his pocket, turned his head, and sprayed what seemed like the entire can with-in two inches of my eyes. I had to let go of both men trying to protect my eyes and close my mouth.

The pain was so great that my mouth remained open, and I drank in the bounty of the wretched mace. Choking and coughing, I lost all sight, then began the drowning experience again in my life as mace ran down my throat burning every inch of the way, straight to my lungs.

I didn't panic, but I knew the two young men had fallen forward on John, and then the three fell backward down two-thirds of the flight of stairs. I am pretty sure I fell behind them because I remember somehow being on the ground floor, face down on the cement. I began crawling toward what I thought was a faucet on the wall next to the stairway. It wasn't. It turned out to be an old gas line long since disconnected. The next thing I remember was hearing more squad cars nearby with their sirens blaring.

Whoever called the original report of the disturbance, must have called the Sheriff's department dispatcher back and advised them of the additional problems.

Everyone is flying down the stairs. They all look like they are hurt.

Who was who? The dispatcher had to have freaked out. What in the world was Hawk doing, throwing people down the stairs she asked?

The unfortunate thing was that the mace had been in my eyes to long without having been washed out, and it burned the coria. If that wasn't enough, having drunk in that much chemical maze and choked on finished my lungs off. Having nearly gone into a cardiac arrest, I ended up with a bad case of phenomena and very high fevers on and off for months.

The Sheriff's cavalry that arrived with fifteen minutes after my fall got the two boys handcuffed and my rookie was picked up and dusted off. The parents were remanded to their apartment and warned not to come out until morning.

They agreed, and the two boys went on a new experience. Drunk and in jail. A couple of newly arrived deputies came over and sat me up even though I was still choking. They found a hose and water down my eyes and face. The unfortunate thing was the can of mace was later suspected of having been contaminated. I wonder if Sargent Numb-nuts knew about that?

Well, God, what now I asked him. I am mostly blind, very sick, and in need of your help. My eyes were so burned I couldn't even cry if I wanted to. Groaning was about the only sounds that came out of me. I guess you could say I was sick.

Sargent Numb-nuts was reprimanded for having given the can of mace to Deputy John in the first place without proper training or instruction. Funny thing he tried to hide that fact and blamed me for the entire unfortunate incident.

He was an idiot that would later get into my basket again and again. The funny thing about that lesson was it wasn't all bad because I learned to be more empathetic about people of color, religion, and those caught up in various forms of life's circumstances.

Sargent numbnuts and I were always at odds. When I first joined the Sheriff's department after the military, in fact, my first day, Sargent numbnuts, told me that I would not last. He was going to make sure that he got me fired.

Later that week, while having coffee with my old friend and Undersheriff, we discussed numbnuts. I was briefed about him, his racist attitude and desire to climb the latter of success without us white boys who came in under the Sheriff’s reign.  Eventually, he made good on that threat thru crafty lies, a lot of brown-nosing and graft. But that was years later.

It took several months for my eyesight to return well enough for me to ride a desk for a few months longer at the station. However, I had to drop out of law school and any hopes of an advanced law degree. I found reading to be very difficult. The eye strain was more than my eyes could deal with.

Depression set in, and it took a little longer for the healing to catch-up. It finally did months later. The eyes never really recovered all the way and have been a problem ever since that fateful afternoon disturbance call in Isle Vista was, unfortunately, the beginning of the end I thought.

I was anxious to return to work and see if the world had changed any. The weather was warming as summer was heating up on the Central Coast of California. The problem was the world was not going to wait for me any longer to get stabilized. If I was going to get back to patrol duties, the time was now. College un-rest, political unrest, and crime were on the increase. What was next?


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