Tough Toni was a young man that I had dealt with on many occasions while a patrolman in River City. I gave Tough Toni his Street moniker My Self. Toni was not a bad kid at heart. He was undisciplined and lacked a sense of personal worth. Tough Toni was adopted into a well off River City family. The Mother was a sensitive woman who decided to adopt because she felt sorry for Toni. I don’t know what the circumstances were of Toni’s life prior to his adoption. I just know that whenever Toni would screw-up and I would take him home . Mom would sit me down and make the excuse that Toni was special because “ He was adopted you know” This woman was not unique I had three of these boys in the district I patrolled. All were about the same age and all had moms that felt sorry for them because they were “adopted” Toni was not the worst one of the three. The worst was the preachers son that was discussed in book one.
The fact that Toni was adopted may have been a righteous act, but I believe it was done for the wrong reason. By the time Toni was 15 he had developed the notion that there was something wrong with him personally. If I caught him doing something wrong He was starting to bring up the fact that he was adopted as if that was a valid excuse.
By the time Toni was 18 the family had had enough and moved him out to an apartment. He had fallen in with burglars.
One evening I got a call to a local tavern. The bartender said a customer had taken one of the chairs from the tavern and drove off with it. He had gotten the license number of the car. I tracked it to Toni who was living at a small apartment several blocks from the tavern.
My partner and I went to the door and knocked. Toni opened the door. We Saw the chair in the living room and advised him of his rights and asked Toni about it. At this time I also noticed a rifle through the crack behind the door. We went in and secured the weapon. I ran the serial number on the rifle. It Came back stolen. At this point Toni did not want to talk. We looked around the apartment and saw numerous antiques. We had just been told of a burglary of the local museum at briefing. Things were starting to go really bad for Toni.
We sealed the room and I went and got a search warrant. The Judge was so pleased with the circumstances surrounding the warrant that he asked if he could use the affidavit in his search and seizure class at the local college.
Now things go from bad to worse for Toni. We search the place and recover stolen weapons, museum pieces, and two pounds of Marijuana from a closet in the bedroom.
As all this came together and Toni Started feeling the heat, He tried the old I’m adopted routine on me. I looked at Toni and Said “Toni that’s tough really tough. Toni from now on I’m going to call you tough Toni because every time you ask me for a break I’m going to say Tough! Toni!” When I Booked him I wrote under his AKA TOUGH TONI . As far as I know he got the message I never heard from him again.
When I was a young man about 15 years old, I was having a lot of trouble with being picked on. My Uncle took me aside and told me this (Nil Bastardy Carborundum) He said It is Latin meaning “ Don’t let the bastards get you down” I don’t know Latin or weather that is the real translation or not but it sounds kind of right so I use it. It was strange coming from him as he was one of the biggest offenders when it came to picking on me. He was forever getting his younger brother who was 3 months older than me to wrestle me. If I started to get the best of the match he would intervene and reverse the outcome. Most of the time he was a good guy and we learned a lot from him and the wrestling sessions helped me to overcome many of life’s setbacks.
I told this story to Toni and to many other young miscreants over the years in the hopes that they might see that everyone that Craps on you is not doing it because they want to hurt you. They may be just trying to get your attention. Hardships can be a blessing in disguise if you use them to motivate and enlighten your path through life’s troubles.