The action never stops at the Berkeley Public Library

 

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You get the feeling with some people, their reputation precedes them. . .

This afternoon I’m at the library. And the Berkeley Library can often resemble an open air mental ward (needless to say I feel right at home). This guy is on one of the computers, listening to headphones. Black guy, about 30, with bleached blonde hair. He’s got his back to me, so I can’t see his face. But I can sure hear him. Everyone in the room can hear him.

He’s making these loud, wailing, anguished crying, sobbing sounds. Then he starts laughing hysterically, this loon laughter. Then he starts babbling to himself in this loud, discordant voice. Then he goes back to crying. Back and forth like that. Non-stop. For quite some time.

So I’m wondering why one of the librarians doesn’t go over there and tell him to be quiet. Then I notice these three guys standing about 20 feet behind him by the railing. Staring at him intently and talking into walkie-talkies.

About 5 minutes later three cops show up. They walk up to him very cautiously. Sort of surround him — one cop to the left, one to the right, and one right behind him. The cops tell the people sitting at the computers nearby him that they need to get up and leave. Then one of the cops softly says;

“Excuse me sir, you’ve got to get up and leave the library.”

The guy ignores the cops. Continues to babble away on his headphones.

The cop repeats: “You’ve got to leave.”

“No no, it’s all right,” says the guy.

You can see the cops stiffen. For a LONG solid minute it looks like a stand-off and that he’s going to resist the cops.

Finally, he stands up. And they surround him and quietly escort him to the stairs and out of the building.

You get the feeling they’ve had previous dealings with that guy.

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