He had the normal 'one for the road' with the owner, Manny Blum, a friend of years and years, and then he headed outside. He'd parked the detective car out on the road and walked across their lot to get to the bar at 'Manny's Home Place'. (It frequently made them, he and Manny, laugh at the thought of 'home place' but Manny was stubborn about the name of his establishment, upscale eating and a pleasant bar. He even provided valet service for his customers.) It was after his normal night cap with his pal Manny that Charlie, Detective Lieutenant Charlie DiAngelo was out approaching the parking lot.
He noticed, as he was on his way to the lot, that the valets were standing around, a fairly empty lot and talking and laughing. He also noticed them pass around a bottle that they were drinking from.
Then one of the lower doors of Manny's opened and a fairly tall, afro american woman, mid thirties looking to Charlie, emerged.
"It's Shauna!" one of the valets cried out.
"Blow job time!" another sang out.
The woman, Shauna, apparently, ignored their taunts. That was all that they needed. They closed in, not seeing Charlie and, even if they'd seen him, after imbibing their courage, they wouldn't have bothered about him.
They moved quickly and had her surrounded in a ring, continuing their taunts, about Shauna's blow jobs and general nonsense.
"Leave me alone!" the woman said, with barely controlled fury.
"Why, Shauna," one voice said, "You know as well as we do that you want to get on your knees and service us. It's what you do!"
She pushed past the speaker in a rage then but he pulled her back by the collar of her blouse. That was all that Charlie needed.
(Maybe a word at this point might be helpful. Charlie DiAngelo was raised by a strict Italian Momma who, from the earliest possible time in his life, impressed on him the need to be polite and especially protect women. His Momma had had a good effect on Charlie. He was never one to put up with rudeness or any hassles to women. As a matter of fact, he'd moved one of the detectives out of his squad, when he caught him being snotty and mouthy to the new woman detective, Jane Rollins. He just wasn't going to put up with that, not in general and certainly not in his own squad. So, from that point of view, Charlie DiAngelo was the right man at the right time.)
He moved with a speed that the valets probably wouldn't have believed, had they been watching, and he was over to where the circle of the valets were still pushing the woman and making their comments. Charlie simply picked the biggest of the valets for his first target and as he got to where they were hassling the woman, punched the kid in the kidneys. The kid let out a yell and went down on a knee, but Charlie wasn't finished yet. He proceeded to wade into the rest of the group of guys, who had, by now, forgotten about Shauna and were intent on this new 'danger/interruption'.
There were five of them originally. The one that Charlie had hit was still on the ground, and, as he waded into them, two more were on the ground quickly. One of the others backed away with his hands held out but the last, the smallest of the group, was grinning at Charlie and said:
"What you want, Mr Tai Chi?" As he said this, he slipped a knife out of his pocket and his grin got more evil.
The woman, Shauna Blain, standing aside and watching all of this, at first with wide eyes, and increasingly with a certain amount of pleasure, let out a gasp, when she saw the knife.
Charlie spoke then, and as he spoke, he pushed his coat aside in one direction, showing his detective's badge, and sweeping the coat to the other side, showing his gun. "Didn't you see the damn movie, crap whit? You never bring a knife to a gun party."
Then Charlie had the gun out and the kid was staring at Charlie and the loaded gun with a sick look on his face.
"You get to choose!" Charlie said, "Either we dance or we don't, and if we dance, you can even call the first limb that you'll lose: right knee, left knee, right elbow, left elbow. You can choose!"
"No, please!" a voice said and it was Shauna, standing over to the side.
"You're lucky, kid!" Charlie said, staring the young man down. "Here's what we're going to do with you and all your fellow creeps. It's up to the lady. If she says that she wants you all arrested for aggravated assault, then that's what happens. She already put a damp on any further violence, luckily enough for you."
Their heads moved at that point, and all of them were looking at Shauna.
She turned to Charlie and said: "No, I don't want them in trouble. I just want them to act more responsibly. We don't need to take this any further at all."
There were looks of absolute relief on all the faces, even the one that had the knife. Charlie smiled at her and put his gun away. The kid had already put his knife away.
"You realize, all of you, that the only reason that you're not going to the station to be booked and put into the cells over night is that this lovely woman doesn't want that!"
They shook their heads 'yes' and most of them glanced at Shauna, after they did so.
"I am a friend of Manny's from way back in the old neighborhood," Charlie went on, "But because of the lovely lady, I'm not going to talk to him about this and get you fired. I'm not even going to take a moment to check the legality of your status. Got that?"
"Yes, officer!" one of them said, managing finally to emerge from the fog of their fear to respond correctly.
"But I will not have you hassling people, especially women! You were that close to criminal assault, and it would stick, if the lovely lady wanted to press charges. Do you understand?" he demanded next.
(There was an unseen, small smile on Shauna's face, as the big cop again referred to her as 'the lovely lady'. She worked to suppress it.)
He got many more 'yes officers' from them about that.
"My Momma always told me, that when I think of the possibility of being nasty to a woman, I should think of someone doing that, being that way to my sister. It always stopped me. But there'll be no more of this crap! And that had better be clear."
He nodded to them, and they went back to the small shack at the far edge of the lot where they kept their stuff. They were essentially done for the night.
As they were leaving, Charlie called after them: "All of you, go to this woman and apologize and thank her, each individually!"
They didn't hesitate. All of them went to Shauna and gave an apology and then thanked her. Then they left. It left Charlie and Shauna standing in the lot. She walked toward him and was grinning: "Protect and serve!" she said, using the police motto.
"Something like that!" he said.
"The part about your Momma," she said then, "True or just for effect?"
"True!" he said, "If Momma ever caught me being mouthy to a woman, she'd kick my butt!"
He smiled, when he said it and Shauna giggled.
She stuck out her hand then and said: "Shauna Blain".
"Charlie DiAngelo," he said.
"Officer Charlie DiAngelo?" she asked next.
"Actually it's Lieutenant Charlie DiAngelo," he said.
"Oh, help from the brass," she said.
"Yep!" was his answer.
"Well, Lieutenant Charlie DiAngelo, I want to thank you for helping me out here. They get frisky and I think had been drinking tonight. I hope that it'll kind of teach them a lesson and help them to stay out of trouble," she said.
"I'll make it my business to stop by now and again to see them and talk to them just a little and see if I can't persuade them to straighten out," he explained.
"Very nice of you," she said.
"Just protecting and serving," was his reply and they both laughed.
"May I please walk you to your car?" he asked softly.
"Yes, you may, Detective!" she said, "It will be so marvelous to feel safe and secure, especially after that little incident.
"It's impressive that you went to bat for them, uh ... Ms..." he began and faltered a little.
"Shauna!" she said.
"Yes, Shauna," he echoed, "But it was nice that you stuck up for them. I hope they realize it."
"We'll see," she said, as they walked along to her car.
When they were at her car, he said: "I'll say 'good night' now."
"First," she said, "Here's part of my thank you!" With that she moved to him and pulled him into a hug.
He was surprised and pleased by it, by the texture of how she felt plastered against him in the hug. It left him grinning.
"Hold that thought, Lieutenant!" she said, as though reading his mind, and kissing his cheek, she got into her car.
He went to his Momma's apartment, on his way home.
(A few years earlier, his Momma, Angelina, and a few of her friends, 'girlfriends' she always called them, had gotten apartments in the same new building. It was, in fact, Charlie's building, which his Momma and Poppa had bought as an investment and had given to him as a gift, when he made Lieutenant. The place was new and sparkling; it had great new features, and provided Charlie with more monthly income than he could really handle. She'd wanted the apartment and had given Charlie the big house to live where he resided, essentially using it as his bachelor pad.)
He rang the bell and she buzzed him in.
"Hey, Momma!" he said at the door, hugging and cheek kissing the petite, woman, over whom he towered.
"Charlie my big, brave cop!" she said with great pleasure.
(Both his Momma and Poppa had been proud of Charlie being a policeman, and had sincerely enjoyed his progress through the ranks.)
.... There is more of this story ...