“Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control
Sal Culosi is dead because he bet on a football game — but it wasn’t a bookie or a loan shark who killed him. His local government killed him, ostensibly to protect him from his gambling habit. Several months earlier at a local bar, Fairfax County, Virginia, detective David Baucum overheard the thirty-eight-year-old optometrist and some friends wagering on a college football game. “To Sal, betting a few bills on the Redskins was a stress reliever, done among friends,” a friend of Culosi’s told me shortly after his death. “None of us single, successful professionals ever thought that betting fifty bucks or so on the Virginia–Virginia Tech football game was a crime worthy of investigation.” Baucum apparently did. On the night of January 24, 2006, Baucum called Culosi and arranged a time to drop by to collect his winnings. Sal Culosi’s last words were to Baucum, the cop he thought was a friend: “Dude, what are you doing?” But the mission creep hasn’t stopped at poker games.
Related: Getting along with the Police