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Topics: The Times

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

image for Albuquerque Sheriff's Helo brought down by Gunfire
Albuquerque ups the Ante'

Albuquerque NM-- In a sign of the times, a Sheriff's helicopter circling over suspected burglars was reportedly brought down by gunfire Monday night. The helicopter's crew was unharmed, although the chopper itself was destroyed on impact. Bernalillo (pronounced: "Burn-a-Leo") Sherriff Darren White is quoted as saying "I've been telling the City Council for some time now that we need something with armor plating and greater firepower. Something like a Cobra gunship, or even better, an Apache"

Sheriff White said authorities have no suspects but were working with the FBI, and FAA. Investigators conclude a bullet struck a control pedal, he said. The pilot told White he heard a pop before the helicopter pitched and the engine shut down. Why a bullet hitting a control pedal would shut a 'copter's engine down is unclear.

Equipped with U.S. made Stinger shoulder-fired missiles reportedly re-purchased from Afghani mujahdeen, Albuquerque's gang-bangers are often better equipped than the fuzz. Setting up surface-to-air sites in defensive rings around intended robbery and carjacking targets, police say bulletproof vests are no longer adequate. "We need laser-guided Paveways and other "heavy equipment" to take these boys on. Maybe some Napalm."

With the highest murder rate in the nation, Albuquerque suffers not only from being virtually unspellable, located in an unpronouncable county, but also from a crystal meth problem that is beyond description. Local reporter Dick Knipfing, known for his balanced reporting, says "Our lead story is usually murder, and we frequently interrupt that with breaking news of yet another murder, or a more gruesome murder."

A cat burglar interviewed by Knipfing (to provide the claimed news balance) said the helicopter's searchlight is "extremely annoying when you're trying to break into a house. You're basically trying to use the cover of darkness to do your work, and next thing you know you need freakin' sunglasses. It's no wonder they get shot at. Tell those idiots to buy some night vision goggles, just like I did, if they want to see in the dark."

KOBTV Station Manager Ari Guthrie said "Criminals love to see themselves on TV. High speed chases, bank shootouts, that kind of stuff. If the Sheriff would take our advice and paint "News Copter" on his chopper, they wouldn't receive nearly as much groundfire. Criminals KNOW we need our searchlight in order to get good footage, and the leave us alone."

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