The run was dispatched as a disorderly, says Black Hawk County Atty. Thomas Ferguson. At 0218 that Saturday last September, an exasperated wife told a 911 operator that she and her husband had earlier had “a big argument,” and now he’d come back home drunk. She’d locked him out, and he was sitting on the porch steps outside their side door. She wanted the cops to “remove him.”
There was no foreshadowing of violence, Ferguson says. “It wasn’t even dispatched as a domestic assault. She just wanted him to leave. It was a normal call like they’d been on hundreds of times before.”
Officers Bose and Jamie Sullivan arrived in separate units and headed up the driveway toward the porch, which was illuminated by a single bulb above the door. A ride-along accompanying Bose that night trailed behind and kept his distance.
At the porch, just beyond an SUV parked in the driveway of the modest, one-story house, they greeted the wife, her father whom she’d called for support before ringing 911, and, the biggest among them by far, the intoxicated husband — 6’4”, 260 lbs., a 31-year-old construction worker “accustomed to heaving around big chunks of concrete,” as a source familiar with the case put it later.
The “big argument,” as it turned out, was over BS: the husband had taken offense at their two young daughters wearing Packers jerseys. “It didn’t look like there were any real problems,” Ferguson says. But as the officers tried to sort things out, “the wife started getting more agitated, and they wanted to be sure nothing further happened.”
Sullivan stayed with her and her father. Bose, 29, with nearly seven years on the department, took the husband over behind the SUV, a few yards away.
There, the call went south in a hurry.
Bose and the man engaged in some discussion about his finding another place to stay. The man rejected that notion, saying he just wanted to go in the house and go to bed. With a curse, he started toward the side door. Bose put his left hand on the subject’s chest to stop him, and the night exploded.
BAM!!! The man smashed his fist into Bose’s face. Momentarily dazed, the officer woozily grabbed him and tried to hip-toss him “but underestimated his size,” Ferguson says. The two went down on the driveway, Bose landing on his hands and knees, with his attacker partially on the officer’s back, grappling his head and neck. Bose struggled desperately to free himself but couldn’t. He said afterward the assailant threatened to kill him as they fought.
Hearing the commotion, Sullivan rushed over from the porch and began hammering the atttacker on the head with his fists. The man “did not release his hold,” Ferguson says. Instead, he escalated the attack.
“Somehow,” the prosecutor says, “he got a hand inside Bose’s left cheek” and started fish-hooking it. He pulled on it so hard that “he actually ripped the cheek away from where it attaches to the jawbone. Bose’s mouth started filling with blood.”
With Sullivan continuing to strike him, the attacker moved his other hand to Bose’s face and pushed hard and relentlessly against his right eye, whipsawing the officer’s head as he simultaneously yanked on his cheek and gouged his eye. To Bose, it felt like his face was tearing apart and his eye popping out. He could scarcely breathe.
Reaching at what seemed like an impossible angle, he managed to wrest his TASER out of its holster and fired it up and back at his assailant. “The probes did not make sufficient contact to complete a circuit,” Ferguson says. The man “neither relented nor released.”