Gorillas, Swords and Marijuana Don’t Mix
A few months into my career, while working the night shift with Sergeant Spears, we stopped at Shop & Go for a cup of coffee.
As we left, an extremely distraught young woman, named Tiffany, waylaid us. She lived thirty miles away and had received a disturbing call from her boyfriend Jared. He wanted her to pick him up in Small Town but wasn’t sure of his location. Jared also claimed he was being chased by someone with a sword.
Tiffany handed her cell phone to Sgt. Spears and after a few minutes of coaxing, Jared was able to describe his surroundings. We left Tiffany at the store and went in search of our nineteen-year-old.
We approached the area slowly, keeping our eyes peeled for a sword wielding bad guy as well as Jared. A young man scrambled out of some bushes and began waving his arms and running towards our vehicle. I have never seen anyone as terrified as Jared. It took a bit of persuading but we finally got his story.
Jared was visiting a friend and decided to step outside and smoke a cigarette. Out of nowhere a huge growling gorilla ran at him waving a sword. Jared ran for his life. After he lost sight of the gorilla, he was too afraid to return to his friend’s home so called his girlfriend for a ride.
Sgt. Spears looked at me. I was fighting to keep a straight face and had to look away. After questioning Jared further, he admitted to smoking marijuana with his friend. We called emergency services and had him checked out. The only lasting side effects seemed to be a lower than normal blood pressure and a high pulse rate. The medical personnel agreed Jared had probably smoked some weed laced with a hallucinogen. After Jared was cleared, he was sent back home with his girlfriend and told rather sternly, by Sgt. Spears, to stay out of Small Town. Jared assured us he would never return but more importantly he would never smoke marijuana again.
I truly hoped that Jared kept his word but the story continued…
Two years later, we executed a search warrant at the home of a local methamphetamine dealer. As luck would have it, the house was located about half a block from Jared’s nightmare though I didn’t connect the two events at the time.
I was in position three on the entry team and my job was to clear the first and second bedrooms on the right side of the hallway. Once the front door opened, things progressed quickly. I had studied the layout of the house and I went to my assigned rooms with gun in hand. I entered the first bedroom, did a sweep and yelled clear as I turned and entered the next room.
A queen size mattress was on the floor and a closed closet door was to my left. Standing slightly to the side, I threw open the door.
Filling the four foot space was a huge fur covered monster that came within an inch of its non-life of being shot. I let out a terrified shriek, and then a relieved, “Oh shit,” as I realized I was staring at a life sized mannequin wearing a gorilla suit.
The “All clear,” was being given around the house as I yelled clear.” I couldn’t take my eyes off the Neanderthal. To my utter dismay I noticed a three foot ceremonial sword propped against the back corner of the closet.
I took a picture using my cell phone and sent it to Sgt. Spears. He arrived ten minutes later to see for himself. Our grins turned into full out laughter.
We never called Jared to see if he wanted to press charges. We figured in light of his misguided adventures he may have turned over a new leaf and we didn’t want to send him on a path down the marijuana highway again. Our drug dealer was a prohibited weapons possessor so we confiscated the sword. There was enough methamphetamine in the home to send him to prison. He is now enjoying years of reflection, compliments of the State of Arizona.
Jared was never heard from again but I can’t help but wonder if he will use his adventures to scare his own children away from drug experimentation.
I also learned a valuable lesson; no matter how outlandish the story, it is possibly true.