When we got to the apartments there was a small crowd gathered near one end of the complex. As I got out a young man named Darren ran up to me, holding his hand. "Kines, this guy stabbed me" were the first words out of his mouth as he thrust his wounded hand in my face so I could see. Darren, who would be murdered within a year, then told me that after the first victim had jumped out the window, the tall stranger had been waving the knife around threatening others. Outside, Darren grabbed a golf club and tried to knock the knife from his hand. Darren missed, the other fellow did not. Darren also said that the knife wielding assailant, along with a friend of his, had beaten another fellow with a 2X4 once the party spilled outside.
When I asked where the guy was several people in the crowd, and Darren, all pointed in the general direction of one of the entrance ways and said inside. When I asked the apartment, someone suggested #21, and then everyone chimed in #21. The way this particular building was designed there was a common entrance, or small porch, for every two or three apartments. I opened the door and inside were entrances for two apartments #21 and #22. Rob went around to the other side in case the suspect, who by our count had made four assaults with a weapon (beer bottle to the head, chasing our initial victim with the knife, Darren, and the guy with the 2X4) fled that way.
My sidearm was already out when I knocked on the door and announced that it was the police. There was no response. I tried the door but it was locked. Listening carefully at the door, I thought I could hear music, a radio or something, and perhaps someone moving about. When I didn't get a response the second time I hammered on the door, I called Rob and told him I was kicking in the door. The radio crackled back "Do it."
When it comes time to kicking in a door, you never know what you've got. These days, many doors, and more importantly their frames, seem pretty flimsy and one well placed kick will get you in. Other doors are sturdier, and occasionally a fortified door is found. I remember one door in Thompson, at the home of a bootlegger, which had 4X4 bracing top, bottom and middle. An entry team with a battering ram had to literally knock a hole through the door to get inside to execute a search warrant. This door? This door was a solid door.
I was a little surprised when my first kick at the door produced no results. It moved a little, but man that door was solid. I continued to kick it with my best effort, and finally after three or four kicks it gave way. The door was a solid core door, laminated on both sides with a formica like surface, and it had a good dead bolt. I put a lot into that door, and when it gave way, it was spectacular. The dead bolt snapped off, and an entire piece of the door, about six inches wide and two feet long broke off. There was a really good frame on this door.
The other thing about kicking in doors is that you rarely know what lies on the other side of it. I was surprised at what I found waiting for me inside.
To be continued...