On Tuesday, Susan Johnson, a reporter for the Daily News, overheard the Sheriff talking about Carl’s arrest.
Locals gathered at the 49er Diner for morning coffee, pancakes and gossip. Susan came every morning hoping for moments just like this one: Sheriff Hanson roll-playing an arrest for the two other deputies at his table.
“So I get there and say, ‘Okay, Carl it’s time to go’ and he says, ‘Its my land and I ain’t movin’” So I say it one more time and this time I put my hand on my peacemaker like this,” the Sheriff moved his right hand to his side with his elbow out.
“Is this Carl Pense? The kid whose parents died in that swimming accident a few years ago?” the taller deputy asked.
“Suicide you mean,” the Sheriff said.
“You think it was a suicide?” the fat deputy cut in.
“Of course it was a suicide, Mills, who goes swimming in the ocean in November, two days after they update their wills and life insurance? Couldn’t prove it though. Pretty slick if you think about it.
“Anyway, I says to Carl, ‘Le’s go. Time to go Carl’ and the little bastard says, ‘You gonna shoot me?’ and I says, ‘Well, we wouldn’t have to move you far afterwards.’” The sheriff paused allowing the deputies’ laughter to die. “So I reach around and get my cuffs and say, ‘Carl you are under arrest,’ and the bastard doesn’t move. He just sits there wrapped up in his blanket like a baby and pulls his arms in tighter like this.”
Susan Johnson already had her notepad out and was jotting down details.
“So I move in for the kill. I got my cuffs in one hand and I can’t grab his arm because he’s all wrapped up in this damn blanket. He just kinda worms around in his chair and I try to grab him until I slip and come falling down on him just smashing his beach chair and landing right on top of him. I think I knocked the wind out of ‘em.”
“I’ll bet,” the tall deputy laughed.
“Is that a fat joke, Wallace?”
“No sir, no sir. I just meant with his arms all tucked in he couldn’t probably keep you from landing on him.”
“Yeah, sure,” he Sheriff gave Wallace a cold look. “So anyway, we start rolling around right there on his land, he starts yelling, ‘This is my land. You can’t do this.’ And then he starts bawling. I wasn’t sure if he was bawling ‘cause he was hurt or if he was just being a baby.”
“Just being a baby,” Mills said shaking his head.
“It was his chair. He was crying because I broke his chair. He’s like, ‘You broke my chair. You broke my chair.’ I damn near died laughing. But he went to wipe his tears with his hand and I grabbed his damn arm and nearly twisted it off. Then he starts crying about being hurt, ‘You’re hurtin’ my arm. You’re hurtin’ my arm.’ So I get him twisted around face down and cuff him and shove him in the back of the cruiser. When it was all over I looked like I had been in a real to-do. My shirt was all untucked, hair was a mess and I had grass stains all over my pants. I could just imagine what the little woman was going to say when she saw my uniform.”
Susan Johnson had heard enough; she paid the waitress and went to the office.