Thirty something year old Trent James Stewart was near the end of his
fifteen year drivers license suspension for 3rd Offense DUI. The last time
Stewart drove drunk was 1989. In 1995, Trent James (TJ) Stewart said adios
to using alcohol altogether.
In 1999, Stewart was arrested for felony Driving Under Suspension after the
Omaha Police Division's Dave Friend used an illegal wiretap to have the man
arrested driving a car on a revoked (technical term for 15 year) driver's
license. This was Stewart's first and only driving under suspension arrest
and conviction, a felony nonetheless.
That felony conviction remains the man's one and only felony conviction. It
was the stake in the heart of the man's attempt to have his suspension ended
with a pardon from the Nebraska Board of Pardons.
He didn't hold a job after that until 2003, when he was hired by the
International Union of Elevator Constructors at Local 28 in Omaha, Nebraska,
after passing sixth in a class of around seventy in the aptitude test and
being accepted after the interview process.
Stewart's drivers license was scheduled to be reinstated in 2005 regardless
of any court's order or politician's decision completing a fifteen year
Sometime between May of 2003 and August of 2003 while Stewart was employed
with KONE Elevator and Escalator Company in Omaha and a probationary member
of the IUEC Local 28, Stewart was offered a ride to the grocery store by his
father, Jim Stewart.
Elevator and Escalator work for new guys is no joke. It pays well, is back
breaking, dangerous, hot and dirty. Veteran IUEC men (there are no women,
it's man's work for certain) have it light and get fat, but not apprentces.
Stewart was offered a ride by his retired father to the Baker's Supermarket
on 24th and Vinton Streets in Omaha, Nebraska, so the younger Stewart could
purchase some soda.
But this was destined to be no ordinary trip to the grocery store.
After becoming separated once in the store, both Stewarts arrived at
separate check out lines at about the same time. Neither knew the other was
Jim Stewart used a traditionally store checkout staffed with a clerk while
Trent Stewart used the self checkout system ten yards or so away.
As Trent Stewart scanned his purchases, two, two-liter bottles of Diet
Mountain Dew, he overheard an irate customer at the checkouts giving the
clerk a piece of his mind.
That's when he recognized his father's voice. He looked up to see his
seventy some year old Dad ranting and raving at the clerk for reasons
unknown to him. Trent Stewart was embarassed and happy he wasn't with his
Dad for this temper tantrum.
But what was an old man's temper tantrum turned into much worse.
Baker's Supermarket employed, at that time, off duty Omaha Police Division
uniformed officers for security duty. The man currently occupying that role
was a hard ass. Stewart never had problems with him, but Stewart had
witnessed this grey haired old cop push some people around before in the
This time the old cop's target was Trent Stewart's father, Jim Stewart.
Trent Stewart had just witnessed the end of his father's tyrade a few
checkstands away and his father telling the clerk to piss off and that he
was leaving the store and wouldn't shop there anymore or some such.
It was then that retired police officer took notice of the scene from twenty
or so yards away.
The cop started yelling across the store at Jim Stewart, but the old man
just kept walking toward the exit, obviously in fear but trying to act
The uniformed Omaha Police Division officer did not like being ignored. He
got angrier and angrier until he lost his cool completely and broke into a
full running charge at Jim Stewart as the old man got nearer to both the
store exit and his son still using the self checkout lane.
Trent Stewart didn't miss a second of this and watched it all unfold before
his eyes in horror like it was in slow motion.
The police officer was approaching his elderly father from behind, blind
siding the old man, and was beginning to raise his arm over the old man's
shoulders for a take down move.
Mind you, no crime whatsoever took place. NONE.
The officer was a second away from taking down the seventy plus year old man
from behind when both were within a step of IUEC Elevator Constructor,
mechanic, electronics technician, and maintenance man Trent Stewart.
Without even thinking, Stewart grabbed his sack of soda, and stepped in the
path of the charging police officer.
Trent Stewart weighed about 215 pounds at the time and stands about 5'11".
The unformed police officer stood about 5'8" and weighed more than Trent
Stewart with a belly.
The police officer didn't know what hit him. With twenty people standing by
watching the whole ugly scene, Trent Stewart stepped in front of the
charging police officer and the officer ran into him and bounced off,
heading for the hard tile floor of the grocery store.
Stewart didn't move. He closed his eyes after seeing the police officer
heading to the floor after colliding with him and seeing the officer's face.
The cop was glaring at Trent Stewart as he headed for the ground, mad as
Trent Stewart has had nothing but problems with the Omaha Police Division
his entire life. From being sexually assaulted at age five by two off duty
uniformed police officers and given a heroin overdose to two pages of
arrests, Stewart is no stranger to the most notorious police department in
But he never before hit a cop.
The officer hit the ground. He had gotten part of his arm over the shoulder
of the elder Stewart before colliding with the younger Stewart who
instinctively defended his father from attack.
The old man stopped and was spun around.
The cop's attention was no directed toward Trent Stewart who had now opened
his eyes and prepared to defend himself from attack. The officer gave Jim
Stewart an embarassing public scolding then told the old man to leave, which
is what he was doing when the officer attacked.
Then he turned to Stewart who was now face to face with him. "What the
fuck," said Trent Stewart to the officer, pretending to be just any other
Mean people are stupid, the Omaha Police officer was no different.
The cop was shook up. He didn't like being caught by surprise.
Stewart just smiled as his father left the store.
The cop just kept staring at him, and walked away.
The officer is lucky Stewart didn't take his sidearm away from him or worse.
Once outside the store in the parking lot, the elder Stewart was now upset,
cussing the police as he headed for his vehicle.
Trent Stewart was scared shitless believing it wasn't over by a long shot.
Stewart is the guy who ALWAYS goes to jail when the Omaha Police Division
are involved. At this moment in his life, he had been sober for eight years,
no longer his worst enemy, and again found himself an opponent of the
This time, however, Stewart had a career to lose if arrested. A career with
the International Union of Elevator Constructors which just began, one of
the best paying blue collar jobs around.
Stewart's father resented him telling him to get to his car before the
officer's buddies arrived or the officer himself came outside to shoot both
of them. Police officers, even psychotic ones, carry firearms, pepper spray,
clubs, stun guns and other weapons.
While heading to their vehicle, the Stewarts were intercepted by a female
customer of the grocery store who said she witnessed the whole thing and she
would love to testify should they decided to sue the store for the attack by
their security officer.
She said she has seen that same cop attack two or three elderly customers in
the past and he has been out of control for a long time.
IT AIN'T OVER YET
Trent Stewart was scolded by his father, Jim, the entire trip home. Trent
Stewart just defended his old man and his old man didn't like it for some
reason. The old fool threatened to make the younger man walk home if he
didn't apologize to his Dad for some reason.
Once home, Stewart was still in shock. He had worked for Baker's
Supermarkets himelf for two years in the past, most of the time at that very
store where the police attacked his father.
It was then he realized he didn't pay for his soda pop.
He also realized that he DID scan his discount card which has his name,
address, etc. associated with it in Baker's Supermarket's computer system.
So now he realized that the Omaha Police Division officer and/or store
management could have him arrested for theft.
All for three dollars worth of soda pop.
So Trent Stewart called the store and asked to speak to the manager. It
turns out that the store manager was an assistant store manager twenty years
earlier at the same store who knew Trent Stewart well and liked him.
So Stewart told the manager he would like to come back and pay for the soda,
but it might take a while since he might have to walk several miles to get
the job done.
Stewart found a ride to the supermarket and paid for the soda. Then he was
asked by the store manager, Mr. Mike Bolte, to speak with him in the office.
Once in the office, the two men spoke briefly. Mike Bolte told Trent Stewart
the uniformed Omaha Police Division officer was justified in his actions
Stewart knew better.
He also knew he and his father aren't the type to sue people for such
foolishness and most likely wouldn't be suing Baker's Supermarket.
But he didn't tell his former boss that.
Trent Stewart was in the Cat Bird's seat and he knew it.
Stewart told Bolte he disagreed that the officer's actions were not
justified, but that was a matter for someone else to decide.
Stewart told Bolte he knew the whole ugly episode was caught on video and
recorded by the store's video cameras.
Bolte then began telling Stewart how that officer was twenty-five year
veteran of the Omaha Police Division who just retired and a decorated
officer with a spotless service record, blah, blah, blah.
Stewart just sat in the store office listening to his former boss rant and
rave, reading his body language and manuerism with a big smile on his face.
Bolte knew his audience, too. He finally gave up the sales pitch. On the way
out of the office, Stewart used the opportunity to see how his former boss
regarded him. "You really didn't think I stole that soda pop, did you Mike?"
"No, Trent, people that steal from us don't come back and pay afterward,"
replied Bolte, and the two men parted company with Stewart still fearing the
gun toting psychopathic police officer security guard nearby.
The Stewart's never did sue Baker's Supermarkets or ever even consider it.
Jim Stewart twisted the day's events into a mistake by his son and ceased
providing tranpsortation to him for a while. Jim Stewart NEVER apologizes,
Trent Stewart began boycotting Bakers Supermarkets for a few years, until he
got over it.
The Baker's Supermarket store on 24th and Vinton Streets in Omaha, Nebraska,
was sold a few months later along with a couple other stores in the local
Mike Bolte was rumored to have "retired" from Baker's Supermarkets shortly
after the incident in 2003, and was rumored to be practicing a new career as
a tile floor installer, working with hs twin brother.
Trent Stewart was fired from KONE Elevator and Escalator in August of 2003,
a few days before his probationary period with the IUEC Local 28 was over.
Rather than go back to the union hall as directed, he told them all to fuck
off and resigned from the IUEC with letters to both the local and national
Another local grocery store chain in Omaha, Nebraska, continues to operate
the former Baker's Supermarket at 24th and Vinton Streets in Omaha,
The retired Omaha Police Division officer who attacked Jim Stewart at the
store is not known.
He just seemed to fade away like all the dirty deeds of the Omaha Police