Day of the Arrest
July 26, 2007:
This day began just as poorly as the previous one ended, however; I was determined not to allow the events to upset us. I solemnly went about fixing Savannah’s breakfast and brewing a pot of Gevalia’s smooth, dark roasted coffee. The aroma was like a wake-up perfume to me…I wish that scent could fill the air the daylong. But I digress…
The two of us sat at the small, round oak table. Savannah with her scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese (that was her favorite at the time), milk, toast and juice. Me, I had the usual cup of coffee, rich, and flavorful. My computer was on and resting on the table as I began earnestly trying to figure out what was happening.
I took a deep breath and told myself to relax and go through each file systematically. I began changing passwords to Internet sites that I’d visited. This morning I became concerned, really concerned because after what happened yesterday I realized that I had not been imagining what was going on. Up to that point because my short-term memory is so bad, I assumed that I was the one misplacing the files and putting them in all the wrong places.
Yesterday it became clear that it was not me slowly losing my mind, but some evildoer, and I knew who it was all too well – Dang! Why else would her file be the only one with nothing in it? She deleted the innards just as she had deleted all things implicating her such as text she’d sent to my cell phone.
I had very innocently left her alone one time when she brought Savannah home from their time together. I remember telling myself to bring the phone with me so that she wouldn’t do what she did; but because of that head-injury my insight is gone along with her condemning words that would have removed any validity to anything she said. Now I had no proof about what she said to me, and so it goes.
I recall asking why she had done that and she said, “Just freeing up your memory on your phone…I did it for you and thought you’d be happy.”
That scenario occurred at a time before asking the courts for child support but soon after, my hand had been forced because she did not give me any help with groceries or medical as she had promised. The paperwork was filed.
Then too another, perhaps bigger reason, was because Dang had phoned me from her friend’s place in New York and told me of her, scheme to charge things on the credit card and not pay for them, and then file for bankruptcy.
“If I do that your government will send me home and it won’t cost me a dime.” After my trying to convince her of how wrong that was she replied, “You did it.”
True enough, I had done it but it was nothing to be proud of, and the reason was different from hers’. I was in a nearly fatal car accident and the first wife was named my guardian. She took everything from me, but what she did was legal, though morally bankrupt. Connie took cars, house, credit cards, bank accounts, joint IRA’s everything including the large initial payout from social security and the smaller first check I received from them.
“I had no choice. I never filed as long as I was working but that is no excuse; I just have to learn to live on less.”
Anyway, Dang went to Hawaii and the same day that she returned, came to my house, not to see her daughter but to ask me to pay for her trip – “Really,” I asked out loud? “I can’t do that or did you forget that my income has to support Savannah and myself? Besides, I would not pay for any trip you take with your boyfriend – am I an idiot?” Well, don’t answer that because I now realize how stupid I’ve been.
And then I invited her to have lunch with us. She gladly accepted and so I created a delicious salmon dinner, which calmed the atmosphere. “I’ve had to learn to cook since we’ve been apart.”
But seeing as I refused to pay for her trip she began constantly spying and taking detailed notes on me and unknowingly, my computer.
One time she sneakily returned our daughter who was sleeping and rather than wake the little angel I had Dang carry Savannah right upstairs to her bedroom. Dang did not return so I assumed that she was lying with our daughter and fell asleep, how naïve.
After about forty-five minutes of total quiet I softly on the carpeted steps made my way up the stairs to check Savannah.
I did not make it to her room because when I reached the top I glanced to the left, at my room and there she was – Dang – sitting at my computer with pen and notebook in hand. “What’re you doing,” I asked.
Nonchalantly she answered and I should have known something was amiss because she never answered with a straight reply. Dang always answered with a question and that was one of the things that drove me nuts.
“Oh I forgot to get the addresses of a few of the businesses I owe money to,” Dang said. Again, I believed her.
She stayed up there a while longer and when she came down didn’t bother sitting and talking to me. Dang walked directly from the stairway to the kitchen.
She began opening the cupboards and threw out the comment, “ Wow, you have so many medications now, how come?”
She referred to my various eye drops and Advil and aspirin as medications.
“Get out of my cupboards and most of those are not medications; they are just eye drops and Advil for the occasional headache along with some Excedrin. Just ask me if you want to know if I’m on any meds.”
“Well are you,” she asked?
“No I’m not and haven’t been since you’ve been gone. Those are all over the counter purchases and most are Savannah’s.” Then what she did was meant to make me jealous I think but it only confirmed in my mind what a little tramp she was.
“You know how you never liked “Thong” panties well that’s all I wear now and she pulled her white sweatpants down to expose her smooth and tight cheeks. Alric loves them and even bought me some to wear around on the days or nights we get together.”
Ok finally back to the day of my arrest, I was unable to get all the passwords changed before we had to leave for the dentist appointment. Particularly on what became the most misused, tainted and embarrassing site of all, Yahoo Messenger. I tried deleting the site, but could not so I added various user names so that maybe my identity would be hidden from her… “We have to go Savannah,” and out to the garage I limped, Savannah following closely.
We had a teeth-cleaning visit to the dentist and so we were only there about twenty minutes and as I allow or try to allow myself an hour per visit, we had plenty of time to kill. We left their office near 94 and White Bear Avenue and headed to Stillwater and Savannah’s pool therapy, but as we were early I thought I’d stop at Caribou Coffee near Courage Center and grab a cup to sip on while I watched her in their playroom off the main lobby.
We never should have made that ill-fated stop. I slowly and carefully carried the too full cup out to the car and set it on the roof while I opened the door. I picked up the cup and went to set it in the cup holder to the left of the steering wheel and for just a quarter of a second I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the rubber insert that would hold the cup in place was missing. I snatched the cup before it fell through. In so doing the coffee was spilled and I grumbled to myself. Next I set the cup in the middle console holder but for some reason it spilled again.
The swearing out loud began. “Savannah, I said, “I am so mad that I can’t go to the Courage Center right now! I need to go for a ride to calm down!”
The cussing of her mother poured forth without any force. I didn’t ever want to say anything negative about her mom, but was not able to think of a single good thing she’d done. “Why has she done this to me,” I angrily wondered out loud? I made sure Savannah’s seat was cinched in tightly and began driving willy-nilly through the streets of Stillwater and I drove right by the Courage Center at a high-speed, well, about 45 in a 30 MPH zone I am not sure exactly – I didn’t care about the speed limit and never checked the speedometer, but that little four-cylinder was at times whining.
I didn’t know where I was speeding to but my mind raced along at breakneck speed. At this point I yearned for the carefree days of the hospital. I tried but was unable to calm myself. Then as I drove the cross street of Dang’s place I noticed her car out front. Why does she constantly lie – she told me that she was working today!
I quickly drove around the block and pulled in front of her car and the thought of ramming it hard came into my thinking. I decided against that because Savannah might get hurt. So as I was ready to explode I nestled up to her bumper and gave a short shove as I lay on the horn.
I was concerned with what might happen so leaving all four windows open a couple of inches for air and parked under a tree, I locked Savannah in, got out of the car and called 911. Nothing had happened – yet – but I did not like being this angry. I knew that something might happen because my life had been disrupted in so many ways.
Can you imagine getting an instant message from one of your “friends” on Yahoo Messenger saying that her employer would not allow her to have conversations with you because of material that your username had floated to not only her, but her coworkers as well?
“You almost got me fired,” she exclaimed. I began typing as speedily as I could and tried to explain that my online identity had been stolen. She believed me because I had never sent any nude pictures ever and to all of a sudden get bombarded with them and her co-workers as well; it just didn’t make sense.
I went on to complain that I thought I knew who was responsible but could not prove it because she was left unattended while I took a shower. I forgot to take the cell phone with me into the bathroom and so she snatched it up and deleted all text messages from my phone that would have incriminated her for the computer sabotage and talk of kidnapping Savannah.
She had moved and renamed many files so I no longer recognized hardly any of what was on there. I remember helplessly watching files vanish from the screen and not able to keep up with their vanishing act, I threw the desktop on the floor that time because it had been rendered useless.
Another close Yahoo Messenger friend complained of the same thing happening to her and her co-workers. Apparently, Dang tarnished my name all over the web and on her brother’s site in London, as well.
Sabrina apologized to me for not remembering the name of that “Naughty” as she put it, website. “I should have written the address down but instead I deleted it immediately, sorry,” she said.
All of that filled my already broken mind. I became overwhelmed and that brings us to the day of – agony – July 26, 2007…
I got out of my car for better reception on the cell phone, I hoped.I thought hard about whether or not to even place the call but I did because I no longer trusted my instincts. At last 911 answered but they couldn’t make out what I was saying, nor could I understand them. I dialed Dang’s home phone and then her cell. Neither was answered. I called 911 again and though the reception seemed garbled I very slowly and clearly stated the address into the phone and told them they had better send someone and then I hung up.
I was uncoordinated and unbalanced even more than usual. No doubt a combination of my jerky movements while trying to hurry. I made my way to the shade covered four steps and raised my dead leg up quickly and angrily. Ambling my way to her door I banged and banged. No answer. I banged again just as loud – nothing! Then I banged and yelled her name – Dang! – Dang! – Dang! and each time a little louder. But it did no good. Nothing, no movement inside that I could tell and then just like that, my anger subsided.
A sense of calm came upon me and I turned. I took three steps toward the car because it was time to quit acting like this. But then, I heard the door open and Dang asked, “John?” I stopped, debated on whether-or-not to ignore and keep going but instead I turned and said, “Dang – yeah it’s me.”
“What do you want John?” She smilingly asked; Dang was almost laughing.
So, I turned from the car and went back to the door but as soon as I got there she shut it in my face. She enjoyed humiliating me. I pushed on it but she did not allow me in. My dead right side and weakened left side were no match for her strength.
Again, I turned to leave but her head peeked out the door and she asked, “Where are you going John?”
That was it! I turned and pushed on the door with everything I had and then she allowed me entrance because I was lying on her kitchen floor looking up at her standing in front of the refrigerator.
“Why are you doing this to me Dang? We got your petition to become a citizen passed; now you just need to wait. Didn’t I get you to this country and take you to your schooling and later on your job, every single day? I took care of you and your son in the Philippines for two years before bringing you here. You repaid that kindness by stealing my money, lying and cheating on me. Having everything go your way and feeling safe – you do this terrible thing to me? You don’t seem to care that I’m taking care of our daughter and that instead of helping you constantly heap more problems my way. You wouldn’t return to your land when you were supposed to. You are such a spoiled brat and you got your own way once again. You used to tell me that Romel was so childish and that was the reason he didn’t marry you, well I can see clearly who the childish one was.
“You told me of how you had not just one but two maids when you were a kid. Then you told me of how kind your parents were, though they didn’t have money, they adopted many children. You told me how those kids became your servants real nice! Well I’m fed up with you and can’t take anymore!”
Smiling she asked, “Are you going to hit me, John?”
Immediately I replied, “No – you’d like that because then you could have me arrested” and I began thinking as I grabbed her arms and pushed her onto the couch, of how her skin bruised at the slightest touch. She had a name for that but, I cannot remember what she called it.
I tried explaining the condition to Savannah’s doctor once, but was unable to do so. Savannah (11years old now) would bang into something as little kids go about their daily routines and she would bruise, thankfully, I’ve kept her mainly bruise free. A couple days ago she was at a park with her friend and she slid into the swing, well, what do you think? Not only a bruise but a little knot on her knee cap about the size of a dime, along with bruising.
She reached for the phone but I grabbed it and said, “Do you want to call 911…I already called them on my cell but maybe they couldn’t understand me because I sound like I’m drunk. I gave your address and told them to come out and then hung up.”
I threw the land line to her but thought it better if I called them again so when they answered I belligerently told the lady that I had phoned twice before on my cell but now I’m calling with a landline, so maybe you’ll understand. I am not drunk I had a head injury…the address is 666 S. William Street, now here is my ex-wife.” I flipped the phone to Dang and said, I’m going down to the car to check Savannah. She must be scared.”
I turned, kind of relieved, to be going to Savannah but when I turned I noticed all of Savannah’s things that had been missing including her bicycle and many clothes and stuffed animals and more stacked floor to ceiling in the corner of the kitchen. I once again became enraged because I had asked Dang many times if she knew where the things had disappeared to, but of course, she had no idea.
I took another step and flipped over the tiny table for two. I turned again and noticed the microwave I’d given her.
Knocked it off the shelf as I hollered, “So this is where Savannah’s things went! I’m going down to the car if the police come while I’m gone tell them that’s where I’ll be” and with that I stepped outside.
I don’t think I took four steps and a cop asked, “Where you going?”
“Just down to my car to be with my daughter,” I said as another cop blew right by me and entered her duplex.
“You sound like you’ve been drinking.”
“No,” I assured the cop, “I am disabled and part of the disability is when I get upset my speech becomes slurred and this arm (I slapped my right arm) sticks out like a bent flag. I haven’t even had a taste of alcohol in a couple years and then not much more than a taste.”
But a few more seconds passed (it seemed like seconds) the other cop came out of the house and hollered, “Arrest him!” As I was grabbed I said, “Fuck you” but not in an angry tone, rather in a joking way, (“Fuck you, ya’ gotta be kidding me.)” My poor insight struck again.I couldn’t believe they were serious because I was just walking and not fast; I am not able. It is odd, though, that they heard the “fuck you” which I did not shout, but when I was yelling about being disabled, the police neglected to hear.
Immediately the cop I was talking to tried getting my arms behind my back. I shouted to him that I was partially paralyzed and that my right arm would not go back. I could not see which cop it was but either the one that came from the house or the one who grabbed me shouted, “I’ll get it back” and he cranked it back. As two cops were holding me the one who had talked to my ex inside the house smashed his fist squarely on my cheek while yelling, “Resisting arrest!” Then all the policemen got really excited and so I said as loud as I was able – “I am not resisting arrest. I can’t, I am disabled. I am unable to run, hit, or kick. I don’t have any strength; how can I resist arrest?” I was completely ignored and became their punching and kicking bag.
After hearing my voice (I no doubt sounded very drunk by now because I had been shaken up pretty bad) the cop who hit me in the face hollered, “Get him down!” Two or more policemen pushed me until I was forcibly shoved down with my ribs and my chin taking the brunt of the smack-down. Because of my slowed reactions I was not able to break the fall with my arms. I recall how badly my chin hurt when it connected squarely with the concrete. They pushed on my head and knelt or pushed on my back as my chin was scraped along the rough, hard sidewalk. I told them, in agony, that they were scraping my chin but I now realize they intended to hurt me any way possible.
They brutally kept at me. At least one cop was still on my back and holding me tight while the words, “Resisting arrest” were screamed by different police officers every time I moved. I remember thinking, “How ridiculous” and that those words were only barked to justify what they were doing.
The cop who belted me in the face then blasted me in the ribs, twice, while being held down; it wasn’t even like he were taking revenge on me for every domestic assault he had ever been involved with. No – it was much more like he enjoyed it so much, having others hold me while he would up and unload and then scream, “Resisting arrest” so he could do it all again.
While on the ground in pain (internally because I didn’t want to give the slightest impression that I was being hurt by their repeated blows or throw downs or knee in the back or the punch to the head by a passing cop. Then I made the mistake of trying to cover my head. Yes a mistake because to do that I moved and of course that triggered a “Resisting arrest” response and their volley of blows began again. Yet another cop blasted me in the skull; I could not protect myself. I was subdued and handcuffed while attempting to go to my daughter. I wondered to myself, why all this drama? My right side being partially paralyzed I wasn’t really hurt by their punches
I asked the cop who had spoken with Dang, “Who’s gonna’ watch my daughter?” (I now knew they had to arrest me, otherwise they would look pretty silly.)
Not wanting to talk to me (he made that quite clear) and not looking at me while he was filling out paperwork on a clipboard he hurriedly said in a dismissive tone, “She’ll be placed with the mother or child protective services.” I recall pleading with them to let me go see her and not to place Savannah with her mother. “I want CPS to watch her – not her mom.” I have primary custody of her; can’t I say where she goes?
The police officer actually looked up at that moment and asked, “You have custody of her, why doesn’t the mother? It is normally the Mom who gets custody.” I did not have the time to put my thoughts in order and so just said, “I don’t know?” I didn’t need to say anything bad about her amoral mom because the situation needed to end and right then…I am exhausted and now because of going to Dang’s place and messing things up a bit, I will not see Savannah for a few days.
That same officer told the other cops mulling around that she had marks on her arms and was crying… “She’s scared; he threw things all over in there!”
I tried interceding that hers was an act. I was telling them that she normally beats me up, but of course I was ignored as being drunk because of my aphasia and slurring of speech. And all I meant was that she had the ability to stop me, but as Savannah later told me, Mommy trapped you; she did, starting from when she opened the door and sarcastically asked, “What’s wrong Steve?” Dang taunted and teased me up until I walked out the door for the last time. As I was leaving I heard her screaming. I turned and saw her yelling into the phone, while smiling at me. I finally realized that I could never match her tenacity or evil. In situations such as that the crazy person will always win out so it’s better to humble myself and not fret about the other person.
I was sitting in the backseat of the squad car handcuffed and complaining about those cuffs being too tight (“Sit on them” I was told) and moaning over the fact that they would not allow me to see my daughter. That must be the worst feeling in the world – one of not being able to soothe your child knowing how scared s/he must be. Dang by the way has stopped any and all contact with her daughter. Dang has abandoned Savanna just as she had, her son.
I was taken to the adult detention center in Stillwater and while signing in was given a “breathalyzer” test; all-the-while telling them, “I am not drunk! Part of my disability is my speech, the way I sound, and that cannot be helped.” A while later the guy came back and astonishingly said, “I don’t know what’s wrong…the test came back negative?” Angrily I retorted, “I’ve told you people that I am not drunk!”
The cop who took my statement said to me, “I’ve never seen a file so clean; you don’t even have a misdemeanor and you’re 53 years old.” He was astonished and so asked if I wanted to see a doctor, but I refused, thinking I would be let go sooner. (I honestly did not believe I would be spending the night, much less, four.) My mouth did not stop bleeding all the while I was in jail and my ribs were bruised and they hurt with every move.
I was brought before the judge on Friday the 27th of July the day after the arrest. This judge seemed to understand the situation. When the prosecutor said that Dang had asked that I not have any contact with her (that was fine) but no visitation with Savanna?
My stomach turned as I pleadingly looked at the public defender and she defused the situation immediately saying, “Your honor, there is no reason for visitation to stop. Mr. Albrect has raised Savanna since birth really. He has her in preschool where her teacher’s will attest to her improvement…”
Dang apparently had enough of child-raising, especially since Savannah is mildly autistic; during those four days because when I was released Dang gave Savannah back to me no questions asked. Through my continued one-on-one care and a stable, trusted home life, Savannah will begin kindergarten without a need for special education.