Officer Davies made three slow, short, lips pursed nods before replying to Adriel. “Sounds like a plan. Duvan, why don’t you and I go sit at the table there and you can tell me what happened to Gabrielle. Finger, Mr. Gibeon, you’re welcome to listen but I need you to be quiet and out of Duvan here’s field of vision. I’ll record and take notes, Duvan but you just tell your story, okay?”
“And Finger? Quiet means just that,” Davies added to Bill as he placed a pocket sized recorder on the table and opened a small notebook. “Not a sound or you’re out, got it?”
Bill’s hands flipped out and away from his body slightly and his left eye closed perhaps a third shut but the only verbal response he made was, “Yeah.”
Davies made a note of Duvan’s full name and contact information including a telephone number for his employer before asking the young man to tell his story. “Don’t worry about getting every detail right, just tell me what you remember. At this point you’re our only witness so anything you tell us might come in handy down the road, okay?”
“Yes, sir,” he answered, hands folded in front of him on the table top.
Davies touched a button on the recorder, mumbled something into it that included Duvan and Gabrielle’s names and then laid the device down on the table between them. “Go ahead,” he said, nodding to Duvan and raising his eyebrows slightly as he did so.
“Well,” Duvan began, “I took the METRO to Shady Grove station but I arrived too late for the buses so I had to walk. I was supposed to get off at six but Jaime -one of the other cooks? -he wasn’t feeling well so when our store manager Barry Blum asked if I could stay late so he could leave early I said yes. I can use the money anyway and the long walk home in the summer is not a big deal, you know?”
“Sure, Duvan, sure,” Davies replied. “But let’s try to narrow it down a bit, unless what happened before you found Gabrielle being attacked matters, alright?”
“Yes, of course. I am just a bit nervous, that’s all.”
“Well, I can see how that could be and I’d tell you not to be but that doesn’t really help, does it? I can tell you that you’re in no trouble what so ever and of course neither is Mrs. Gibeon, we just got off to a funny start. So what time do you think you came across the assault?”
“It had to be after one. I got out of work just after midnight and did not have to wait long for a train. Maybe like a quarter after one?”
“And what did you see?”
“Well at first I was not sure. It was dark of course but there are street lights. I could tell there were four people and I hoped to slip by them with no problem, you know? Sometimes young men make trouble just for fun. Anyway, I saw that there were four and then I saw that three were circling the smallest and knew it was three men harassing a girl or small woman. Seeing that I knew perhaps I would not be able to just slip by and I got my phone out, just in case.
“I also put my hand in my pocket where I carry a knife but I kept it there, I swear! In any case, the attack happened perhaps two hundred feet away from me.”