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Big Ed

Story ID:10524
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Schoharie New York USA
Year:1976
Person:Big Ed
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OurEcho Preface This post deals with a mature theme or contains explicit language. While the post is not extremely violent or pornographic, it does contain language or explore a subject matter that may offend some readers. If you do not wish to view posts that deal with mature themes, please exit this post.
Big Ed

BIG ED
By Fred Wickert


He was known among us as Big Ed, or to some, the Fat Cop. He was big and he did have a belly on him but it was not flab. He got loads of exercise and delighted in talking some of the other slimmer men to go hunting with him. At such times he walked them so much they were ready to drop with exhaustion but he was still raring to go.

Ed was from New Jersey. The state took his property to build a highway project. Thinking he could escape any of that in the future he and his wife and infant daughter moved to the Catskill Mountains in New York State. They bought a nearly new house they liked in the village of Schoharie which was the county seat. He sought a job at the Sherriff department and was promptly hired as a deputy.

Ed was a natural. He was a better cop instinctively than most were after years of training and experience. He was most of the time the deputy for the midnight shift, but for a variety of reasons often found himself working on the evening shift as well. He quickly became known all over the county and he also quickly came to know a lot of people in that county. He was friendly and was popular because of his personality.

Ed was also a practical joker. He could not resist an opportunity to play a gag on somebody. There was one deputy who was learning and rode with Ed a lot. His name was Chuck. Chuck was a bit smaller than most deputies. He was only about five foot six and went about 145 pounds. One night he was out with Ed and they came on an accident. While making sure nobody was hurt, Ed spotted an object that was in the wrecked car. He asked to look at it and was given consent. Ed picked it up and got it in the light where he could look at it. It turned out to be a home made boat anchor. It was in the form of a small cube with tapered sides but it was very heavy. It was unusually heavy for the size of it, and it had been painted and made with sloping sides.

Ed was a big man. He was about six two and weighed around 275. He was extremely agile and quick and he was a powerful man in strength. As he looked at the object, he concealed the weight of it from Chuck. Suddenly as Chuck came up behind him, he turned around and said, "Here, hold this for me." Chuck, eager to please, held out his hands and said sure, no problem. Ed placed it in Chucks hands and let go of it. Instantly Chucks hands, block of concrete in them, went straight to the ground. His hands were pinned to the ground by the weight of the block of concrete and he couldn't get loose.

Ed married an Italian girl. He liked his father in law but he could not resist pulling one over on him. I felt sorry for his father in law. On one occasion he gave a traffic ticket to a man from New Jersey. His father in law happened to be a friend of the man who got the ticket. When the man got home in New Jersey, he told Ed's father in law about it. Ed's father in law told him his son in law was a cop in that county. He said he would call his son in law and see if he could help him.

He called Ed and asked if he could help. His friend had shown him his ticket and he saw that Ed was the cop who signed the ticket. Now, the man who got the ticket could have handled it by mail. All the different states have agreements with each other to take care of scofflaws so it is no problem. Instead, when asked to fix the ticket, Ed told him yes, by all means he will take care of the ticket, but to tell his friend he will have to bring his ticket to court at the required time.

Instead of handling it by mail, the man now has to drive 150 miles each way, but he doesn't mind because he believes Ed is going to fix everything for him. When the man arrived for court, Ed sat there smiling. The man made eye contact with Ed. Ed smiled, nodded his head and winked, giving him the thumbs up sign.

When the man's turn came the judge asked for an explanation for why he was speeding. Whatever he told him, the judge was not impressed. He asked for his drivers license. The judge wrote the conviction on the conviction record on the back of the license, pronounced him guilty as charged and fined him plus court costs. The judge informed him New Jersey will be informed and will award points toward his license.

The man was stunned. He was also very angry. As soon as he got away from court he got to a phone and called Ed's father in law. He angerly yelled at Ed's father in law with the details of what had happened. Later, Ed got a phone call from his father in law. He said I thought you had it all fixed. What happened? Ed answered, "Gee, I don't know what happened. I thought it was all taken care of. He must have said something the wrong way to the judge or the clerk or something. It surprised me too." The truth was he never tried to do anything at all about it.

Another time Ed's father in law came to do some deer hunting. He stayed at Ed's house for about a week. When he could, Ed hunted with him. Other times he arranged with land owners for him to hunt.

While he was there, Ed made a show of looking at his father in laws tires. He told him he had to get new tires right away. His father in law thought there was still a lot of miles in the tires he had. Ed told him, no way. Those tires are almost bald. I'm a deputy sheriff here. I can't let you be driving around with tires like that. If they find out you are my father in law and I let you get away with tires like that, it could mean my job. The next day his father in law went to a tire shop and bought new tires. The truth was, he didn't need tires at all. Ed was just pulling another dirty trick on him.

I was the police chief in a town in the county. One night I noticed a Sheriff car stopped in front of a dentist office on Main St. It was about 11:30 at night and there was hardly anyone around. I saw Ed was the deputy and he had someone behind the patrol car. I pulled in to see if he needed any assistance.

Right away he went in to his leg pulling mode. He had caught a young man peeing in the dentist parking lot. He told me he had caught the guy "Trolling" out there and asked what I thought he should do with him. I played along with him and we mentioned a number of possibilities that we might do, just to teach him a lesson.

I knew the offender well. He was well known to most of us cops. He was not a trouble maker but often hung around with people who were frequently in trouble, though he himself was never found to be in violation of anything.

He appealed to me not to arrest him because he was supposed to start college in about three days and if he was arrested it was going to screw that up. I told him I had no say in the matter and that the deputy was the one who caught him. Ed told him he should have thought of that before he went trolling.

It was a quiet night without much going on so we spent close to a half an hour with the Troller. Finally I told Ed maybe he was just trying to be a good Samaritan and water the flowers in one of the pots by the bottom of the steps. I said they did look a little dry like maybe that was what he was trying to do. Ed reminded him that even if that is what he was trying to do, it was not going to look good on the news in the morning arrest reports that he had been arrested trolling in front of the dentist office. He cringed at the thought of his name on the radio the next morning for that. He begged a little more and finally Ed told him okay he could go, but he better be careful about that trolling from then on.

Ed just loved to have fun with people. I did notice that the guy came home for Thanksgiving from college. He kept his nose out of trouble, made it a point to stop and tell me how well he was doing at college, and I especially noticed that he avoided the trouble makers he had formerly hung around with. I believed he was going to be okay. That was the last I ever saw of him. Something tells me that he never peed in a public place again.

One winter night Ed was driving the patrol car on Route 145. Suddenly there was a gust of wind came up in a snow storm and there was a big white out on the road. That was the last he remembered until he regained consciousnous in Cobleskill Hospital. There had been a head on collision with another car. One of the occupants in the other car had been killed.

The following night a man who was not a cop, but I knew as a close friend of Ed came along as I was directing traffic at the bridge leading out of Middleburgh at the intersection of Route 30 and route 145. He called out to me that he was going to the hospital to see Ed. I told him to stop on the way back and let me know how he was. We were worried about him but had not had a chance to go see him. Vinnie said he would.

Later that night I saw Vinnie pull over. He had seen me and signaled that it was him. I parked my patrol car and walked over to his window. He rolled down the window and I asked, "How is he doing Vinnie? Is he going to make it?"

Vinnie replied, "Shit! That son of a bitch is all right. While I was in there to see him, a nurse came in to take his temperature and he patted her on the ass! We should have known better than worry about that son of a bitch!" Sure enough, Ed was back on duty in less than two weeks. The Sheriff admonished him that he didn't have any cars to spare so be more careful, and try not to kill anybody.

Ed was bothered by that fatality in that accident. It was not his fault and there was nothing he could have done. It was just one of those things, but if someone mentioned it that ready smile always left his face real fast. We quickly learned not to mention it when he was around.

Ed always claimed the worst fights he and his wife ever had were over the tooth paste. She always put the cap back on tightly and he never remembered to put the cap back on. His wife didn't like that at all. Ed never called her his wife. He always referred to her as his bride.

He didn't pull any jokes on me most of the time. I don't know why, but when he did he embarrassed the daylights out of me. He and I both served on the County Traffic Safety Board. I was the Chairman at the time.

The wife of the deputy Chuck I mentioned before, was also on the board. He usually picked her up and gave her a ride and during the meetings they sat next to each other. One night she was wearing a shorter dress than usual and she was wearing shiny white panty hose. Kathy was a little on the heavy side too, and the hem of the already short dress kept riding up on her. I was sitting on a higher sort of Dias than the others. The secretary sat up there beside me and there was a desk top in front of us. The others were all sitting lower in chairs facing us with a few feet of carpeted floor between us.

There was a lull for a moment in the meeting and things grew quiet. Suddenly Ed said, "Fred, what do you keep looking up Kathy's dress for?" Everybody in the room laughed. They kept laughing for a couple of minutes. First, Kathy looked startled and at him. Then she looked back at me and began laughing. Of course I protested that I was not looking up her dress but all pretended not to believe it. Of course by her facial expression and eye contact I knew she knew I wasn't, but verbally she pretended otherwise.

There wasn't much that got done after that. I soon adjourned the meeting and everyone went their way. I sure wished I had a recorder hidden in his car that night so I could hear what she had to say to him on the way home but I didn't so I'll never know. From then on if there were other guys around, like if a few of us were in the jail kitchen to get a cup of coffee, he would say something like, "If we could get Fred to stop looking under Kathy's dress maybe we could catch those guys."

Ed was quite a guy. It was not easy to fool him and few ever did. He was really shrewd and it helped a lot in his work as a cop. We learn after a while to read people by their body language but not Ed. You never knew when he was serious or when he was pulling your leg. He was one of the most capable cops I ever worked with, and he was a good friend.

After a few years he landed a better job working for the state power authority at a power plant in the county. He became a union rep while working there. I saw him one day and hardly recognized him. He had gained a lot of weight and had a full red beard. I never saw him again after that. I asked a guy who worked at the power plant about him a few years later. The guy said oh yes, he still worked there. He then added, "He runs the place." I laughed when he said that for I knew exactly what he meant. I'm sure he did it with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.


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