With Riago Restorini in custody, Ben Perrini wanted to ignore the facts. They had no gun, no forensics and just a bunch of circumstantial rumors, attitudes, societal norms. No real evidence that he was the one.
All he could do at this point was arrest and cite him for reckless endangerment. Not even a speeding ticket, since Ben’s need to take him alive had caused Restorini to obey the signs on his flagrant romping rampage.
It was looking like that after summary judgement by the local magistrate, Restorini would relinquish ownership of all weapons and get off with four weeks in jail. With time off for time already served, he would be back on the street. After sentencing he would have to do one-year public service and be on probation for two years. His Parole Officer and the Civic Service committee in Clayton were to determine what, where and how.
For Ben this whole shitty investigation had turned out to be one of the most frustrating time-wasters in his twenty years of public service in law enforcement.
Late Monday afternoon when Sean and Randy came in looking for him, Ben Perrrini was dead ended more or less right where he had started out before convincing himself that the Italian was the guy.
Dismal as the prospects were now, Ben Perrini was at his wit’s end. He was unprepared for the boy’s abrupt interruption in a miserable day.
“What are you two doing here?”
In unison and loud, “We’ve got something new for your murder investigation.”
“Look, guys. I’ve almost given up on this one. It’s getting colder by the day. After your mother’s help, I came out looking like a fool or a tool, depending on who you’ve been talking to.”
“That wasn’t her fault.”’ said Randy.
“Of course not. But It sure sounded like the painter was the right guy.”
Hearing that this line wasn’t moving in the right direction, Sean interrupted.
“Take us back out to the Humvee. It’s still there and there’s a thing under the hood.”
“What the hell were you doing there? It’s still a crime scene. Didn’t you see the yellow tape?”
Early on, Sean had learned that a good offense was the best defense. His flanking move was to sidestep and thrust.
“This morning, Mom transferred us in to Deer Park High School. It’s not the friendliest place but she thinks we’ll get a better shot at making a living when we get out. Anyhow, we had time to kill waiting for her to get off work.”
Randy supported the attack with,
“Yeah, and so we just went over and slipped under the tape. We didn’t move or break anything.”
“Well, I took a Forensics Team out there last week. Took the side panels off, pulled up the floor boards, looked under the seats and dash, crawled inside and underneath, checked the wheel wells and spent two hours with a spectroscope looking for blood or any other evidence. They didn’t find diddly squat.”
Randy felt the need to parry.
“That’s too bad. But the reason we ran over here is because, when we got to school this morning, we saw the Humvee still sitting there. Sean googled the Humvee in computer class and wanted to look at the engine.”
“OK. Got that. And?. . . . .”
Sean’s “coup de tete.”
“And if you take us out there, we can show you what we found. It looks like a gun stuck in the engine.”