May The Force Be With You – Part Seven

The Pride of Leading that First Patrol 

The story was told to me by the Chief Inspector, who at the time was posted to Special Branch. The story takes place in Kowloon City, shortly after the officer, whom we will call Simon, was assigned a PTU squad. 

Simon was proudly leading his squad through the streets of Kowloon City, a rough place back in the late 70s and early 80s, when they found themselves crossing the road. At the traffic island in the middle of the road, the squad halted, waiting for the lights to change in their favour. At that moment a young Chinese man started across from the opposite side. Upon finding himself confronted with a PTU squad he did an abrupt about-face and ran, at great speed, in the opposite direction. 

Simon recognised, or thought he recognised, the speed of the young man’s flight as that of a criminal escaping and immediately gave chase. It never occurred to him that his squad would not immediately follow their gallant officer. What Simon did not realise was that: a) his sergeant recognised the ‘culprit’ as an unemployed and rather simple-minded local boy, and b), knew that there was nowhere for him to escape, as the alleyway he had chosen to run into was a dead end. Simon however had the scent of blood in his nostrils and was determined to bring this villain to justice. 

Simon managed to bring the culprit to the ground with a heroic rugby tackle, picked him up, hurled him against a fence and handcuffed him. Simon was dismayed to find that his squad was only then arriving on the scene at a leisurely pace. Simon then handed over the culprit to the sergeant for ‘questioning’. They retrieved his Hong Kong Identity card and radioed it in for processing. There were no outstanding warrants. Perhaps he was carrying stolen goods? A check of his pockets revealed only a few dollars. There was nothing to indicate that this fellow was a felon; why then had he run? 

The sergeant questioned him at length. He had run, quite simply, because he saw a foreigner, a ‘Gwai Lo’ officer in charge of a PTU squad, and decided that discretion was the better part of valour. He had done nothing wrong but had run because of his fear, inbred perhaps, of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. 

At this point, Simon noticed the wounds that the young man had suffered during his apprehension and accusations of ‘police harassment’ sprang to mind. Once again the sergeant showed a higher degree of training than his erstwhile officer. He brought out his report book and in Chinese characters wrote the words, ‘I have no complaints about how I have been treated.’ 

The young man signed it and was allowed to go on his way. And unfortunately, Simon was allowed to continue on his way to even greater errors.  Please have a look at The Perils of Stardom coming soon.

Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2007 – Not For Publication

Published by stewartgoeswalkies

Happily married man to a wonderful lady. Living in Hong Kong. In my younger days I enjoyed hiking, camping and rock climbing. I've trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Mt. Kinabalu in East Malaysia.

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