By Trey Rusk
Early in my career I worked graveyard patrol. The bars closed at 2am and it was not unusual to get a fight call. My first sergeant told me early on that you never hurry to a fight call. He was right. Young men get drunk and fight and most fights happen in the parking lot.
Country and Western bars filled with Saturday night boot scooting cowboys were prime locations for fights. These All Hat and No Cattle cowboys thought they were real cowboys. They all wore belt buckles as big as pie plates proclaiming that they were rodeo stars. The truth was that most of them graduated high school and went to work at the same refinery where their father worked.
Fights don't last very long because people don't have the stamina to stay in the fight. Most punches miss and usually the fight is over when a person is knocked to the ground or simply trips and falls down.
Women usually egg on their boyfriends. They yell and scream to keep the fighters in a adrenaline filled stupor. I have walked up to the instigating girlfriends and reminded them to act like ladies.
You see, it's not who wins the fight that really matters. The point is not to back down from a fight. Machismo, testosterone, women and liquor are the main ingredients of a fight.
After a fight both people have bragging rights whether they won or lost. Their buddies will slap them on the back and if they have a scratch or bruise the bragging rights can last for a week. The big prize is a no holds barred fuck fest for protecting the honor of their so called lady if applicable.
Arrests were seldom made for bare knuckle fights because by the time we arrived nobody saw anything and no one wanted to file charges. I always made exceptions for Brawlers who intentionally hurt folks for meanest or people who pulled a weapon. As always some people would talk their way into jail that would otherwise go home.
The maximum fine for fighting was $200. The offender would usually get out in less than an hour because his drinking buddies would take up a collection at the bar. I have actually had to arrest the same person twice in one night for fighting. During booking he told me that he just didn't feel like taking any shit that night. I told him I felt the same way and here he was...again.
Every once in a while a fighter would bow up to me. I would usually give him a whack with an aluminum flashlight. I usually had to drive by the E.R. to get an ear stitched up before they would take him at the jail.
The sergeant was right. You never get in a hurry to a fight call.
That's the way I see it.