When your lie doesn’t work out

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Have you ever had your child give you away when you were trying to tell a lie or keep a secret? How did it work out for you?

On Thursday afternoon I responded to a minor collision call involving two vehicles. When I arrived, one of the drivers said, “That woman just took a car seat out of the trunk and put it in the car.”

I looked over to the car and there were two children sitting in the backseat. There was a two and a half year old little girl strapped into the car seat and a boy sitting next to her. This didn’t sound right so I confirmed with the guy.

“That car seat was in the trunk?”
“Yeah. There were two booster seats. Her husband pulled up and she put one of the boosters into his car.”
“You’re sure?” I asked.
“Yes. The booster seats are black. The boy is sitting on it now and the other is in the other car.”

I then asked the mother if her daughter was sitting in the right rear seat at the time of the collision. The driver told me her daughter was actually in the left rear, but she moved the car seat to the right side.

That didn’t make sense. Who moves a car seat that is strapped in from one side of the car to the other for no reason? That’s when the mother told me she moved the car seat so she could change her daughter’s diaper. Yeah right.

“Did you have that car seat in the trunk before the accident?”
“No.”
“Are you sure? He saw you take the car seat out of the trunk and put it into the car.”
“No, I moved the car seat so I could change the diaper.”
“How old is your son?”
“He’s almost 5 years old.”
“You know kids that age tell the truth. I’ll be right back.”
“He doesn’t speak English. He only speaks Arabic.”
“Really? I’ll be right back.”

I had a feeling this was going to blow up in her face and that’s what made this fun. Anyone who has had kids that age know they’re going to tell the truth when asked something. I walked up to the car and said, “How are you?” He instantly held up four fingers like he was telling me how old he was.

I realized he misunderstood my question. He thought I was asking him how old he was. That was perfect. That meant he understood me. I had him point to his sister’s car seat. He understood that too. I pointed to the trunk and asked if the car seat was in there before. He nodded his head. That’s when mom jumped into the front passenger seat and started speaking to him in Arabic. Nice try lady. I told her to stop and to step out of the car, which she did.

I asked him if Mommy had taken the car seat out of the trunk. Little Johnny threw mom under the bus and then let it back up to finish her off. It was a priceless moment.

I finished by asking him, “Do you understand what I’m saying?” Of course he did, but I wanted him to confirm it, which he did.

I won’t lie. I enjoyed watching her squirm as her son did the only thing he knew how to do at that moment. That was to tell the truth. I walked back to mom and smiled. I let the smile last for a long time as I let the moment sink in.

“Are you ready to tell the truth now?”
“Yes. I’m sorry.”
“You even said he didn’t speak English.”
“He can’t understand it. Ask his teacher.”
“Well, he understood me.”

Nice try again Lady.

She went on to try and justify her lies, but it was too late. I pointed out to her that at least her son knew how to tell the truth to the police.

That just goes to show you. You never know when little Johnny is going to throw you under the bus of embarrassment to the cops.

This job cracks me up. Some people think they’re so smart. The trick is to try and stay one step ahead them. It can sometimes feel like a chess game.

Checkmate for me today.

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