July 2, 2009

Inhale, Exhale.

Her name was Molly.*

Doing what I'm about to do is the direct result of something wholly terrible, yet I'm thankful for the chance to be here, because I can help right a wrong, after a fashion.

For now, though, I'm just breathing. No words come to my lips, no emotion on my face. I'm focused, singly, on a slow controlled inhale, and a slow, controlled exhale. My partner is next to me, and she knows me well enough to read the thoughts behind the look on my face. She's also experienced enough to know that right now, I don't want to talk, I don't want her to talk, and if anyone asks me "You doin' OK, JB?" I'm going to knock their teeth out. Her job, at this moment, is to just be here. That's why she's the best partner I've ever had as a medic.

Inhale. Exhale.

I glance at the door, beyond which sits a monster.

He doesn't look like a monster, of course. The real monsters never do. They look like normal folks. Some tall, some short. Full hair and balding. Square jaw, rounded face. Eyes set narrow to the sun, or thick Coke-bottle eyeglasses. "Just a regular man," you'd hear.

Except he was no man. He was a monster.

I don't want to look at him, yet as your eyes are drawn to a car wreck on the other side of the highway, mine will be drawn to his face. This guy is as regular as regular gets. He's a touch beyond 200 pounds, and tissue that was once muscle has turned soft, the result of too many beers and frozen dinners in front of a T.V. His head sets squarely on his shoulders, though if he had any decency, he'd hang it in shame. The shoulders are broad, and exude a relaxed confidence, as if he knows what's coming and knows he can weather the storm. A Timex on his right wrist -- he's a lefty, apparently -- marks time, and his back is straight. He's crossed his feet as he sits, relaxed.

Inhale, JB. Now exhale. Repeat.

Yeah, relaxed. After what this monster did, he's relaxing. He's relaxed, and I'm a mess of emotions: Anger, grief, curiosity, and perplexity.

And rage. Pure, untempered, primal rage. I want to face him with that rage. To ask him the questions that have burned into my soul since the first moment the dispatch said "Medic 9, Child injured, PD en route as well, RP states father of child is the suspect."

"You think you got enough salt to try that with me? Go ahead.... do to me what you did to her.

"Go ahead. Try to hold me down and force your fat, smelly, drunk-ass body on me, with your pencil dick and smelly breath. Try to touch me in spots that I don't want you to touch. Try it. Go ahead, try. I dare you. Nay, I BEG you to try that with me.

"She was 5 years old, and might have weighed 40 pounds. She called you Daddy. A daddy wouldn't have done this to his little girl. A father would have given his own life to prevent this from happening to his little girl. You're no daddy, you're no father. You're a piece of shit.

"I'm not that small, and I prefer a slightly different term for you than 'Daddy.' Go ahead... try that with me. Let's skip all the rest of this bullshit dog and pony show and get this over with. Don't bother looking at the cops, they won't help you. That, I promise. Let's do this... you, me, and last man breathing walks out of here a free man. Please. Try me."

That's what I want to say. That's what my face, my eyes, and my body language say. But it's not what my mouth says. I want to say it, but I don't. I just breathe.

Inhale. Exhale.

Having processed all these thoughts in the two seconds it took me to open the door and enter the room and glance at him, I remember that, despite my rage, despite my anger, despite my visceral desire to exact some revenge for Molly, am a professional and I have a professional duty to do my job. I take that first step to do what I have to do.

The cop reaches toward me, holding a book, and asks me:

"Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give to this court will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

I give the monster one last glance: OK, pal, let's see you worm your way out of this one...You should have taken your chances with me, because Ordinary Decent Criminals in prison don't care much for child molesters. Have fun in there, and I hope you rot in hell.

"I do."







(*Name changed for the obvious reasons.)

29 comments:

Rogue Medic said...

Excellent writing.

*Name changed for the obvious reasons.


I saw that and immediately thought of the obvious - Name changed to protect the guilty, but in this case, it is the innocent victim's name. That may help protect this bad guy from the people not familiar with the case, but the ones who may reach out and touch some bad guy, they will know.

All I can come up with is bad guy, not because bad guy is adequate to describe him, but because language is inadequate for what he did.

Walt Trachim said...

I'm speechless.

What an incredible post.

crs224akameema said...

My sympathy and empathy to you, your partner and all others who had to deal with this. It's why we hate what we do, and why we do it. Calls with kids are our biggest fear, I think. Very well told, I hope it serves as an outlet for you.
Lighter note: my thought is that child molesters should be tied to a pole in the center of a pen full of week-old calves.

Michael Morse said...

And they say that a child molesters condition is "incurable." I've got the cure. So do you. Sometimes being civilized human beings is difficult.

CrankyProf said...

SOmetimes, I think we are too civilized. That piece of offal ought to be partially eviscerated and left out -- still breathing --for the buzzards.

firefighter girl said...

bless you, JB.

Cherie's said...

He has no idea of what awaits him in jail. He'll be getting it SO much worse than his daughter had it. And I think pedophiles shouldn't be given 2nd chances.

fuzzys dad said...

A real simple cure for child molesters A bullet to the head. As a medically retierd Correctional Officer I have dealt with these animals.

Old NFO said...

Excellent post, thankfully you restrained yourself. Your getting locked up is NOT worth the pleasure of beating that scumbag into the ground. That will happen when he goes to prison.

God bless you for your service.

PirateGirl said...

Wow. Just wow.

Very few blog posts leave me speechless and emotionally hurting all at the same time.

This one did.

SteveC said...

"A Timex on his right wrist -- he's a lefty, apparently -- marks time, and his back is straight."

As a lefthander and speaking on behalf of all other lefthanders, we don't claim any connections to this SOB.

William said...

In the time I worked as an EMT in the bad parts of Atlanta, I saw enough rape victims, battered women and abused children to last ten lifetimes.

I left the field a long time ago, but you never forget this stuff.

Jeff B said...

William:

When did you work in Atlanta? And for whom? I was there for a good while, and would be willing to bet we either know some of the same people, or even each other.

Mike Ward said...

Wow, just wow.

Thanks to AE for letting me know about you blog and this powerful item.

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

Strings said...

No... there is no punishment that can truly be taken on these beings. They deserve far more than death, but death is the best we can do, if we don't wish to become animals ourselves...

I feel for you, but you did the right thing. And it's folks like you that make what I do just that little bit easier...

MaddMedic said...

And someone out there will say he can be rehabilitated, a bullet would rehabilitate the scum sucker!
Sometimes our jobs in the world of EMS brings us face to face with horrors and animals that make us wonder why we do it.
This would be one of them it appears, I hope you hung the sumbitch!

Medic7 said...

Allow me to echo the above...

Just wow.

hogdogs said...

It is for these individuals that I chose to never entertain the notion of either the EMT/LEO type carreers!
I am quite sinister in dealing out redneck justice and my behavior upon these pukes would impede my desire to remain a free man!
Brent

Mrs. Who said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for standing up for this child. I wish there had been someone like you to protect my (step)sons from their stepfather. Because of stupid laws in Utah, 'my' boys never got their day in court.

SMP said...

Thank you for sharing this account from your experienced point of view. It needs to be told and told often. Too many stories like this never see the light of day because society thinks it's "gloomy" and not "entertaining" enough for their feeble minds. Heaven forbid they worry their pretty little heads while a child is screaming for someone to help.

If I sound bitter, I'm not getting my rage out well enough. It goes beyond bitter to downright hatred.

One of your commenters said it best when mentioned we are TOO civilized. People like this deserve no time in court. They deserve to be taken immediately to a whipping post and slowly tortured until their bodies finally expire from too much - even if that takes weeks.

There is no cure for what they are and what they do. None. And the only people spreading that crap are their allies.

They readily admit they will do it again. They readily admit that even chemical castration doesn't stop them, that they use foreign objects. They readily admit to stopping their medication because it tears them up inside not to be able to "make love" to another child. They readily admit to saying whatever it is people want to hear to "prove" they are "rehabilitated" because it is a living hell being away from children. They will do what it takes to get out and molest/rape again.

No, these people deserve no tolerance, no chances, no chance in court. When one is caught red handed, punishment should be immediate. There is NO good reason for the judicial system to react otherwise. What defense can there possibly be for raping a child? What kind of person does it take to claim a child rapist deserves his/her day in court?? To be confronted by others, maybe, but not for a chance at leniency or worse, a walk.

Unless you object, I would like to feature your post on my site. If more people spoke up like you, society would have no alternative than to admit this is a very real problem and stop kissing their asses.

Thank you so much for this post. What you went through was harsh, I know, but believe me when I tell you it was not in vain. Thank you!!!

William said...

Outfit called the Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority.

Little place called Grady Memorial Hospital.

1974-1976.

Jeff B said...

William:

OK, you were there LONG before I was. I worked at Grady from mid 1990s to mid 2000s.

Do you know John Murray, though? Harley rider, long hair, crooked teeth, hell of a medic?

William said...

Murray doesn't ring bells.

Knew some legends at Grady, like Dr. John Stone who is (I assume still is) one helluva guy as well as one helluva doctor.

I kept my EMT certification up for a while after working at Grady and worked medical staff at Road Atlanta for a number of years.

I figure everybody who was doing lights and siren back in those days has long since run out of back, or brain, or both by now.

Oddly enough, I've ended up doing mission-critical midrange computing for a large clinical testing firm, having done another stint at Big Pharma doing the same.

No lights and sirens, but what we do still affects people's lives (you don't want the computers to crash and lose your labs, do you?)

M said...

No educated, well written comment here.

Professional's ass, I would not have been able to resist.

William said...

Looked him up this morning.

Dr. Stone passed away last November. R.I.P.

William said...

Jeff, I don't know if you do Facebook, but there's a Grady EMS group there:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=59448481334&ref=mf

DW said...

DW: Thinks about Grand Babies, sharpens knives, wait, dulls knives, thinks of unsavory things in technicolor.

WooleyBugger said...

This post really has my blood boiling, seems to me that our back-ass-wards laws do more to protect the Molesters than the victims.

If you had gone tempoarily insane on this guy and beaten him to a pulp, the court would probably side with you but the media would grab it, make it all about him and you and the poor child would be forgotten in the eyes of the news. No, you did what was the best thing however tough it was. What you did took a hell of a restraint and I must say I'm glad you were there for the victim.

LadyJtalks said...

Just saw this through BACA nation site and I could not say that I could be professional either at that moment. Your's is a job that you deserve all the respect in the world for. Thank you for being there for one of us and I hope this wee child will heal faster for having the help gotten to her at this age rather then at 25 or 35 as most of us my age finally found help. LadyJ