Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

XXXI. My Friend, Melvin Brown

     I guess this was 1968, I am not sure. Fat Vestal and I were working the Spray beat when. one night about midnight, Ron Hooker was working the radio and he notified us that a Henry County Deputy was in pursuit of a Corvette headed for North Carolina and they were passing thru Starlings Crossroads at a high rate of speed and that they were coming into North Carolina. Fat and I were on Virginia Avenue and we set up a roadblock at the Riverview Presbyterian Church, We had just blocked the road when we heard a car coming at great speed. 

     The Corvette came thru "Self's Curve" at great speed and the driver saw the roadblock and stood up on the brakes, he managed to get the corvette stopped before he hit our cruiser. One second behind him was a brown Henry County cruiser sliding to a stop. Fat and I ran to the Corvette and I saw the driver was my next door neighbor, Jim Talbott. The door of the Henry County cruiser flopped open and the deputy started getting out......and kept on getting out, when he got out, he was about six foot-five and he reached in and got his Smokey Bear hat and put it on......and when he walked to the Corvette, he looked like a Carolina Pine tree...He reached thru the driver's side window and snatched Jimmy out like a sack of coffee, The deputy drew back this huge five cell flashlight and intended to wrap it completely around Jimmy's head. I  yelled hey!! We in Carolina!! Ease Up!! And the deputy did....he did not brain Jimmy...Jim agreed that he needed to go back to Martinsville, and in less than five minutes, he was on his way....Extradition was a vague concept back then. Truthfully, it worked both ways.


     My old buddy Dick Barbour had died, and had been buried before I knew of his death. Melvin Brown and I became friends and we shared lots of information across the state line. I made detective, and Melvin made detective and we shared more and more intel...we both cleared cases on the others intel.  Melvin was about six foot four, slim and he had a ruddy complexion and and snow white, curly hair, Melvin Brown was a nice man.


     A few years later, our dispatcher got a teletype,,,,,a Henry county deputy had been killed in Semora, N.C.....He had been transporting as prisoner from Yanceyville to Martinsville and the prisoner had grabbed the wheel and steered the cruiser into the path of a tractor-trailer. I knew all the Henry County Detectives, had worked with them all and I had a stone in my heart....When I found out it was Melvin. I cried...all of us cried....


     I went with a group of officers from North Carolina, to Melvin's funeral....We could not get into the church, there were hundreds of people standing outside and when the funeral procession left for the cemetery, it was over seven miles long. Melvin was a gifted and able lawman, he just made one small mistake and it cost him his life. I will always remember him as a good and able friend.

Michael D. Martin

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