By D. Fegel
“Steve! I am agent Merrow and this is agent Barberi. Today is not your lucky day is it?” The larger of the two agents asked me as he sported a middle-age mound that hung over his belt and he rubbed it kindly as if he were expecting. “It seems you are in a bit of a pickle.” The expecting agent leaned back in his steel folding chair and continued to show affection almost losing his balance. I didn’t say a word.
“This will go a lot easier for you Steven if you cooperate. I don’t think you are a bad guy., just a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.” I had seen enough crime dramas to recognize the good cop routine that agent Barberi was selling, but it was surreal to see the professional sitting right across from me use it.
“Gentlemen, I have not waived my right to an attorney. With that said I will cooperate fully when my attorney arrives. Until then, the wrong place was a church, the time was Sunday Mass, the people were two off duty agents, your agents.” I then leaned back in my chair and decided not to rub my belly but put my hands behind my head and look at the ceiling.
“Why you little…” Agent Merrow shot out of his chair and tried to jump the table at me, but agent Barberi held on to his shoulders. I was still in my chair staring at the ceiling.
“Earl easy, easy please.” Agent Barberi pleaded as he was able to get Agent Merrow to back down. “He is not under arrest. He is just in for questioning. So there is no need for an attorney Steven, it is just questioning.”
“Questioning? It looks like agent Merrow would like to hurt me instead of asking questions. But, I am glad you stopped him. He may have really hurt himself trying to get over that table. Workers Comp sucks, I know. Agents this has been all too entertaining, unless you are going to arrest me I am leaving.” I got up from my chair and stood by the door. Neither agent moved. Agent Barberi looked down at the table and agent Merrow was giving me the death stare, no longer rubbing his belly.
The agents stayed seated for several minutes. This seemed to me to be an obvious tactic to get me frustrated. And it worked. “Look, maybe the two of you have forgotten a little document called the Bill of Rights. But, I do not think either of you have forgotten my rights, so let me take another approach. Please unlock the door so I may leave.” I requested.
Agent Barberi got up from his chair without saying a word or looking at me. He unlocked the door and held it open for me. I walked out of the room and headed down the hall and left the building. I then hailed a cab.
“Mr. Hopkins, thank you for your account. I am sorry to have to bother you about this matter again. But, I do appreciate your cooperation.” The name-less agent extended his hand and produced a sincere grin. “I may have to visit you again. Just so you know, we take these matters very seriously. Our agents are to be above reproach.”
“Anything I can do to help.” I replied.