One thing that’s funny about police work is you never know what you’re going to learn by asking a few more questions. I’m naturally curious and I can usually get people to tell me things they normally wouldn’t say. Sometimes things come up during interviews that are just too good to pass up.
Two weeks ago I responded to a minor injury crash in the eastern end of the city involving two cars. When I got there I spoke with both drivers and there was nothing out of the ordinary involving the crash. One of the drivers was a male in his mid-twenties. I asked him if he had been alone in the vehicle or if there was a passenger. The driver replied there had been a female passenger in his car, but she left to use the restroom. This wasn’t unusual because it was 1AM and there were no restrooms available at the collision location.
I needed the passenger’s information for the report so I asked the driver for her name. The driver could only tell me the girl’s first name. When I asked for her last name he told me, “I don’t know it.” With a raised eyebrow, I was curious because there had to be a good story here and I was pretty sure I would find out with a few more questions. I asked him why he didn’t know her last name. The driver told me he had been dating the girl for two weeks, but he had no idea what her last name was. He also seemed proud that he didn’t know it.
I asked, “How did you meet?”
“On the internet.”
“Wasn’t her name on her profile?”
With a cocky smirk the driver said, “I honestly don’t know it.”
I joked, “I guess this relationship isn’t going very far.”
He laughed and again told me he had no idea what her last name was. I next asked him if he had her address, thinking he didn’t know it either. To my surprise he pulled out his phone and showed me his contacts list, which had her first name and her address. I copied the information down, but I still needed her last name for the report. About ten minutes later, the female arrived and the driver brought her over to where I was standing. I asked her what her last name was and she told me. It was a unique name and she spelled it for me. After she spelled it I told her I knew her father. This story was getting better by the minute as I gave him a sly smile. He seemed uncomfortable as he returned my gaze.
What a small world, which probably seemed to get smaller for the guy who was still standing next to her. I told her I used to work with her father and I knew he worked for the city in a different department. She was very friendly and was genuinely happy that I knew him. She asked me for my name so she could tell her dad who had helped her. I told her my name and then said, “I’ll email him. I have a story for him.”
I really wanted to look at the guy to see his reaction, but I would’ve busted up laughing if I had. As they walked away it seemed like the guy didn’t have the same skip in his step anymore. In fact, the cockiness he once showed was pretty much flushed down the toilet. Something tells me he knows her last name now and I’d like to think I motivated him a little bit.
And in case you’re wondering about that email…… Yes, I emailed dad the entire story.
I’ve enjoyed your stories, John but love this one. It reminds me of one of your stops when we were out there. It seemed the more you talked to the guy, the more confused he was getting. You were very patient with him but I had a hard time not laughing. Keep them coming, John.
Thanks, I appreciate it.
I’d love to hear if dad responded to the email!