Written by FBI Agent Steven B. Riggs
“Don’t mess with Bowers.”— Riggs
Kate Bowers and I have an interesting relationship that spans working together and knowing each other on a more personal level. She has always had my six. Because of that, fellow agents and those in law enforcement often ask me about her, especially when I’m decompressing with the guys at Old Ebbitt’s Grill. One night, something happened that needed no explanation.
I had been waiting for Bowers and enjoying a Heineken at the main bar when I caught a glimpse of her outside. At near six feet, she was easy to spot as a knot of loud pushy reporters encircled her. They apparently had picked up on the big case she’d been working and took the opportunity to corner her. The press jostled for her attention by thrusting their microphones at her.
“Dammit,” I’d said to the guys at the bar. “She’s been through hell and doesn’t need this.” I flagged down the head waiter and a handful of the guys from the bar followed.
Up ahead, reporters clogged the entrance, making it impossible for customer to enter or depart. One cameraman shoved Bowers into the front door and thrust his lens into her face, cutting her chin.
“Oh, buddy,” I said. “You just screwed up.
The guy next to me chuckled. “Can’t wait to see her reaction to that.”
Bowers grabbed the slender man by the shirt, hauled his ass inside, and slammed him against a wall next to the door. The reporters outside jockeyed to see, but she and the cameraman were out of their line of sight. She had at least a few inches on him and all he could do was stand there looking startled.
I pushed closer and pulled the head waiter along with me. The men behind us fanned out and blocked reporters from swarming inside.
“Is she okay?” asked the head waiter as he directed customers and staff to stand aside.
“She’s fine,” I told him. “It’s the cameraman who’s in deep shit.”
True to form, Bowers ripped the camera out of the guy’s hands and dangled it over the banister of the stairwell, leading downstairs to the restrooms. If she were to let go, it would drop twenty feet before shattering to pieces on the black-and-white tiled floor below.
Inches from the man’s face, Bowers glared down at him. “Here’s the deal,” she growled. “If you ever lay your hands on me or any other officer again, I’ll charge you with assaulting a police officer and haul your ass to jail. You hear me?”
The man’s eyes darted between her and his camera and back again. “Look, I’m sorry.” His eyes were wide, and his voice pleading. “I’m just trying to do my job.”
“What do you think I’m doing?” She wiped the blood off her chin and shoved the man’s camera into his chest with the same amount of force he’d used on her. The guys from the bar appeared amused.
“Next time,” she said, “if you want to talk with me, ask. Nicely.” Bowers pointed to the door. “Leave. Now.”
“Coming through,” I ordered as I rushed forward. “Make a hole.” Two men from our impromptu posse escorted the cameraman outside. As the door opened, several reporters tried to enter, but stopped when the guys from the bar lined up like a wall of guard dogs.
When I directed Bowers toward our table, a fellow agent nodded toward the railing where Bowers had held the cameraman. “Geez, Bowers. What the hell was that?”
“Restraint,” she said as we walked away.
“I couldn’t have said it better.”