Shortly after walking the beat, Benny was assigned to work as a plain clothes police officer in an unmarked car. The job of the unmarked car was to look for suspicious characters, questionable activity and to respond to crimes in progress. He was assigned to work with John Marshall and John Arnold on rotation. Trusting in your partners to cover your back is an essential part of the job.
Benny’s only quandary was dressing in plain clothes. He definitely has his quirks, one being that he liked to wear his pants a little short in case he had to run fast or jump a fence, the other being that he would only wear short white socks. He just didn’t like his feet to sweat in dark socks so he actually had a doctor’s note saying he couldn’t wear black socks which were required by the police department. He always found a way to get his way.
One night while on routine patrol they spotted a suspicious looking guy, just cops intuition. As they all exchanged looks, the guy then took off like a bat out of hell, the two sharp-eyed, fleet footed cops jumped out of the car and chased the suspect into a building, onto the roof where they where sharply aware that he fit the description a man wanted for the murder of a retired police officer. They had memorized his photo on a wanted poster in the precinct.
Retired Police Officer Arthur E. Henry was shot to death while interrupting a hold up of a clothing store on Market St. in Newark. The suspects got away with $35 from the customers in the store. A great man and hero lost his life over that.
The suspect was arrested and arraigned on murder charges.
The 2 men involved in his murder has not been caught until Benny and Arnold caught up with one guy and he then gave up his partner in crime who was then apprehended in Florida.
Now I think we all understand why he wears short pants. Hate to think he couldn’t catch the bad guy if he was tripping over his pants. 40 Years later he’s still wearing his pants too short, just in case….
So we left off at Benny twirling his night stick while walking the beat and now the real action starts.
He’s been a walking the beat for about 7 months along with another rookie cop Robert Briganti, both being city boys they are keenly aware of their surroundings. They are on foot patrol on a cold winter night in February when they observed some unusual behavior from the shoppers and store clerks at the A & P Supermarket. The people in the store were all motionless with the look of fear on their faces. Both rookies feared that if a hold-up was in progress there could be serious injuries if weapons were involved. Benny went into the store while his partner stayed outside . As soon as he entered the store a store clerk knowing Benny spoke Italian, yelled out in Italian that the men just robbed them at gun point. He quickly ran out after them and then heard 3 shots fired towards his partner. He was aware that his partner was not hit and he had a clear target of one of the suspects running into an alley way, he pulled the trigger of his .38 revolver and hit the robber in the buttocks sending him down to the ground. He then apprehending the robber who was holding a .45 caliber revolver and the stolen money. The other suspect was chased and apprehended on a rooftop by the responding police officers.
He and his partner were both given a Medal of Honor for their courage in the face of extreme danger and their concern for the lives of many innocent citizens as they refrained from using their weapons until an opportunity prevailed.
They were also awarded a Certificate of Merit- Police Officer of the Month for the commendable service performed.
This is only in the beginning…He has a long career with many dangerous criminals just waiting to get caught by this true life character Benny who fights for TRUTH-JUSTICE and THE AMERICAN WAY.
Oh and by the way, he still has dreams of chasing bad guys as I often witness him thrashing in his sleep. He always catches the bad guy even in his dreams.
I’m so glad my Papa is retired because we get to play all the time except the days he is still catching bad guys and bad women.
Grandma told me a story about the day he was taking his usual nap in his car in the parking lot at his gym which is also the same parking lot of grandma’s favorite store, Marshalls. He wasn’t happy that he was woken up by a man and a woman yelling in the parking lot so he peeked out from under his leopard lined eye mask to witness a struggle between two people. He quickly jumped out of the car to check out the situation and quickly found out that the man was an off-duty police officer and the woman just walked out of Marshalls with a cart filled with stolen items. The man was trying to stop her to no avail until Papa stepped in. Papa told grandma that the lady then fell down but grandma asked “did she fall down near you or the other guy?” Hmm, Grandma knows Papa very well. He admitted the lady fell near him so he tried to hold her until the police arrived, she screamed at him saying she had Aids, Sars and that she was pregnant, (all untrue) it didn’t stop Papa from trying to handcuff her while he sat on her. She tried to bite him but he said some bad words to her, ” if you bite me, I’ll knock your F******* teeth out.” You see, Papa always has his handcuffs on him, just in case he runs into a bad guy or lady and it seems like he always runs into trouble.
The police finally arrived and it took 4 police officers to put her into the police car.
It was determined that she stole over $2500 worth of stuff which is considered Grand Larceny, she was also Wanted for robbery and giving a false name.
Papa only wanted to go to the gym and get his handcuffs back.
That’s why, my Papa is my hero…I am so proud of him.
In the police academy, each new police officer had to learn how to twirl their night stick..Not sure what the twirling meant but I can see why their are few or no baton twirlers at the football games. Anyway, Benny’s first job out of the police academy was to walk a 4 mile beat on South Orange Avenue in Newark. He didn’t mind because he loved the exercise, being outside and he had a chance to look at all the sexy women. Well, to look cool on the beat, he twirled his night stick, not being very good at it he still kept it moving. He came across a”hot babe” (his words), and being distracted, he hit himself in the head over his eye with the stick..Back at the station and bleeding from his eye brow he had his first and only “on the job” injury.
I’d say, he would still hit himself with the night stick if a “Hot” woman walked by…
Alvin Spearman, Eddie Jones and Benny Abruzzo
Benny really is a humble man or maybe just secretive. I’ve been married to him for almost 20 years and he just told me a story tonight about his very first arrest. I laughed my arse off…
He was only in the police academy for 30 days or so when he witnessed a purse snatching from an elderly woman. He immediately chased down the suspect and apprehended him by pressing his finger into the suspects back pretending he had a gun. The suspect surrendered thinking there was a gun in his back…As a trainee Benny was not yet issued his police service revolver. Hey if the finger works, try it.
He received the first of many Commendations for his initiative, action and zeal from the police department for that arrest.
That’s just the beginning…
I’ll tell you stories from the early years up to and including each day forward.
As they say, Once a Cop, Always a Cop…but this guy goes above and beyond the call of duty, off-duty or retirement.
If you’ve been lucky or unlucky enough to know Benny, you will have a story to tell. Post your story here and let us know how he truly affected your life..
Either he helped you in a situation, arrested you for being bad, loved you madly, saved your life, fed you until you were ready to explode, played ball with you, challenged you to become the best, or just left you with a good story to tell.
Let’s hear your story..
Eddie Jones, Benny and Alvin Spearman dressed in their Sunday suits and ready to attend the premiere of “American Gangster” at the Apollo Theatre in NYC
So what ABOUT BENNY..Superhero, Food Devil, Troubleshooter, Grand-Papa Well if you been lucky or unlucky enough to know Benny, you will have your own story to tell about him and we want you to POST your story right here.
First why this blog about him. Well, he and I were crazy enough to end up as guests on the Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on November 25, 2013 in a segment called “Cut the Creep”, in regards to keeping off the added weight gain during the holidays. I’m a fan of the show and it resonated with me not only because of holiday weight gain but the truth that Benny romances me with food all year and in the 20 years we’ve been together, I’ve gained over 30 pounds. Anyway, enough about me. Benny was invited on to the show with me because I called him my “Food Devil.” All he did was sit in the background on the set of the Today Show and eat a piece of pumpkin pie and he quickly had a fan club of many followers. All he had to do was EAT A PIECE OF PIE…Anyway, I knew he was a STAR to begin with. He’s been more than a STAR in my life and the lives of many others. You see, Benny was and is a HERO, rather SUPERHERO Retired cop with lots of stories to tell including the most famous case of the arrest of the Frank Lucas family and gang in the early 1970’s. You may have seen the movie, American Gangster starring Denzil Washington and Russell Crowe. That movie was loosely based on the story of Frank Lucas and the Country Boys and their arrests by 3 hero undercover detectives, Benny Abruzzo, Alvin Spearman and Eddie Jones also known as the Z TEAM.
What does this story and Benny eating a piece of pie have to do with one another, well keep coming back for more true stories ABOUT BENNY.