She didn’t get our jokes

FullSizeRender(25)The other night, I was dispatched to a hit and run call where the victim was chasing the suspect vehicle. At one point she lost the car and pulled over into the parking lot of 7-Eleven.

When I got there the driver was standing in the parking lot with another officer. I went up to her and asked what happened. She seemed stressed and spoke very loudly as she said, “I’ve never been through this before.”

To lighten the mood I said, “This is my first time too.”

She missed my joke and went straight to telling me what happened. As she retold the story her voice got louder and louder. She described how the collision occurred and how she yelled, “You can’t leave!” to the suspect as he drove away.

After he left, the woman started chasing the driver as they went in and out of traffic. At one point she held up her index finger and thumb and said, “He missed a car by that much.”

“You mean like Get Smart?”

She didn’t even blink an eye, which told me she never saw Get Smart like I did as a kid.

She continued with the story as the suspect ran the red light at a major intersection. After that she lost sight of him on a different street, which was pretty far from where the suspect ran the red light. Of course, she didn’t mention running the same red light to keep up with him and I didn’t ask.

An officer named Eric, walked up just as she said, “This is the second hit and run I’ve been in.”

Eric, who is a very funny guy asked, “Were you the suspect or the victim last time?”

With a straight face she said, “The victim,” and continued with the story.

Eric looked at me as he asked, “Too soon?”

“No, not at all,” I replied as I smiled.

In the end I handed her a card with the report number on it and said, “Call your insurance company and tell them what happened.”

“I don’t have insurance.”

We looked at each other for a moment in silence. That’s when I said, “That got awkward.” Eric smiled, but she didn’t get it, which was probably good.

Do you know the name of your passengers?

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The other night a two-man patrol car asked for a follow up on a car stop they had just made. I wasn’t far from the stop and headed that way. When I arrived up, I saw their patrol car in the middle of a narrow and old looking street. A beat up looking white car was pulled over.

As I walked up, the officer pointed to a gun on the trunk of his car and asked, “Does that look real?”

It was actually a pellet gun that looked like a semi-auto handgun. It looked like the real deal for sure. The driver had it under his seat at the time of the stop. Of course, he claimed he didn’t know it was there and said it belonged to his father and brother. After I looked at the gun I went to stand by with the driver and engaged him in small talk.

“What’s your name?”

The driver, who was sitting on the curb and in his early 20s said, “Frank.”

We talked about where he lived and what he did for work. I also asked him about the gun. After a few minutes I pointed to one of his passengers, who was sitting on the curb and asked, “What’s his name?”

Frank put his hands behind him on the ground as he leaned back to look at the guy. His jaw clenched slightly and his eyes squinted as he looked back at me and said, “I don’t know.”

“Really? How long have you known him?

“Two weeks.”

“How can you have some dude in your car and not know his name? How do you know him?”

“He comes around.”

“You mean he comes around like a cat?”

Frank smiled at that and said, “No. I just know him from around.”

“What about the other guy?”

Frank looked over at the other passenger and said, “Ah, Larry or something.”

“How long have you known Larry or something?”

“Almost two years.”

Here’s the funny thing. I didn’t get the feeling he was being dishonest. Those were just his answers because he really didn’t know their names. Most regular people know the names of their passengers, but not out here on the streets.

When you’re driving around a rundown neighborhood with a fake gun under the seat and trying to sell a laptop, people’s names aren’t that important to these guys. It’s just the way it’s always been.

Happy New Year

_DSC7459The clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve night and it didn’t take long before we had our first DUI collision of 2016. Luckily the first victim was only a tree and not some unlucky person, who was minding their own business on their way home.

After the DUI investigation was completed, the driver was handcuffed and told he was under arrest. I was standing there when he said, “But I’m not drunk.”

I pointed to the tree the guy crashed into and joked to another officer, “Doesn’t he realize he failed the driving test?”

The driver was given the option of a blood or breath test. After he decided on the blood test I started to walk away. That’s when he said, “I’m not drunk” again. 

His car was stuck on the median and up against a tree with a flat tire and a damaged rim. Its front bumper and grille were also damaged. After looking at the car and hearing him over and over,  I wondered if he realized how silly he sounded at this moment.

You just can’t go around hitting things. Especially after drinking 4 or 5 beers on New Year’s Eve night. Maybe it’s time he drank from the cup of responsibility instead. It wasn’t like tree jumped out in front of him.

Have a safe 2016.