The suspect was David Redley I soon learned after arriving at St. Francis Hospital. Redley was lying on a gurney with his left arm handcuffed to the metal railing and his right arm still bleeding lying across his stomach waiting for the nurse and doctor. Redley was lying on the gurney with his upper torso upright as if he was partially sitting up. His feet were crossed as if he was relaxed but his face showed he was in pain. His long brown hair was a mess. His red sweater had the right sleeve cut off by the Emergency Nurse.
His arm had several punctures and tears in the forearm area and was bleeding only a small amount now. Most of the bleeding had stopped by clotting up into dark chunks. Now the blood truly was black-like in color. His forearm throbbed and as I walked in and saw him guarded by a police officer, Redley saw me entering and spoke. What he said I couldn't quite believe. “That’s one helluva dog.”
What!!? The suspect is in an emergency room, bleeding, throbbing in pain, still cold from being outside, and he tells me I have a great dog? I couldn't quite believe it. Yes, my dog was a Hell of a Dog. But I couldn't believe this bad guy was saying so.
Following policy I had a supervisor come into work early and met me in the ER. I took photos of the wound and gave the doctors and nurses whatever information they needed from me. Redley did the same. Soon Redley’s wounds were irrigated and then several areas were stitched up. He was then taken to the Hall County jail and lodged in for the burglary.
Later in an interview with Redley, the police learned that he had hid in the bowling alley after it had closed up for the night. He was attempting to burglarize throughout the night and every time the police arrived after he tripped the alarms, he would hide up in the ceiling. He said that when the janitor came in, it startled him and he then tried to get out and when he couldn't, he grabbed the bowling ball and broke out the glass door.
Redley said that he ran into the trees to escape but couldn't see very far because of the darkness. He knew the police were nearby as he would see the squad cars go up and down the gravel road and in and out of the parking lot. He said he could also hear the officer’s voices and thought they would eventually give up after not finding him and they would leave. He admitted he definitely thought they would give up because of how cold it was. He said he didn’t know the police had police dogs until he heard Marco, Pete and I coming through the trees.
Redley said he was lying on the ground up next to a large cedar tree hoping to evade capture and that when Marco came up to him, Redley tried to move away from Marco’s sniffing nose. Bad decision. Marco was trained after finding a suspect that if the suspect moved or fled, the dog would then physically apprehend. And that is what Marco did. He said the pain was incredible but it was how scared he was that really made him terrified. He said in the interview that he felt like he was in a trance after the dog latched onto him. He said he didn’t even hear me yelling at him to stay on the ground. He said all he remembered was the dog coming off his arm and it had felt like forever that the dog was latched onto him.
Actually it was only a matter of seconds after Marco apprehended him and I called him off, but I’m sure that it did feel like an eternity to him. It’s the pressure of the strength in the dog’s jaws that is so painful. Sure, don’t get me wrong, the teeth puncturing the skin hurts like hell too, but the incredible ‘vise like’ pressure of the dogs jaws is what really ‘smarts’.
Redley was famous, sort of. Or should I say notorious. There was a story of Redley that I had already heard about before this capture. He was the guy that my camp-mates and I in the Training Academy class of 1988 had heard about with graphic detail. We were in class learning about something that I can’t recall and would be safe in saying most likely was extremely boring. We were told by a Sergeant from the Grand Island area about this guy, (Redley) who had years earlier been hitchhiking outside of Grand Island on the Interstate.
The story continued that soon he was picked up by a truck driver but a ride was not the only thing the trucker had in mind. We learned by the Sergeant that the trucker had by force stuck a fishing stringer through Redley’s left cheek.
A fishing stringer is a nylon string attached at one end with a metal ring that is attached to a spear-like point. This is to stick through a fish’s mouth and then out his gill and then back through the metal ring and then kept in the water to keep the fish alive. It’s kind of like threading a needle. Unfortunately for Redley though, this trucker had punctured Redley’s cheek with a fish stringer for his own pleasure and not for fishing. Redley was a hostage to this trucker as they traveled down the Interstate. The driver pushed the pointed end through Redley's cheek and they tying it off by attaching it to the steering wheel. Then the driver could steer and use his right hand to switch the gears on the big eighteen wheeler.
Redley had no idea what was going to happen to him but he wasn’t going to wait to find out. After driving for miles, and it was time to make a stop for fuel, the trucker had to slow down to exit the Interstate. Redley made his move. As the truck slowed to a slow crawl at the off-ramp stop sign, Redley pulled away from the trucker’s grip of the stringer. The nylon stringer tore through Redley’s cheek as he pulled away opening the door at the same time. He fell out the door down to the ground with the fall alone breaking his elbow but it was the torn muscle in his face that showed the most damage. With blood running from this gaping wound, Redley ran to safety.
My apprehension of Redley soon after becoming a dog handler in 1992 would not be my last encounter with him ironically. In fact eight years after the Bowling Alley incident where Marco had caught Redley in the cold trees, I came across him again. While patrolling the Interstate I spotted a local vehicle in the eastbound rest area out side of an interstate exit. I could tell as I drove on the Interstate near the rest area, that there were three things that caught my attention to this vehicle.
One: was that it was a local plate. Thinking to myself, why would a local car already be resting or parking at a rest area only a few miles from town during the middle of the day? Second thing I thought was, why is this car parked towards the end of the parking area? Not next to the rest area building that has the bathrooms. So why park ten stalls away? I was as if the car was trying to not be noticed. But by not wanting to be noticed, I noticed it. The third thing that I thought was odd was that I could tell the car was running. It was a cold February afternoon and I could see the exhaust fumes emitting from the tail pipe evaporating into the air.
So as I slowed my squad car down and turned it around after passing the rest area, I came back to the entrance and slowly pulled in just close enough to see the license plate and take note of it. I contacted the dispatcher and asked them for the registered owner information on the plate 8–E320. A 10-39 in cop lingo.
Within minutes they told me it was a 1993 cream colored Ford Escort registered to Leon and Claire Redley of North St. Paul Road in Grand Island. REDLEY!? I hadn’t heard this name for years. It quickly brought back vivid memories of his capture that cold night in the tree-line near the bowling area. Could this be the same Redley family I wondered?
Slowly I parked my squad about twenty yards back behind the Escort and then on foot very slowly I walked up to the idling Escort and approached it from the rear. I could not see anyone inside at first while slowly peaking in the car from the distance of 30 feet away. Maybe this guy is in one of the small concrete and brick picnic hutches about fifty feet way, I thought. The closer I moved up to the car the more cautious I became. Soon I saw David Redley lying in the car on the driver seat reclined all the way down. Redley was unclothed from his knees up. Bunched up around his knees were his coveralls. Redley was masturbating while looking at a MAXIM magazine.
He saw me as soon as I got close enough to see what he was doing. His expression was that of a kid being caught with his hand in a cookie jar. I only wish it was a cookie jar. In retrospect, I wish I would not have seen what he was doing. Being a law officer gives you the opportunity of seeing many fascinating things and many things that you wish you didn’t have to see. Seeing Redley in his naked state of masturbation was one of those things that “I’ll pass on seeing that again” if given the chance. He quickly pulled his coveralls up and pulled his arms into them and zipped it shut.
I told Redley to step out of the car which he did. I quickly handcuffed him and placed him in my squad car. Thank God I had my leather gloves on. Redley later admitted that he had driven to the rest area and parked an hour or so earlier. The guy said he had been kicked out of his folk’s house three days earlier. They let him keep their car for a while but he had no place to go. Redley said that he had slept in the car every night but didn’t park at the rest area. He said he parked the car in a parking lot in Grand Island and never got bothered. At the jail, a small amount of methamphetamine was found in his wallet.
Redley was charged with possession of a controlled substance (meth) and for driving during suspension. He could not be prosecuted for indecent exposure as I had originally charged him because the law shows that to violate the indecent exposure law the person who shows their private parts in public must be doing it to affront someone and to offend someone. Interpreted- it meant it was okay for him to masturbate in public as long as he was not doing it in front of someone deliberately. Crazy system huh?
Marco caught many a bad guy after David Redley at the bowling alley and soon afterward Pete would call me directly at my home. I still remember Pete opening his briefcase one day and him showing me my phone number that he had written on an index card that made it easily visible for him in his briefcase. Many more times Marco would catch bad guys for the police department and many more times I was amused at how well he did it.