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Teddy Bear Chapter 14- Big Charles Junior

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That was going to be the last time I ever saw T-Bird.

I was called to the Warden’s office because I was finally going to get checked out for some stomach issues I’d had in prison. They stood me up and handcuffed me to this big ‘ole white boy and marched us outside and put us in the back of an ambulance with this black fellow, who nodded at me when I got in. I’d known Charles Burton Jr. because I picked cotton with him in the fields almost every day while in prison. They Called him Big Charles.  He was about 6’5 and weighed well over 300 pounds.  Driving us was a trustee, and in the passenger seat sat an armed guard.  We were headed down to a neighboring prison about 35 minutes away, because they had a bigger and better infirmary where we could get what we needed.

When we got there, they took the white boy I was handcuffed to in first, leaving me and Charles alone for a few minutes.

“What do you think about taking over that ambulance on the way back Ed?”  He leaned over and whispered.

“Hell Charles, you read my mind, you know I’ll do it.”

On the way back, Charles rushed the guard, grabbed him from behind and threatened to break his neck if the trustee didn’t pull the ambulance over. When he did, Charles beat the guard unconscious, and the trustee ran around and opened the back door to let us out.  Charles grabbed him and beat him too, and told me to follow him. I was handcuffed to a fellow that didn’t want to run, so I snatched his ass along the side of the ambulance and got the handcuff key off the guard belt.  Someone had stopped behind us and started shooting. I don’t know if it was a cop or a citizen but I wasn’t waiting around to find out.  There was a fence between the interstate and some woods, and I dragged that ‘ole boy all the way over it, almost cutting my nuts off in the process when he jerked me back over the fence.  When we got into the woods, I got the cuffs off and followed Charles into the night, as fast as we could go.

When I say fast, it’s hard to imagine how fast everything moves when you are on the run.  You don’t want to be standing in the way of a man desperate enough to escape prison.  I think most people can sense that, and there ain’t much resistance that comes from the public once they look at you and see that you ain’t got much too lose.

My legs were bleeding bad from trying to get over the fence. Charles ran up to a motorcycle at a stop sign and pulled the guy off of it and I got on the back and we took off.  I imagine now, how that must have looked, with his big ass on that Honda and me on the back holding on for dear life. .  Two minutes later, cops were behind us.  He shot down an alleyway, down some stairs and across a football field and into the woods like he was a black Evil Knevil. I don’t know how he didn’t kill us, but we got away from the cops and made it about 10 miles away to a neighborhood where his sister lived.  He was certain she wouldn’t call the cops on us, and she didn’t.  We got us some clothes, stopped my bleeding, and she even gave us some cash to get by on for the next couple of days.

The next morning, we stole a car and headed east towards Atlanta. Crossing the Alabama state line first time since the Bradford job was like a huge weight off my shoulders.   I thought I was going to die in Alabama, and I knew even if I got caught, I’d at least get thrown back in prison in Georgia, near some folks I was close with.

And about a month later, that’s exactly what happened.  We made it to Atlanta, and Charles split for Cincinnati.  I stayed with some friends of mine, and started hanging around the outskirts of Newnan, doing petty stuff to get money.  I was high up on Georgia’s most wanted list at the time, and a little ‘ole girl I was seeing ended up calling the cops on me while I was at her house. They busted in while I was laying on the couch, and took me in.  When they found out who I really was, they bussed me back to Jackson, where I waited three weeks before they sent me back to where it all began, Riedsville.

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