STONE 2: The Saint of Seven Mile
“Detective, we’ve got him on camera. The bank manager’s got the tape cued up right now.”
Inside the security room of Detroit First National, the small group of patrolmen and detectives huddle around the black and white monitor. Blurry, grainy, and without color, it’s as surreal a view of the world as the scene they were about to watch. “Wait until you see this, Detective. This guy’s fucking nuts.”
The first view is from the overhead camera of the drive-thru lane. A pale gray Bronco pulls up slowly to the ATM. The camera angle is wide, enough to see the entire vehicle, but not much of the occupants. The window rolls down, and a woman reaches over and begins a transaction.
“Did you run those plates yet?”
“Yeah. New York tags. Comes back to a Sue Peterson. No known address in Detroit, but we’re out looking for the vehicle right now.”
“Can we get a close up? How about the ATM cam? Can we see their faces?”
“Yeah, hang on.” A click of a mouse and the screen changes to a fish-eye view from the ATM itself. The woman is beautiful, even behind large and dark sunglasses. As she leans forward to insert her bank card, the passenger becomes visible over her shoulder.
“That’s our guy, in the passenger seat.”
Suddenly the calmness of the scene becomes something else entirely.
“Yeah, this is where it starts.”
A third figure runs up between the woman and the ATM, putting a gun in her face and pointing at the ATM. For a few brief seconds he waves his arms around frantically, then suddenly he hits the woman in the mouth with the gun.
“He hit her, right? Did he just hit her right there?”
“Yeah. Watch the passenger.”
The man in the passenger seat shifts towards the driver as he grabs the steering wheel and turns it sharply towards the ATM. The car abruptly lunges forward, pinning the robber between the wall and the car. The detective watches intently, chewing gum with loud smacks. “That was slick.” The rhythm of the gum suddenly changes as the passenger exits the car. “What’s he doing now?”
“Go back to the overhead camera.”
“Damn…that’s a big dude.”
At the ATM the robber is still clutching his gun with one hand, and his crushed hip with the other. As the male passenger walks around the rear of the car, the injured thug raises the weapon and points it directly at him. “Look at him. He’s walking right up on the gun like he doesn’t care.”
Then the retribution begins.
“Whoa..damn.” As the detectives watch, the passenger walks up to the robber, grabs the hand with the gun, and violently forces the thug to hit himself in his own face with it. Once, twice, and on the third time the gun goes off. There is no sound from the monitor, but the bright flash of the muzzle is clear as the gun fires straight up into the ceiling of the drive-thru.
“Make sure we get that bullet. Do we have the gun?”
“No. He tosses it into the… right there…”
The man pulls the gun from the thug’s hand and tosses it through the window into the Bronco. The robber is now holding his face with both hands, seemingly trying to cower back, leaning away from the passenger as far as he can. The intended victim, now the aggressor, grabs the thug by the throat with both hands. Looking over his shoulder to the woman driver, they exchange a few words, and the Bronco suddenly backs up, releasing its prisoner from the wall.
“What the hell is this guy doing? Can we go back to the ATM camera?”
“Yeah, but you won’t see much.”
Another click of a button and the fish-eye cam comes into view again. At first all that can be seen is the back of the robber until he is suddenly spun around to face the camera and thrust forward into it, making his face appear to slam into the monitor. The detective’s gum falls from his open mouth.
Again and again the thug’s face is thrust forward into the TV screen. Each time the camera becomes a little more fogged with blood and snot, but each impact makes a clear and visceral impression on those watching. The camera shifts violently with every blow, the entire ATM moving from the force. After several moments the monitor screen is nothing but a smear of DNA.
“Yeah. We found teeth in the deposit slot.”
“We found teeth in the deposit slot.”
The detective stared blankly at the officer for a moment, trying to chew gum that was no longer there, before sighing deeply and turning back to the screen. “Go back to the overhead.”
From above, the officers watch the man drop the thug to the ground, then step away towards the Bronco; but he doesn’t leave. “What’s he doing?”
“Watch. He’s asking her for the ATM card.”
As they watch the woman hands the man her card through the car window. He pauses there for a moment, reaching out to caress the woman’s face. He kisses her, then walks back to the ATM, casually inserting the card while standing over the crumpled body as if it wasn’t there. He makes his withdrawal, and then begins walking back to the Bronco. As he crosses the drive lane, he looks directly up at the camera.
“Freeze that, right there. Can you zoom in on that?”
Seconds later the screen is filled with the face of Mason Stone. His steel gaze meets the detective’s eyes; his face expressionless, emotionless, unaffected by the brutal events that occurred just moments ago.
“That’s a cold son of a bitch right there. Let’s make sure we get this guy.”
The Saint of Seven Mile