About 15 minutes ago I was snuggled under the covers, half-asleep, with a copy of a Wendell Berry novel, when I heard a voice yell “Stop where you are! Stop where you are! Don’t move!” At first I thought it must be something on the Internet in the next room but it was too loud. I shouted to Sandy that I thought the police were in our back yard, and sure enough, a young policeman had tackled a man right in the middle of the yard and was trying to call in for help. We turned on the lights and in a few minutes there were policemen looking through the Back Forty to see if the man had thrown anything back there. I’m amazed that no one fell in my next-door neighbor’s basement, because the opening to it is wide open there in the dark.

About eight officers were out on the street where they had arrested and put the man in a car. He was yelling and cussing and making strange animal-like noises and thrashing about and generally not being very cooperative. I called out to the group and said, “Could someone tell me what happened? I’m just curious!”

The policeman who chased and caught the guy came up to the porch and told me that he was a suspect for larceny at UNCG and that he had chased him from the next street over. You could see that the policeman was happy and pumped full of adrenalin. “Your lights really helped. I dropped my flashlight chasing him.”

“You did a great job,” I said.

“Thank you!” He flashed me a big smile and walked out to the street. A minute later, the blue lights were gone, the crowd had dispersed, and it was a quiet street again.

This is the third time a policeman has caught someone in my yard (not at this house) and the first time anyone has explained it, so I was grateful for that! And even though I know that he would have been fine without us, I still feel like we were a part of it. Woo-hoo!