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The Rex Barton Story Chapter 15

The Rex Barton Story Chapter 15

The Rex Barton Story Chapter 15

Beach Patrol

The Sheriff's Department was ready to elect a new Sheriff. It was sad to lose our old Sheriff, but change is always part of our careers.

I remember hearing the newly-elected Sheriff promise the people, in his campaign speeches, that he would bring safety to the beaches of our central coast. In compliance with that promise, the department purchased a new Jeep Wrangler and outfitted it with all the latest garb.

We had lights, sirens, lockable shotgun rack, first aid box, accident box, ropes, and chains. We had everything for public safety and care but not a safety orientated vehicle. I was appointed to head up the Beach Patrol unit, and off to the beach, we went. One day in late September, we took a back-road from Winchester Canyon to the old oil piers to check on possible nude bathing and vandalism.

The complaints were being made by molested walkers just passing by. The chief complaint was many of the nude bathers were running up to regular beach walkers some walking dogs some not. The sunbathers would do indecent things like masturbate, taunting while following and sometimes poking at the walkers.

The nudest would do anything to embarrass, provoke, or entice walkers to respond by running away. On one occasion, one male nudist attacked a young girl and attempted to rape her. The Sheriff had enough complaints, so we were dispatched to serve and protect. It seemed the problem was Statewide, but we had to start somewhere.

So here we were driving up and down the beaches looking to tie some idiot's penises into knots. We got to the oil piers and realized that the ocean tide, was coming in. I told my driver to get the Jeep up out of the water and onto higher ground — just one more 360-spin in the water Hawk. Before I could complain or reprimand the rooky, I found myself holding on tight so as not to be thrown out into the ocean waves.

Come on, Hawk. No! Get to higher ground. Now!

By turning the wheel left and gunning the engine at the same time, we instantly stalled — the perfect storm for a highjack. Just enough water flipped up to get the distributor a good soaking. The engine quit, and here we were stuck sideways to the waves and a high tide lapping up over our bumper and entry pocket doors.

I looked for something inside the emergency box to extend our wench length and pull ourselves out of this stupid situation.

Jeff raised the hood and discovered that none of the bottom pan, electrical wirings such as the distributor, generator or plugs had been protected, from sprayed water intrusion. No water bubbling or water spots. Everything was soaked all the way through.

Extending the wench was an effort in futility as we only had a 50-foot rope and nothing extra.

"Crap. Jeff, call dispatch and let them know our situation and to call for a tow truck. Tell them to let the tow truck driver know how much chain to bring".

"Ok, will do, Jeff replied. I am sorry, Hawk. I was stupid."

"You think? Next time follow my orders damn it".

Again, I took a quick survey of the oncoming tide change and our jeep patrol vehicle and any signs of activity anywhere. No. We were alone. Not even a coyote was milling around, let alone a stupid nudist.

The tow truck arrived just in time to see a wave pick-up the Jeep and turn its head on to the next wave. Not sure if it was good or bad, all I knew was we better hook it up fast and get it the hell out of the water. The kid in the tow truck stopped in the soft sand approximately sixty yards from our position why I will never know.

The next wave could have drug the Jeep out to sea for all I knew. The vehicle would have made an excellent anchor for some big ship if we didn't hurry. The tow truck driver wanted a signature and one of us to get his chain, so he didn't have to get wet.

But as he looked toward the Jeep, I could see that he was a little embarrassed about something. Once Jeff reached him, he explained that he had not brought along enough chain. Crap, again I yelled now thoroughly impatient at our predicament.

I yelled at the driver to pull his tow truck up further so we could link up. He turned his head back and forth in a negative manner, saying he was afraid of getting his vehicle wet too. Do it I yelled, and he turned got back into the tow truck. He put his unit into gear and started to push forward, but for some reason, he didn't go anywhere. I saw his rear wheels spinning and sand spitting up three to four feet high behind him. Again, I yelled even louder this time CRAP. What the hell are you doing?

The driver buried his unit to the axels in less than thirty seconds. He was going nowhere. By this time, I was yelling at everybody because I realized the brevity of our situation and the loss of expensive Sheriff's Department property.

And wouldn't you know, I got a call on the radio from a familiar voice. Yes, Sargent Numb Nuts was asking our 1020 (location) because he had a request of drunk kids throwing fire sticks at the dried-up brush leading to the train tracks not far away. I related that we were still stuck and that the tow truck was stuck too. Send another patrol unit.

I instinctively knew that another stupid report was being typed up at that moment. It was so evident that Sargent Numb Nuts had a big, big grudge out for me and no one cared or was looking at the problem. He was nuts.

The tow truck driver got on his radio dispatch and immediately called for another truck to come and rescue him and us. It took another half an hour for the second tow truck to arrive and get us out of the ocean. We had stripped, the half-assed prepared Jeep Patrol unit, of as much as we could when we were first getting wet.

We managed to salvage and save a lot of equipment. The patrol unit dripped saltwater where there should not have been any back to the garage. CRAP one more time as I walked around the jeep in the yard. This is a joke. That Jeep was later turned into an off-road mountain unit, and the Sheriff decided to buy a couple of motorbikes for the summer solstice days of the beach patrol. The complaints slowed down of nudist hassling walkers by that time anyway.

‘What If'?

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