“Daryl, Daryl Williams, please pick up the phone. Let’s resolve this thing. This is the Richmond Police Department and we’re not going anywhere until we get this worked out. Please pick up the phone.” For hours upon hours last night that message was blared through a bullhorn broadcast to the entire neighborhood as Debbie and Brian of the Richmond PD pleaded with Daryl to pick up the phone. Debbie was cool, professional and no-nonsense. Brian’s tone, on the other hand, sounded like a guy who was trying to coax an old frat buddy who was depressed over being dumped by his girlfriend out for a beer. He peppered his pleas with “hey buddy”, “come on man”, “we know you’re a good guy” and my favorite “it’s no big deal.” OK, you’ve got a SWAT team surrounding the house, and you’re using a bullhorn to communicate, I think the deal has gotten pretty big.
I kept waiting for them to bring in a professional of some sort. Brian and Debbie’s pleas simply weren’t working. Daryl is obviously not a phone guy (maybe they should have offered him to email them). Perhaps they were hoping he would become annoyed by the sheer repetition and lack of imagination and just give up. Finally, around 2 am, they bring his mamma into their spiel. “Your mom and dad are really nice people, and they want you to pick up the phone.” Wow, way to leverage that hook.
As I was drifting off to sleep, I was startled awake by what I thought was a gunshot. According to the Contra Costa Times the stand off was resolved with tear gas being shot into the house. OK, maybe that was what I heard. But, there was definitely at least 4 or 5 more shots that were moving in my direction. From what I could figure, Daryl had tried to escape and was on the run. But, finally it was quiet. After my heart stopped beating so loudly from the adrenaline of having gunfire so close, I fell asleep.
Daryl, next time just pick up the goddamn phone. It’s the neighborly thing to do.