He got drunk, forgot his gun at a bar, wrecked an unmarked cop car, left the scene of the accident, and then tried to cover it up.
But that isn’t the worst of it for Homicide Capt. James Brady.
According to the Inquirer, he “wet his pants. ”
And now, in a peculiar example of public humiliation, many in the city are mocking him with a vengeance. At the water cooler and on talk radio, the focus is the unfortunate mess on Brady’s lap.
To some, the soaked crotch is the ultimate sign of a waste-case, a loser so pitifully sauced he can’t control his bladder.
To others, even pointing out the pee is just plain shameful.
To give the captain (who isn’t talking to the press) his due, it’s entirely possible the incriminating spot was not his own.
Sources at the Roundhouse say Brady has privately denied the bilious allegation.
One police source said Brady blamed the wet spot on leaking radiator fluid. Another speculated that Brady took a beer home from the bar, held it between his knees as he drove and spilled it across his midsection when he wrecked.
In a profession that requires a tough-guy mentality, it’s no wonder the cops are looking for excuses.
“The worst thing a cop can do is p— his pants,” one police source said. “In many minds, that’s more humiliating than leaving a briefcase in the bar with a confidential file, the hit-and-run, driving drunk. That’s just something you never want anyone to say about you. ”
Beverly Hills celebrity shrink Dr. Carole Lieberman says, “It has to do with a loss of control. ”
“It’s embarrassing for anyone to wet his pants,” Lieberman said. “But people who are police officers are supposed to be in control. The worst thing, the most humiliating thing, would be for them to be out of control. ”
William I. Miller, author of “Humiliation” and “Anatomy of Public Disgust,” said, “The minimum expectation we have for ourselves is that we can control our bodily excretions. If we’re drunk, big deal. If he even threw up, that would be excused. ”
“But the absolute expectation from the time you turn 3 is that you can control your bodily functions . . . ,” said Miller, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. “Hell, we even expect that from our dogs. ”
“It’s an utter disgrace. The one thing you can’t survive is s——- or p—— your pants. ”
Psychologist Joyce Brothers believes, “It’s good that somebody can feel humiliation. It’s a sign of basic goodness. ”
What troubles Brothers and others, though, is the American fascination with public humiliation.
Citing TV shows like “Survivor” and “Big Brother,” Brothers said, “We are losing our ability to be shamed. ”
Lieberman believes we enjoy watching others blush because “it makes people feel better about their own experiences of humiliation . . . Given our antagonistic attitudes toward police officers, some might get even more gratification from watching someone who represents authority be humiliated. ”
So, why do drunks pee their pants?
Medical experts say it’s part of the progression of an alcoholic stupor, falling somewhere between dancing with a lampshade and blacking out in a Dumpster.
“When you drink, you lose control of your higher nerve center, your brain,” said Terry Malloy, a urology professor at Penn. “You do not control your bodily functions that well. ”
“Second, alcohol is a diuretic. It causes kidneys to excrete more. ”
Malloy, who has followed the Brady affair, floats another theory: The airbag did it.
“It happened to a friend of mine on the Walt Whitman Bridge,” Malloy said. “He wasn’t drinking, but he had to go. He thought he could make it to the rest stop on the Atlantic City Expressway, but he got rear-ended on the bridge. ”
“The airbag struck him in the bladder and he wet himself. It was all very embarrassing. ”
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council report any instances of urinary-related airbag accidents, however.
“Of course,” said a spokeswoman for the insurance group, “it’s not the type of thing you’d be apt to put on an accident report.”