Copyright 2014, Jules A. Staats; Library of Congress, USA.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. This work may be previewed only.


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"And you, you think….?”


          Jay was now starting his first eight hours as the early morning station Jailer. 


          He definitely was not a happy Deputy Sheriff as he sat at his desk.  The Sheriff's station was greeting and housing the many new visitors to the station jail on the Early Morning Shift as various police officers brought in their intoxicated arrestees.  Early morning or Graveyard is the shift that works between midnight and eight A.M.  He was breaking in to his first day of this graveyard duty.  Having been previously assigned to day shift for over a year, he was not used to working these hours.   


          It was not an easy assignment.  His rank as a Deputy IV, (Two Corporal stripes) along with 18 years on the force, qualified him for this task.  It was a difficult duty with great responsibility.  A Station Jailer had to handle the many potential violent outbursts of newly arrested and booked prisoners.  However, the Jailer had to keenly observe and react to many medical problems that were prevalent due to alcohol use, drug use and failing to take medications.  A considerable amount of people use the excuse of being in a jail to try to commit suicide.  Being a Jailer required a lot of understanding, intelligence, knowledge of criminal laws, police procedures, understanding of illness and sometimes-brute strength.  At one time, it was a preferred job, sought by old timers.  However with the now-heavy influx of drunk driving and drug related arrests, the job had tarnished.  Now, the assignment was plain drudgery due to the complex concept of housing persons who did not wish to take care of themselves.   It became a very dangerous job and there was always the possibility of serious injury, both to the jailer and the persons that were booked here.  Persons booked into jails have died from a combination or synergism of drugs, alcohol and adrenalin.  Then there was the Sudden Death syndrome where a stressed and impaired person could just die.  Huge lawsuits could result from the passing of a person in custody.  Jay had never had a death on his shift and he planned to keep it that way.


          It was 2:30 A.M.


          The deputy was sitting at his desk, eying the booking cage in front of him, with silent disgust.  There were fifteen men in there, all drunk, or under the strong influence of drugs, or both.  All of these persons had been brought in within a span of 15 minutes.  With no bookings completed yet, he had to wait for the paperwork to be submitted, forcing him to observe the noisy drunks.


          The “booking cage” as it was called, was an aptly descripted name.  It was a twelve by 12 foot room that resembled a cage, with stainless steel benches on one wall that were for seating.  There was no toilet.  At the front of the room there was a heavy mesh made out of crisscrossed 1/4 inch stainless steel wires.  There was a front door on the left, where prisoners entered and a heavy jail type solid door at the rear which led to the hallway to the cells of the station jail.


As he observed each person behind the wire mesh he thought; these people were presently acting more like animals than human beings.  The influence of drugs, alcohol, and who knows what else, degraded what were once men, into fools.  Some of the drunken men were throwing up on the floor and one was obviously filling his pants with feces.  It was a loud and smelly mass of unsavory humanity at its worst.


          Jay was feeling more and more depressed, as he fretted over his new assignment.  He glanced at the clock, and realized he had five and a half hours before this would finally be over for today.  Feeling some pity for himself and realizing he could use some sleep, he muttered under his breath:


          "Why me, Lord?"


          There were not less than six police officers from various agencies, who were booking their arrested persons.  On the outside of this booking room was a stainless steel counter which police officers used to complete the booking forms and inventory property taken from their prisoners during the arrest.  The police officers stood shoulder to shoulder at the screen as they attempted to obtain personal information from the arrestees.  The six of the arrested drunks and drunk drivers were also shoulder to shoulder, trying to understand the officers and give officers information for the booking process.  Most of the arrestees realized that as soon as the booking process was completed they could be taken back to the jail where they could use the toilet and sleep it off.


          Seven more prisoners had not been booked yet and were acting as this was another party to yell and have fun.  Some of these various persons were not arrested for driving a motor vehicle but were picked up for extreme intoxication and disorderly conduct.  This group who were under the influence of either drugs or alcohol or both was making enough noise to inhibit the general function of the booking process.


          Jay noticed that the increasing sounds of the officers and prisoners trying to communicate while side by side was becoming deafening.  The person, who designed such a booking system, had to be an idiot, Jay reflected.  However he knew that this sheriff’s station was constructed way before this present and massive influx of drunken individuals.  The designers of the station never planned for so many people to go to jail.  For that reason, the various drunks were to be later housed in a large benched holding cell with no beds, and released the next day when they were deemed sober.  A citation or promise to appear in the Municipal Court would be completed, acknowledged and signed by the violator.  No longer were drunks and drunk drivers transported downtown to the Los Angeles County Jail.


          The jailer observed what could be called an exceptional person in the crowd.  He was much worse than the rest.  It seems that this man was picked up for being under the influence of P.C.P. or Phencyclidine.  The street word for this drug was Angel Dust.  It is an animal tranquilizer that acts very strangely in a human.   The mere fact of this man being under the influence of this drug was a potential danger to anyone around him.


          The P.C.P. drug had taken firm hold of the man's personality.  This substance is somewhat popular to this day, due to the fact that it will completely black out the user.  In other words, taking this drug can be like experiencing death itself.  It is a complete escape from reality as the so-called lights go out!  The only problem is, maybe the lights are out, but somebody is still home.  The end result is that the body wanders about, controlled solely by the subconscious mind.  With the PCP drug invading a person, anything can happen.  Many police officers have found out the hard way to not try to enrage or even confront a person under this Horse Tranquilizer.  Horrible things can happen, as the user can become a person with unbelievable super strength.  He can absorb police bullets, be struck with a police nightstick, and keep on coming.  There are numerous documented cases of a person under the influence of this drug becoming some police officer's worst nightmare.


          The man possessed by this drug was a thin, white man, with red hair.  His eyes darted back and forth, as he shouted obscenities, his voice even louder than the others in the booking cage.  His loud expressions started to grate against Jay's composure.  The shouting was preventing the officers and bookings from hearing each other.  There were a lot of loud questions and counter questions going on.


          As none of the screaming men in the booking cage were completely booked yet, so the din and cry must go on.  Then the man on the PCP drug started to try to climb the cage screen and on top of other prisoners like a monkey, screaming even louder, shouting even more obscenities.


          Jay looked at this madman, and then muttered softly under his breath, "Yeah, pal, I know you are now working for the devil at this moment, and I am not impressed."


          There was no way in the physical world, where this madman could hear such mumbling, but he somehow exactly understood what the Jailer had just said.




          Jay turned his eyes back to the madman where the sound came from.  The madman was looking right at Jay, with red, hateful eyes.  His eyes looked altered and almost not human.


          "You!" The madman repeated again.


          Jay crossed his arms, leaning back in his desk chair, facing the booking cage, paying momentary attention.


          "You think that your Jesus Christ will win?"  The madman pointed, being able to scream louder than anyone else there.  "We will win!"


          Jay was stunned.  He felt that he was being spoken to by the devil himself. 


          He was completely unprepared for a verbal assault from a possibly supernaturally possessed person.  He paused in a moment of inaction while experiencing a brief feeling of shock and amazement.  He realized that there was nothing he really could do to this crazy person.  It was probably the drug talking and the best thing he could do was just ignore this outburst.  Still, the evil gaze from this wild man was unnerving and he found his inner feelings could not just ignore this verbal attack.  He had no good response to the man’s screamed statement.  Jay then felt he received a suggestion so he stopped and said a short prayer an instant for strength, and then walked up to the madman in the booking cage.  For some very strange reason this entire incident was being ignored by the officers on either side.  It was as if time was standing still.  This confrontation was going to be between the two of them only.  Nobody else seemed to even exist in this point of time.


          Jay spoke in a steady and strong voice, but not loudly, "No the Lord, Jesus Christ will win this battle, because it is already written!"  He then wondered where he formed these words, but they just flowed from his mouth.


          That was it.  Jay said no more.  The madman resembled a deflating balloon and was no longer mad; he slouched, walked backwards, sitting down on the bench seat behind him with his head in his hands.


          The arresting deputy of the madman returned to the booking cage, having secured the authorization to book this unidentified person as a John Doe for now. 


          "Let's take him back to a cell, right now."  Jay suggested. He did not want to place this person in the general population of the Drunk Holding Cell.


          There was absolutely no problem moving the prisoner from the booking cage to a private jail cell.  The once mad person meekly complied, and silently walked back to his new residence for the night.  It is not completely clear what actually did happen that night.  Perhaps the man was actually possessed by some evil spirit, as the drugs took control of the man’s personality.  Perhaps it was the simple but powerful strength of Jay's quiet response while he had supernatural backup behind him.  There is an absolute truth that will be someday fulfilled and even the devil himself knows that a day will eventually come where he will lose the thousands of year’s battle to destroy the human creations of God.  For one of them to be reminded of their doom may have caused the release of the control of this dangerously drugged person.

          Jay never had the opportunity to talk to this man who remained quiet during the subsequent 20 minute jail welfare checks.  He never saw this man again.


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