Bird Dog 757: Operation Rabbit Hole

November 1, 2020
Bird Dog 757: Operation Rabbit Hole

It was a warm September evening in 1973. Rabbit was atwenty-eight-year-old Los Angeles uniformed policeman, on dutyworking a black and white police car in Westchester, a district ofVenice Division near the Los Angeles Airport. He had been assignedthere for almost four years.Although Rabbit's assignment to this sleepy hollow town wassomewhat of a forced retirement for him, it was a peacefulcommunity much like the one he had grown up in, and he likedworking there. And that was a good thing, as he had resignedhimself to the fact that after five shootings and too manypersonnel complaints stemming from the time he spent working thestreets in East Wilmington and Watts, he would almost certainlywork patrol for the rest of his career.It was a quiet night. His patrol took him along the ocean frontroad of Dockweiler Beach, where he witnessed another beauti- fulSouthern California sunset and the hope of seeing the green flashof the setting sun. It was a beautiful daily routine, verydifferent from the adrenaline rush of the action he had oncethrived on in South Central LA, but a whole lot lessconfrontational. All this was about to change.His police radio came on and directed him to go to the captain'soffice to meet the Officer in Charge of Venice Division Vice,Sergeant Doug Nelson. Dutifully, Rabbit responded per proper policeradio proce- dure and acknowledged the call with his unit number,14A56, and by the book, even broadcasting the FCC sign-offrequirement of KMA-367.The course of his career was about to take him deep down theRabbit Hole.