Gotti and the Gun (Part 1)

Baltimore has two kinds of weather. It is ether brutally hot and humid, or freezing cold. This takes place on one of those freezing cold, bitter winter days.
Aaron and I were driving down Edmonson Avenue with our friend Steve. We were on our way to Jared’s pawn shop on Hilton to sell some boosted pharmaceuticals to get money to get well. As we were driving we saw our main crack dealer Gotti walking down the road. Now, getting ready at that moment was the furthest thing from any of our minds. Anyone with a dope habit will tell you that if you are ill (dope sick) the absolute LAST thing you want to do is smoke crack. It just kicks your withdraws into over drive. That being said though, being as it was like 10 degrees before the windchill we decided to see if Gotti needed a ride.
“Yeah. I just need to go to my girl’s on Wildwood”, he told us. Now, if you are going up Edmonson towards the village center, Wildwood is a two way, divided street. Coming down Edmonson, the way we were headed, and the side of Wildwood that he was going to, Wildwood was a one way coming down, dead-ending into Edmonson. This meant that we had to drive past it, turn up the next street and loop around.
Of course as Gotti is getting into my Cavalier, a cop drives by and hits the lights. “Shit!”, Gotti exclaims, “Don’t let them search the car, I’m dirty. Oh, and if they ask, my name is Pierre Lonfonze.” “Pierre Lonfonze?”, I ask incredulously. “Yeah.”
We pull over and the two cops, both white dudes, walk up to the car, one on each side. As soon as Aaron rolls down the window, the cop on his side points to Gotti, “You. Out.” Aaron lets out of the back of out two door car, and the cop closes the door. We watch as they pat Gotti down and talk to him. They write him his little pink ticket and send him off on foot. (In Baltimore if you are fucked with by the police for what they call a CDS investigation, and they do not arrest anyone, they write you a little receipt saying the officers name, your name, the date, time, street of the stop etc. I don’t know why they do this. I guess they have to hit some sort of weekly quota of how many people they fuck with.) as we were sitting in the car watching this happen, Steve says, “He put something under your seat dude.” Lovely.
Now, they come back to the car to deal with us. “You know why I stopped you all?” The one asks us. We shake our heads communicating that, no we did not know. “I stopped yup because you picked up Gotti, a known crack dealer.” “Great,” I thought, “that motherfucker is hot like that?”
“Step out of the car please,” he tells Aaron and Steve. He takes them behind the car while the other cop sits with me. After a few minutes, he comes back and orders me out of the car. “So your buddy says that he knows Gotti ’cause they were locked up together at RCI.” (RCI is a prison in Hagerstown.) “That maybe,” I say. “Why did you pick up a crack dealer?”, they ask me. “It’s cold,” I said, “We were taking him to his girl’s house on Wildwood.” “Why did you pass Wildwood then?” “‘Cause it is a one way street,” I say. “No it’s not,” they say. (It is – they were just trying to fuck with me.)
“Ok. What is Gotti’s real name?” they question. This is a big test that they like to pull when it is a car that has black and white people together. They figure that if it is your drug dealer than you will not know their real name, which often is true. “Pierre Lonfonze,” I say, trying to keep a straight face. “Yeah, that’s what he told us too, but we aren’t buying it.” “Well that is the only name that I have ever known him by, ” I tell them.
After a few more minutes of harassment, they ask us where we live. We tell them. “70 is that way. I suggest that you head towards it,” we are told. We get back in and drive off, knowing that we were lucky, as that was just about the ONLY time that I have been pulled over I the city and they didn’t search the car. We didn’t yet realize how lucky we were.
“Find the pack,” we tell Steve, as we assume that Gotti had left a pack of crack in our car. “Um, he didn’t leave a pack guys,” Steve says pulling out a loaded gun. (I’m not sure what kind of gun it was as I am not a gun person.)
Within two minutes of us pulling off, my phone rings and it is Gotti. He wants his gun back. He wants to buy it back at three times what he should pay for it. Now let me say a couple things here. One, yes, it is fucked up that Gotti left it in the car, but as it turned out they didn’t search the car. Actually, they didn’t search us either. Gotti was the only person that they did search. He knew that they would search him, as he was the reason that they hemmed us up. Had he kept the gun on him, they would have found it, no doubt. They also would have arrested us all. He took a calculated risk, and it worked.
Second, I personally have never seen Gotti be anything but sweet, polite, and nice, but everyone in the village was absolute terrified of him. “Gotti don’t play,” is a sentiment that you would hear repeatedly in that area.
So, Aaron tells him that we will sell it back to him but that we are not going right back up there ’cause, yeah, we just got fucked with there, and they followed us halfway down Edmonson towards Cooks Lane, which takes you to Route 70.
“Fuck that,” Steve exclaims. “Take me down to Jigga right quick.” We head that way to cop as that was one of the best dopes at time (actually they stayed one of the best dopes for a shockingly long period of time- years). We pull down the street and find the guy in charge. Steve asks him if he is interested in the gun. Of course he is, he is a drug dealer in Baltimore. So we give him the gun in exchange for money and dope.
“You shouldn’t have done that!” Aaron tells Steve. “Gotti knows he fucked up, he would have given us more for it. He wanted it back.”
Later on Aaron and I explained to Gotti what happened to his gun. He felt bad and gave us free ready for about a month straight to try to make up for the incident.
Approximately two or three weeks after this happened, we ran into Steve at the West Side Shopping Center with a black eye and walking with a limp. “What the fuck happened to you?” I asked him. “Gotti and his boys jumped me and stomped the shit out of me. He was pissed about the gun.” “Told you we should have just sold it back to him,” Aaron said.


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