I shouldn’t comment on DMV photos

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The other night I responded to a hit and run collision in the parking lot at a fast food restaurant. When I arrived, I saw a man in the parking lot, who was about 35 years old. He saw the police car and flagged me down. I stopped and asked, “Did you call the police?”

“Yes. Thank you for coming.”

“What happened?” I asked.

“I was walking past the drive thru when a Jeep hit me. I ended up on the hood.”

“Did you fall to the ground?”

“No, I fell on my feet.”

“You fell on your feet? Don’t you mean you landed on your feet?”

“No. I fell on my feet.”

I had never heard that before, but I went with it. After he gave me a description of the driver and vehicle, I asked if he was injured from the collision.

“My shoulder hurts. I asked my wife to look at my face to see if one side was drooping.”

What? Was this guy injured in a crash or was he having a stroke? I should’ve asked if one of his arms was numb too.

After I got his statement, I asked him if I could see his identification. He reached into his back pocket and pulled his wallet out. He thumbed through it and handed me his license. I looked at it and noticed his eyes were looking up and to the right. I turned the license toward him and asked, “What were you looking at when they took the picture?”

“My eyes are kind of crooked,” he replied.

Oops, I hadn’t noticed that. I wasn’t really sure where the conversation could go from there, but I tried to salvage it. That was the least I could do.

“Look at me.” I said. He turned his head as I took a quick look. “Naw. You look fine.”

He laughed at that, which was good, because I thought it was funny. Maybe I shouldn’t comment on people’s DMV photo anymore. Well, I probably will. You never know what’s going to come up.

The funny things people say

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People sometimes say the funniest things at traffic collisions. That was the case one night years ago when I was sent to an injury collision where a Chevy Tahoe rolled down an embankment.

When I pulled up, there was a woman already in the ambulance with a broken nose. There were a couple of passengers with minor injuries standing with officers, who were writing their information down. The driver, a male in his 20s, was with another officer. Someone came up to me and said, “He’s HBD,” meaning he had been drinking.

I walked down the sidewalk and looked over the edge to where the vehicle was. The Tahoe had rolled down the hill a couple of times and came to rest on its roof in the playground area of a daycare center. There was a crushed jungle gym underneath it that now resembled a pancake. At least the daycare closed at the time.

I walked up to the driver and asked, “What happened?”

He said, “I was turning and lost control. I hit the curb and we rolled over.”

I could tell he had been drinking and asked, “How many beers did you have tonight?”

“Just two.”

“Two? I said with a raised eyebrow. “Come on man. I can smell it on you from over here?”

The driver pointed to his passengers and said, “It’s because their beer spilled on me when we crashed.”

It’s one of the best DUI remarks ever.

Jingle the Elf

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The Elf holding court with the little people

It’s 11:48PM and another Christmas Eve is about to be in the history books. In a few short minutes the clock will strike midnight and the Elf on the Shelf will go back in hiding for another year.

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He captured a UCLA Bruin bear

Jingle is our Elf on the Shelf. This year Jingle appeared and performed various mischievous acts, but didn’t get too crazy like other elves. He didn’t rearrange furniture or make a Barbie do something unnatural. He mostly jumped from spot to spot and at times picked on my daughter’s stuffed animals.

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New and never performed acrobats

I like Jingle’s style because he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and shake things up. I bet he’s a carpe diem type of Elf.

Merry Christmas from Badge415.

A Christmas Eve stabbing

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It was about 2:40AM when I pulled up to a stabbing call on Christmas Eve. I parked my car and walked toward the house where the stabbing was. I entered the house and saw a couple of people sitting on the couch. They obviously were sleeping when all the commotion started. I walked through the house toward the backyard where the other officers were. That’s when I saw the victim lying on his side with cops kneeling beside him. 

I stood there wondering what kind of person stabs another on Christmas Eve.

When the paramedics arrived, they surrounded the victim and went to work. One of the paramedics took out a pair of scissors and started cutting his shirt off. When the shirt was removed I was able to see numerous stab wounds on the victim’s side and back.

After a few minutes I looked at my watch and decided it was time to leave because it was the end of my shift. As I  headed back to my car the paramedics were right behind me as they wheeled the victim to the ambulance. They loaded him up and took off with their lights and siren on. 

The call was a perfect example of how some people don’t care what the calendar says. It wasn’t Christmas Eve to the suspect. It was just Thursday morning and he stabbed someone. It’s amazing how human life means so little to some people out here on the street.

It’s the dark side of society most people don’t know about. For most people this would be shocking to see. For me, it was just another “normal” day at work.

Now it’s time to enjoy the next two days off. Merry Christmas.

Looking back

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Today, I found “Ally McBeal” on Netflix as I was scanning through the old TV shows section. My kids were sitting there with me and the first words out of my mouth were, “That was the best show.” They weren’t interested and quickly went upstairs. That’s when I hit the play button.

When the theme song started, I was transported back in time to the mid to late 1990s. This show, like others reminded me of those early years in my career  when I was still trying to figure out the world of police work.

It was a time when I thought I knew it all, but in reality, I had so much to learn. It was also a time when my hair line hadn’t retreated and surrendered to father time yet.

It was a time of excitement from working patrol in those first few years.

It was a time when I drove too fast and even got into a couple of car accidents that were my fault. It was back in the day when I was the silly one still doing car stops at 5:30AM on graveyard when we were off at 6:30AM.

For me, police work was go, go,  go. I was invincible and bullet proof at time same time.

It might sound funny, but those were the memories that were triggered by watching Ally McBeal and hearing the theme song.

Today, I’m no longer bullet proof or invincible. I looked back at those days from long ago with a smile  and I laughed at the younger version of myself. The calendar might say it was a long time ago,  but it really was just a blink of the eye.

If you’re a young cop, take the time to look around and enjoy the ride because time really does fly when you’re having fun.

 

 

 

He needed a hug instead of the paramedics

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The other night I pulled up to an injury collision and saw two crashed cars still in the intersection. One of the cars had front end damage and was leaking a slippery fluid all over the street. The other car had damage to its passenger side.

The fire truck was already there and blocking traffic, making it safe for us to walk around in the intersection.

Both drivers were at the corner and a passenger was still sitting in the car being treated by fire personnel.

I interviewed one driver and a witness while fire was talking to the other driver. After I was done speaking to the first two guys, I was ready to talk to the other driver, but the paramedics were still talking to him.

It seemed to be taking a long time for the guy to decide what he wanted to do. I overheard the captain ask, “Do you want to go to the hospital?”

“I don’t know. My parents are almost here,” replied the man, who was in his mid-twenties.

The captain was trying his best to be patient at this point. I could tell they wanted to leave because this guy couldn’t make up his mind. I was standing there when the captain asked, “OK. What bothers you the most?”

With a hurt look on his face, the driver said, “The fact that I was in an accident.”

This made all of the fire fighters roll their eyes at me. Some of them even laughed when they heard that. I won’t lie, I did too. Luckily for all of us his mom showed up with a cup of “mamma’s boy” for her son to drink up.

That’s when I said to myself, “This guy didn’t need the paramedics. He needed a hug.”

Will he vote for Trump?

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The other  night an officer stopped a male on a bicycle and asked for a follow up to assist. When I arrived, there was guy with a shaved head and wearing baggy clothes sitting on the curb next to the patrol car. The officer was talking with him and writing down his information.

The officer asked, “What’s your phone number?”

The suspect said, “I have an Obama phone.” He then gave her the number.

“They gave you a free phone?” I asked.

“Yeah. They give you a phone if you’re on welfare or food stamps.”

I asked, “Are you going to get a Trump phone next?”

He turned to me and gave me a confused look. That’s when I said, “If Donald Trump becomes president, does that mean you’ll get a Trump phone next?”

The officer said, “I think Trump would get rid of the Obama phones,” as she laughed.

I had some time to kill and you never know what you’re going to hear when you talk about random stuff, so I asked, “What do you think of Trump?”

Mr. shaved head said, “He’s winning because he’s keeping it real. He tells it like it is.”

That made me laugh because I wasn’t expecting him to say that. “Would you vote for him?” I asked.

“Well, he’s better that the rest and Hilary is full of shit.”

That’s when I asked him if I could take his picture from behind. I knew I was going to write a blog about the stop. He said sure and just sat there as I took my phone out.

After that we talked about all kinds of things like his two Baby Mammas and to his prior arrest record. He had quite the busy life compared to most people and he was entertaining. He ended up having a warrant and was arrested.  As he was put in the police car I told the other officer, “I Wish everyone was as nice as him.”  She agreed.

 

I’ll wait for another ride

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Last night I responded to a hit and run crash involving an SUV, that was disabled in the road. When I arrived, it was turned the wrong way and blocking a lane. It’s right rear tire had been torn from the vehicle and was in the street blocking another lane. The crash also ripped off the rear bumper and tossed it aside like an old toy on Christmas morning. The driver was standing on the sidewalk with two car seats next to her.

She told me, “I was in the intersection when I saw the car coming right at me.”

The suspect vehicle went through a red light and hit the victim on the right rear wheel and bumper area, causing it to spin out of control. Her two small children were in the back seat at the time. The driver said, “I thought we were going to roll over.”

It was amazing they were not injured. This crash could’ve been worse.

After I was done with the interview, I handed her a card with the report number on it. I wished her luck and told her to call her insurance company. She thanked me as she watched her vehicle get dragged  up onto a flatbed tow truck. She told me she only had liability insurance, which meant she was out of luck because this SUV was going to car heaven a week before Christmas.

She shook her head as she said, “I have no money to fix this.”

As I walked back to my car another officer pointed to her rear bumper, which was still in the street. I glanced down at it, but I wasn’t sure what he wanted to me look at. That’s when he pointed at a sticker on the bumper that said, “If you ride with me, be prepared to die with me.”

That’s not the type of sticker that I want on my car. That’s just asking for trouble from the car accident gods. 

Remind me to never to get a ride from this woman or be on the same airplane with her.

What’s your name?

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Years ago I contacted two witnesses at a collision call, who happened to be brother and sister. They were Vietnamese, in their mid-twenties and spoke English with an accent.

I spoke to the male first and he told me what he saw. After I was done with his statement, I asked, “What’s your name?”

“It’s Jose.”

With a surprised look I asked, “Your name is Jose?”  I couldn’t help it because I had never met a Vietnamese person with Jose for a name.

“Yes. Jose is my American name.”

I smiled as I tried not to laugh because that just sounded funny to me. He smiled too and told me he was born in Vietnam and came to the United States when he was young. He changed his name to Jose.

I next spoke to Jose’s sister and took her statement. After I was done I asked, “What’s your first name?”

“Maria.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.

It was a no brainer crash

FullSizeRender(29)On Wednesday night, I went to an injury collision involving a pedestrian and a vehicle. When I drove up, the pedestrian was still down in the street being treated by fire personnel.

The involved vehicle was parked along the curb, not too far from where the pedestrian was. I looked over at the SUV and saw fluid splashed all over the driver side window, hood, windshield and fender. It looked and smelled like coffee. There was also fluid spilled in the street and a lone paper cup in the road waiting to be run over.

The driver told me she was making a left turn at the intersection when she felt a thud and then saw fluid splash onto her vehicle. After the collision, she stopped and saw the pedestrian down in the street.

As calm as can be, the woman said, “I thought it was his brains.”

How traumatic that must’ve been for her. This isn’t something you hear every day and it wouldn’t have been my first time seeing splattered brain matter on the side of a car.

Of course, it’s a no brainer I was glad he wasn’t seriously injured. That would’ve been one headache of a call.