The apartment was in darkness when I went in, holding a flashlight in one hand and my sidearm in the other. As I quietly stepped up the stairs another, off duty, member, who lived a couple of doors down, reached past me and turned on the lights. Okay, that made a lot more sense than a flash light but, um, I didn't know where the switch was.
The first thing that struck me was how very neat the apartment was. Far neater than any other apartment where there had just been a party held. But there was a vacuum at the top of the stairs, so I thought "Well, maybe someone cleaned up while we were on our way here". I continued to search the apartment, even though it was clear that there had been no party there, after all this was where people saw them run into. Nothing, there was no one hiding in the apartment.
Regrouping, my attention turned to the other apartment that shared a common entranceway. Logic told me that if two people ran in here, and they weren't in one apartment they were in the other. I pounded on the door, and it soon swung open. When I explained what was going on to the guy in the bathrobe who answered he said that he was alone in the apartment. So I asked if he minded if I had a look around and his eyes darted to the inside. Well, he wasn't really alone, he explained. He added that there was one other person in the apartment and that although he had just met her, she had been there all night, since the bar closed.
But he let me in, and there were no men with knives, just a trail of clothing that led to the bedroom and a young woman with the covers pulled up to her eyes. Apologizing I went back outside to regroup, while Rob returned to my side of the complex.
Turning to some people in the crowd that I knew, I told them that there was no way that there had been a party in unit #21. They looked at me quizzingly. Unit 21? The party had been in Unit #6. I had kicked in a door, a very expensive looking door, to an apartment that not only had nothing to do with the incident, but was some fifteen apartments away from where the initial action took place. Was I going to make my bosses day.
As Rob got back we sat in the car to plan our next move, whether to continue to search or to stop and take some statements or some combination. As I sat down a voice behind me asked "Can I go to the bathroom?". I nearly jumped out of my skin, for I had forgotten all about drunken beatup guy in the back. We thought we had better get him to the hospital.
At this point, people ran up to the car to point out the two suspects, who had come out of another apartment and were now walking up the parking lot. We quickly caught up to them and despite the chaos they had caused earlier we arrested them without incident. The knife was no where to be found as they had ditched it. We quickly took our beatup friend to the hospital, then returned to the office where the two suspects were lodged on several assault and weapons charges.
We were just getting the paperwork going when dayshift arrived at 7 am. It wasn't the end of our night yet though. Shortly after 7 am another call came in that we rushed off to, getting there before dayshift could. This call? Just a guy with an ax, smashing his way through the door of a house to try and get the guy inside (a case of mistaken identity). I ended my night running through the bush and taking down the fellow at the point of a gun. That was going to be easier on the Staff Sergeant than the door.