Sharky the Regular Escape Artist*
Sharky was a regular escape artist, and the first time we got the call to look for him the radio operator on our van said: “VKC St. Kilda 203 we have an escaped mental patient known as “Sharky” in the vicinity of Grey Street and Fitzroy Street. Approach with caution. He is known to be extremely violent.”
I picked up the mouthpiece and answered the radio call: “Roger that VKC. Anything else to help us identify?”
The radio operator chuckled, and said, “Yeah he has two tattoos of sharks on his face.”
We found him soon after on Grey street and approached him tentatively.
“Hi Sharky, how are you doing?” I said.
Sharky hopped into the back of our divisional van without a peep, docile and quiet as a mouse. Senior Constable Jones and I looked at each other, and agreed, “Well that was easy.”
On the drive out to Larundel, he banged about in the back of the van, and we kept calling to him: “Sharky, you’re going to hurt yourself if you don’t sit still,” to no avail.
Once we got to Larundel and got him out of the van, he was docile again, and didn’t seem to have any visible injuries from banging around in the back.
The process on arrival at Larundal Hospital was you enter the lobby and report to the reception desk, then the receptionist notifies the appropriate doctor to come get the patient. Senior Constable Jones and I sat on an L-shaped lounge, and Sharky, sat quietly between us.
I was feeling a little uncomfortable already because a man, a few minutes earlier, introduced himself, “Hello I’m Doctor Smith.” Before I could shake his outstretched hand, the Receptionist leaned out of her window and called out: “Fred, get back to your room and leave the nice police officers alone.”
A few moments later another man came and sat next to me and spoke in a whisper, I had to lean in to him very close to hear him.
“Hello how are you?” I answered politely.
Sharky stared ahead blankly, and Senior Constable Jones just grinned.
The man then whispered again, “You know I always wanted to be a cop.”
I answered “Oh that’s nice.”
He whispered something else and as I leaned in to be able to hear him, he screamed at the top of his lungs: “So I could say “FREEZE YOU MOTHERFUCKER!”
My partner and I jumped up in fright, then began laughing at the shock as Sharky just sat there nonchalantly.
A few weeks later they changed this protocol of delivery after a patient grabbed a cop’s gun as he sat on the couch, and then shot himself right in front of the cop.
*This is an excerpt from Sex, Love & Cops.
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