The Man with the Missing Fingers

Part 1 - THREE

April 17

 

According to the police investigation report, the armored car robbery went this way…

At the roadway intersection, the armored car came up Erwin St. and slowed to a stop because the light was red. There seemed to be a problem with that light, for it had continuously stayed on red since around noon. And so the traffic on that intersection had slowed down considerably. Cars crossed the intersection in stages; one or two at a time, with the drivers obeying the law of mutual understanding.

The cool afternoon sunlight was beating down on the litter-free street, and the trees lining the sidewalk had fresh leaves after the little drizzle from the morning. Pedestrians were coming and going here and there along the block, while many local stores were having steady business as usual.

Owing to the faulty red light, the armored car laboriously edged its way up till it was eventually up in front of the crosswalk on the right lane of the three-lane road. At this point it was also flanked to its right by the curb, and to its left by a Chevrolet Malibu with black tinted rolled-up windows. And it was tailgated by a two-seater sports car.

On the crosswalk, pedestrians began to file across the road, walking past the armored car from the curb on both sides of the street. Suddenly, one pedestrian, a young woman in her twenties, grabbed her stomach and collapsed into the crosswalk, and in front of the armored car, less than a yard from its front tires. Her eyes were rolled back, and her face was drawn by multiple convulsive twitches. She seemed to have swallowed her tongue or something, and appeared to be choking on it. Sprawled flat out on the pavement, her body began jerking uncontrollably.

Obstructed by the fallen girl, the armored car remained in place. The two-seater behind it honked impatiently for it to move along. But the armored car didn’t move one inch because, by that point, many pedestrians, the friend of the girl included, were hastening across to aid her. And soon a small crowd formed around her lying form. The uncontrollable jerking movements had stopped, and she appeared unconscious. As a result, the incident had momentarily interrupted the flow of the traffic on that side of the intersection.

That’s when the windows of the Chevrolet Malibu, looking out on the armored van, rolled down. Barrels of compact assault rifles stuck out. A shower of bullets blasted out like the spit of an angry god, spraying at the armored vehicle, pounding at its bulletproof coachwork the same way a torrential rain would have. In reaction, the armored car immediately backed up, ramming into the two-seater, pushing it out of the way with its superior body and horsepower. Two masked men quickly popped out of the Chevrolet, their guns roaring in their hands. They continued firing at the armored van, which by then was reverse driving through a stampede of motor vehicles operated by terrified drivers.

Meanwhile, the thunderous gunshots had sent bystanders bolting in every direction for safety. Even the people who had responded to the girl’s abrupt seizure ran for their lives too, except for her friend and a Good Samaritan who helped drag her off the crosswalk to the nearest sidewalk.

Chaos quickly spread all over the street and some cars crashed into one another in the general panic. After fishtailing in reverse up a good portion of the roadway, the armored car finally turned around to face oncoming traffic and make a quick escape. Imitating its prey’s maneuver, the Chevrolet made a loose U-turn. The two armed men quickly jumped back inside. Then the Chevrolet went after the armored van in hot pursuit. With maybe fifteen yards of road between them, both cars tried to outflank one another while skidding out of the way of any oncoming traffic.

Meanwhile, as indicated in the investigation report, another masked man emerged from a manhole that was situated along the lane by the curb where the armored van had waited out for his turn to cross. Out of nowhere, a blue Rover 400 pulled up next to him with the passenger front seat door semi open. And after the manhole man got in, the Rover shot forward in the direction of the other speeding cars.

Following a thirty-second wild drive, the armored car, which was still pulling ahead of its pursuers, unexpectedly blew up. The explosion had occurred from under its chassis. As a result, the armored car tipped over on its side. It went a little bit off the road turned over like that, in a kind of power slide. Its gray solid mass of metal grated against the blacktop before winding up on a piece of lawn. The Chevrolet Malibu and the Rover 400 quickly pulled up near the vanquished vehicle. Five masked men jumped out gun toting. Their eyes quickly scanned the streets. Police sirens could be heard blaring off miles away. And so the men worked quickly and efficiently. While four of them busied themselves with blowing open the doors to the cargo hold using an explosive device, the fifth man got out of the Rover with an impressive flamethrower. At a five-yard circle-radius from the armored car, he set the vicinity ablaze, torching trees, grass rollers, utility poles, and unattended vehicles to seal off the final scene of the hold-up from bystanders.

Finally, the robbers shot dead the occupants of the cargo hold as soon as they blew the doors open. Though badly wounded in the accident, the driver retaliated. But they shot him before he could do any real damage. And after snatching their loot, the masked men made off in their respective cars. All of this happened within two minutes, and this was less time than was needed for police first responders to roll up on the scene.



S.K.

Edited: 15.04.2019

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