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12 Hours on Hemphill Road

A guy named Julius Thompson held police at bay for 20 hours this week. I was there for 12 of them. We set up in a liquor store parking lot about a half mile away alongside everyone who lived nearby and everyone they could reach on their cellphone. They saw it as the biggest party of the week, telling all their friends the latest rumors, asking us every ten minutes if there was anything new to report, and gawking at the 'he's on TV he must be famous' reporters standing in the street. By 1am the party was just getting started. Cars were parked three and four deep in the lot so that the store owner had to come out and threaten to have everyone towed. People brought their kids out to see as well, 'cuz there's nothing more wholesome for a kid than standing out in a liquor store parking lot at 4am watching a police standoff while everyone else nearby chain smokes (both tobacco and . . .uh. . . other stuff) and speculates about what the cops are going to do to that guy.

Then the rumors started to flow. He had three hostages in there. He had shot at least three cops. He was waiting for them to charge in so that he could jump out from behind a door and shoot all of them. And my favorite, the police sent in an armed robot to deal with the situation. (There was a robot the police wanted to send it, but it was armed with nothing more than a camera to allow officers to take a look inside the house.)

By the time we were getting ready for the morning news, the crowd was dying down. We stuck with it through the newscast and the 'Today Show' cut-ins until the next shift arrived at 8:30. In all, I worked a 20 hour shift, earning $158 of overtime pay for a nice total of $235 for my entire shift. And then I finally went to bed.


comments (2) 08-11-2005

The People's Comments:

spikechiquet:
TV's Eric Ingles, the hardest working man in television news...and sports...in Mid-Michigan. You are a slave to the labor that you love..

cdeezy:
Just imagine if you were getting paid to do the same thing in college. You could have waited outside of my apartment and made thousands!

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