Modus Operandi


coren_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif muldoon_icon.gif

Scene Title Modus Operandi
Synopsis Coren and Elisabeth execute a search and seizure warrant on Muldoon's Manhattan office.
Date April 1, 2009

Financial District

It's something. Perhaps not the best case scenario, but that's understandable given the rather complicated nature of Abigail Beauchamp and the desire of the justice system to remain ignorant of such complications. Detective Shelby waits outside the office building for Elisabeth Harrison. He's accompanied by six uniforms to help hasten the execution of the search and seizure warrant on James Muldoon's Manhattan office. Harrison's coming along for the ride thanks to Abigail's tip that Muldoon may be evolved. That has SCOUT's jurisdiction written all over it, and he'd be happy to hand him off if it turns out to be good information.

For her part, Elisabeth is treating this entirely as Shelby's bust. He's the one who's worked the facts of the case and browbeat an ADA and a judge to get his warrant in spite of the District Attorney's stance. When she arrives, she's got her kevlar on beneath a lightweight NYPD jacket — cuz you know? Not bulletproof. She nods to Shelby and says with a grin, "Your show, Detective. Thanks for letting me tag along."

"Wouldn't have it any other way," Coren replies. He too is wearing kevlar beneath his suit and NYPD jacket. As always, his suit is tieless. "All right, let's get this over with." He leads the way into the building, bypassing security with the display of his badge and the warrant in his hand. "The office is on the fifteenth floor." Into the elevator they go. 15 is punched, and the doors close. He can only imagine the looks on the faces of anyone who may be sitting on the fifteenth floor when the elevator doors open to reveal six uniforms and two suits.

In theory, they shouldn't need weapons for this. They're serving a warrant. But in practice? Liz has noticed that things don't always go as planned. So when the doors open on the 15th floor and they all pile out, she spreads out just a bit from Coren to give them both a little room to pull weapons or duck or … heck, even use abilities, if need be. It's always bizarre to listen to Muzak on the way to a search, too. But whatever. When they reach the office doors, she moves to the right, letting Coren do the whole Police Banging On the Door routine and the calling out of NYPD and all. Herself, she turns her attention inside the office to listen and ascertain if she can where people are, if there are any, in relation to the doors.

It's more of a polite, yet harsh, knock on the doors. A thrice-repeated thump on the door before he calls out, "James Muldoon, this is the New York Police Department. We have a warrant to search the premises."

The sound of footsteps scuffing against the carpet on the other side of the door can clearly be heard, though there's something almost leisurely about its pace. A moment later, the lock turns, the door opens, and the tall, broad-shouldered figure of James Muldoon appears in its frame, lit cigarette dangling from between two of his long fingers. Cool blue eyes meet Coren's and hold his gaze, steady — there's nothing inherently threatening about the way the man holds himself, but the direct manner in which he implores the detective with his stare gives a very different impression. "May I see it?"

She's never laid eyes on James Muldoon outside of pictures, and though she's watchful and careful, same as the six uniforms flanking the two plainclothes officers, Elisabeth just holds her position. It's reasonably unlikely they're going to find anything in his office, and both she and Coren know it… but it's worth a shot, right? The only thing Elisabeth is worried about is that he's awfully calm about it — he isn't even asking why he'd be served a warrant or anything else. He's just being all calm, like 'you haven't got anything on me' and maybe like he knew they'd be coming. Which… well, hell, maybe he's been expecting them since Abby got loose, who knows? But no threat, no action — this is a good thing.

Detective Shelby's eyes meet Muldoon's and that impression sticks. Still, he holds a hand back to let Elisabeth know to stand down, and to calm the officers who may have been expecting more than a routine search. He offers the warrant, "Of course. Just try to keep your self and any of your staff from interfering and we'll try to be out of your hair as quickly and as orderly as possible."

Muldoon takes the warrant and moves out of the doorway, into the hall where Elisabeth and the other officers are waiting. "I'm afraid it's just me, myself and I this afternoon," he says, lowering his gaze to the paperwork so he can give it a cursory glance. "If you're looking for something specific, do let me know."

Apparently satisfied with the warrant, he turns his attention to SCOUT, mouth thinning out into an unimpressed line. "I'll bet you gave security quite the scare," he remarks, though the comment isn't directed at any one officer in particular. "Is this your usual modus operandi? I was under the impression that SCOUT was responsible for dealing with the investigation of Evolved activity."

When Muldoon 'kindly' steps back to allow them access, she lets the uniforms go first and spread out to start searching the place — they've all been briefed on what they're looking for, as per the warrant. Liz herself offers a tight smile to Muldoon, though, and says mildly, "The kidnapping of an Evolved healer falls under that jurisdiction, Mr. Muldoon," is all she offers by way of explanation to the man. She'll stay close enough to Shelby to back him up while the uniforms begin their search.

"That just makes our job easier," the Detective says, and he hangs back slightly as Muldoon speaks to Elisabeth. He is glad she leaves out the part where said Evolved healer fingered Muldoon as an evolved. He addresses the uniforms as they begin their search, "Remember what I told you earlier. Please, please leave everything as nearest to its original state as you can. To do any less is disrespectful. If you find anything, bag and tag it and bring it to me." And so they begin searching.

Muldoon keeps an eye on Coren in his peripheral, the majority of his attention resting on Elisabeth. There's a slight tilt of his head, and his mouth splits into a wide, wolfish grin at the mere mention of Abigail. "That's quite an accusation," he says as he raises the cigarette to the corner of his mouth and rests it there, pursed between his lips. "For your sake, I hope you find the evidence to support it, because this is all going to look very interesting on paper."

The hand holding the cigarette drops down to Muldoon's side and curls into a loose fist as he works the tension from his knuckles, one at a time. "I do wonder, though, if this doesn't constitute excessive force. Did you think I might try to blow you away through the door?"

Raising both her eyebrows, Elisabeth's tone is very very bland. "Interesting set of assumptions and implications, Mr. Muldoon…. a SCOUT operative comes with a detective on a different squad because the case of an Evolved healer is of interest, and you automatically assume…. what? That SCOUT has an interest in you? That you're being accused of something? In general, SCOUT has no interest in people who aren't Evolved and hiding it or Evolved and involved in a criminal activity. If neither of those apply to you, then I would venture to say you don't interest me a single bit." She smiles, almost ferally. "Of course… Detective Shelby, Mr. Muldoon seems to think a search team constitutes some kind of excessive force. Have you been flashing around your firearm again?"

Several uniforms come from their various posts shaking their heads. Detective Shelby retrieves a notepad on which he has written a few items that the warrant specifically authorizes them to secure from Muldoon. He turns to Elisabeth with a querying look on his face. "I only just unzipped my jacket," he says as he flips his notepad closed and slips it back into his suit pocket. His shoulder holster does come into view then, but that's to be expected. "The warrant gives us permission to seize your computer and any personal digital assistants you own and use regularly for business." It's a pity it doesn't authorize them to take any that he uses personally. Of course, what's the likelihood of a person owning more than on PDA? He'll work on getting a warrant to seize his cellular and land phone records, too. If the computer yields anything, it shouldn't be too hard. He waves one of the officers to secure the aforementioned computer. "We'll be sure to have it back to you as soon as we perform a direct data copy and have the opportunity to inspect its contents, and we apologize for any inconvenience that may cause." The surprise? He actually sounds sincere.

"In my humble experience, a search team of eight does seem a touch disproportionate, given my utter lack of a criminal record." Muldoon takes a drag from his cigarette, pauses to exhale a slow and steady stream of smoke through his nostrils. His eyes haven't left Elisabeth. "You'll forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, of course, but it's becoming increasingly clear that you don't know how to do your job. If I was involved in the kidnapping of an Evolved healer, don't you think that's the sort of information you ought to keep to yourself? Unless you're here to arrest me, I'd have all the time in the world to, ah, react appropriately."

With a rolling shrug of his shoulder, he turns his head just enough to look over at Coren and the officer in the process of seizing his computer. "It's no trouble at all," he assures him. "I keep backups of all the data on my machine. Hold it for as long as you'd like."

She'd roll her eyes if she felt his assertion required it, but it doesn't. The warrant clearly spells out what's being looked for, and the legal document also contains the information about what case it relates to. It has to, or else it's invalid. Elisabeth merely smiles at him. "In general search teams consist of 4 to 6 uniforms and the primary officers on the case, Mr. Muldoon. But I'm glad that you're up on your civil rights and that you're interested enough in police procedure to know them. But I am interested in the fact that that's the second time you've alluded to 'blasting us through the door' or 'react appropriately' to an arrest. Are you stating that you'd employ methods to evade arrest or questioning if we had been coming for that?" Her expression is all innocence. "Seems to me that'd be an overreaction on the part of a law-abiding citizen with nothing to worry about such as yourself. Since you have nothing to hide and all." She glances to Shelby and keeps her tone just as casual and easy as it's been the whole time. "Have we covered everything in the warrant, Detective?"

An officer returns with the computer system in his arms. "More hands makes for a faster search, which gets us out of your hair faster," is all Coren says with regards to its size. He gestures for the officer to leave the office, along with the other uniforms, "Unless you have a PDA for us to take as well, I believe we're done here." He offers his hand to the businessman, "Mister Muldoon, we'll be sure to have your property back to you as soon as possible, and I believe you should find that our officers have left your office intact, sans one computer. If there's anything else, we'll be sure to let you know." He also pulls out one of his cards and offers it, "Likewise, if you need to get in touch with me: my card."

Muldoon takes Coren's hand and gives it a firm squeeze. Elisabeth, at least for the moment, goes pointedly ignored. "Thank you," he murmurs, then with a peek at the card he now holds between his fingers, "Detective Shelby. It was a pleasure dealing with someone who knows how to keep a level head. I do hate it when authorities make thinly veiled threats for the sake of asserting their dominance over the people they're meant to serve and protect. Perhaps your friend here could learn a thing or two from the way you operate."

There's just a faint grin and Elisabeth heads for the door with the uniforms. In point of fact, Muldoon's the one who has offered threats, all she did was call him on it. He probably should be glad that Shelby's here and not Harvard — Will's run people in to have them Evo-tested with less than what Muldoon's already offered by way of veiled threats. "Have a nice day, Mr. Muldoon," she says easily.

Detective Shelby, PhD. Oh, what a card. Oh how overqualified. "Have a good day, Mister Muldoon, and I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you." He offers a brief nod of his head as he makes his way to follow Elisabeth and the officers back to the elevator. They have hopefully recovered enough to throw the man away, but Coren somehow doubts they'll be able to arrest him for anything that would put him away for too long.

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