My retirement was delayed for three months due to having knee surgery on the very day I was scheduled to retire. I doubled up on physical therapy sessions and cut the six month recovery time into just three. Still, I barely made it home by Christmas. We lived with Judy's mom while waiting to enroll at Grace Bible College and Seminary. We had traveled to northern Indiana, visited the school, found a job, and were waiting to start in the Fall. Everything seemed to be on schedule until "the incident."
One Sunday afternoon, I was seated next to my ten year old daughter watching television, when she let out a loud moan. I had barely brushed against her shoulder and she was clearly in pain. I asked what was wrong, and she said, "Timmy hit me." Her shoulder had a huge bruise and it hurt her to move her arm. She said that she and Timmy's sister had been playing catch when Timmy took their ball to tease them. His mother yelled out her window and told him to leave them alone. When she had gone from the window, Timmy had clobbered her. Needless to say, I was furious. Timmy was about six foot two and weighted around two hundred pounds. I decided that I would speak (threaten) him the next time I saw him. Later that afternoon, I loaded up our three girls in the car and headed for the grocery store. As we drove down the street, I saw Timmy playing baseball with some neighborhood kids. I pulled over, got out of my car, and called Timmy to come over. He apparently had no idea what I wanted, because he did not hesitate. I asked him if he had hit my daughter. He became very defensive and said that he had barely touched her. I told him if he ever "touched" one of my daughters again that I would knock his head off. He said okay and headed back to his friends. I repeated my threat so that he and his friends would all be warned. He turned around and sneered, "You wouldn't touch me; my dad would get you!" Bad knee and all, I ran over to him and decked him. As he lay bleeding on the ground, I said, "Now go get your dad!"
When I first got out of the car, my oldest daughter had run back to Timmy's house to get his parents. She knew what was probably going to happen, and was attempting to prevent it. As his parents drove up, his dad asked why I didn't tell him and let him handle it. His mother chimed in and said, "Your daughter is no angel either!" I told his dad that her response is exactly why I dealt with Timmy myself. I got back in my car and returned home. When I calmed down and came to my senses, I realized I needed to report it to the police. I called an Indiana State Policeman I knew from church, and he spent most of the rest of the day with me. He was a great comfort to us all, and he said that I should go to the city police the next day. When we arrived at the police station, they already had a warrant for my arrest. The District Attorney called us into her office and listened to our side of the story. When she saw how little Cheryl was and how badly her arm was bruised, she said that there was no way a jury would ever convict me. She said that she would not take me to court, but would keep the report in case there was another incident. She had seen my actions as justifiable. But in my heart, I knew I had blown my cool and my witness for Christ. To be continued.