Nightwatch detective actually enthusiastic about responding to major crime
QUEENS – Breaking with a decades long tradition, a detective assigned to Nightwatch was genuinely excited about responding to a major crime, The Hairbag has learned.
According to Police Officer Andy Cheung, the incident occurred well into the late tour in the confines of the 117th Precinct in Southeast Queens. “We responded to this gunpoint robbery where the victim had been pistol whipped. It was a real bad scene,” recalled Cheung.
“When the boss told me to give Nightwatch a call, I had to mentally prepare myself. I fully expected to fight tooth-and-nail to get a name for the complaint report, as I always have in the past. But then, the craziest thing happened. I dialed the number, and someone answered on the first ring. My parter, a real old timer, said he’s never seen that happen in his 25 years on patrol. I figured maybe they thought I was the takeout they had just ordered.”
What happened next sent shockwaves throughout midnight platoons citywide as Cheung, who sensed he was on the brink of something major, listened in as Detective William Douglas not only asked about the incident, but did so respectfully and with genuine interest.
“I couldn’t believe it. He talked to me like a colleague, an equal. Then, he asked about the crime, and what information we had. I thought I might have had the wrong number, but then he gave me his name without hesitation and said he’d be on scene as soon as possible. In that moment, I knew I was a part of something bigger than myself,” said Cheung, wiping a lone tear from his cheek.
Moments later, Detective Douglas arrived on scene and, in continuing his odd pattern of behavior, interviewed the complainant, canvassed for video, and completed routine investigatory steps.
“I want to make sure I covered the initial bases, so the squad guys at least have something to go on tomorrow,” said Douglas, as the patrol cops looked on with dropped jaws.
Indeed, the catching detective was shocked with what he saw on the his desk the next morning. “It’s like someone from the Detective Bureau was actually there conducting an investigation. I thought the other squad guys were playing a prank, but no. It was legit. I was in shock,” he said.
On that fateful night, truth had proven to be, in fact, stranger than fiction. Unfortunately for Detective Douglas, he was later transferred to a numbered squad in a bordering borough.
His colleagues determined he could no longer carry out his Nightwatch duties after breaking the unit’s cardinal rule by caring about his job.
We later reached out to Nightwatch for comment, but no one answered the phone until the third try, at which time someone just provided a random name and yelled, “notified.”
We can only assume it was back to business as usual.