“I made a slow down”


The other night a car made a right turn on a red light without stopping. It was as if the red light wasn’t there, so  I decided to stop the car.

He had a head start on me so I pushed down on the gas pedal to catch up to him. The engine revved on “old faithful” as my patrol car gained on him.

Once I was behind him, I threw on the overheads and the car pulled to the curb. After it stopped, I walked up as my red and blue lights flashed and bounced off houses and passing cars.

“Hi, can I see your license?”

The driver, who was 20 years old, reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. As he grabbed for his license I asked, “Why didn’t you stop for the red light when you made the right turn?”

The driver, who was understandably nervous, handed me his license as he said, “I made a slow down.”

“A slow down?” I asked with raised eyebrows. “The light was red. Why didn’t you stop?”

“I yielded,” he said as if  he was in a hot air balloon with a leak that was crashing toward he ground.

“What color is the light for yield?”

“Uh, yellow.”

That’s when an embarrassed look appeared on his face as he realized how silly his excuse sounded.

I have a feeling he’ll stop at this red light the next time he makes a right turn.

“It was hard to hear”


It always cracks me up when people come up with stupid excuses when they’ve done something wrong.

The call went out as an injury collision at an intersection involving two cars. When I arrived, there were fire fighters pointing down a side street. I looked and there was a disabled car north of the intersection. I turned there and directed other officers to the next intersection where the crash was.

The driver, who was 17 years old and unlicensed, was crying and upset. Through sobs and tears she told me she had never been issued a license and took the car with her mother’s permission to get something to eat.

When mom arrived, I asked, “Did you know she had the car?”


“She said she called you,” I said.


I pointed to the driver and looked back at mom with a more serious tone in my voice as I said, “She called you right? She said she did.”

With hesitation and stuttering, mom finally said she spoke with her daughter on the phone. I asked, “What did she say when she called?”

“It was hard to hear her. She said she was going to get something to eat.”

“So, you gave her permission to drive then?”

“It was hard to hear. I was at a funeral.”

A loud funeral??? That was the best she could come up with?

“Funerals are quiet,” I said.

“It was hard to hear what she said.”

I couldn’t resist as I said, “It’s a funeral, not a wedding.”

In the end, it turned out the 17 year old, caused the crash when she made a left turn in front of another unlicensed driver. This was like the perfect storm of unlicensed drivers crashing into each other.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

She got a free ride (twice)


The call came out as a burglary in progress at an apartment complex at 10PM. When I arrived, dispatched advised over the radio that the caller was elderly and had the front door open.

I walked up to the apartment and saw a frail looking woman in her mid-70s standing just inside the door. She had one hand on the wheelchair in front of her for support. The other hand was holding a phone as she spoke to dispatch. The screen door was locked and it took her a long time to move 4 feet to open it for me.

She had called the police because she heard voices outside the door. Her hands were shaking and she moved at slower than a snails pace. We checked all the rooms for her while she stood next to the front door. We were about to leave when she told us she was going to bed.

I looked at the distance from the front door to her bedroom and thought it was going to take her forever to walk back. I looked at a new cop and said, “You should give her a ride in the wheelchair so she doesn’t have to walk that far.”

The officer, who just got off of training, looked at the woman and said, “Ma’am, can I give you a ride in your chair?”

She smiled and sat down in the wheelchair. He turned her around and started pushing her toward her room as she said, “I get a free ride.” I stood at the door as another officer followed to help tuck grandma into bed.

I heard the officers say goodnight to the woman as they left the room.  That’s when one of the cops said,  “How are we going to lock the door? It’s only a deadbolt.”

We stood there looking at the doorknob with a “WTF” look on our faces. One of the officers said, “Maybe we can climb out the window.”

“Maybe we can lock the deadbolt and slide the key under the door,” said the other officer. He went back to the bedroom and asked the woman where her key was. He then told us, “She doesn’t know where the key is.”

All three of us walked to grandma’s bedroom and told her the bad news about not being able to lock the door. She slowly sat up in bed with great effort. She grabbed ahold of the wheelchair and sat down for her second free ride of the night.

I shot video of the probationary officer as he pushed grandma back to the front door. They both had smiles on their faces.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

What was he thinking?


The other night I was trying to get off early when I was sent to a non-injury crash an hour before I was supposed to get off. The call information was that the drivers were arguing and one of them was refusing to exchange information.

When I arrived, I contacted a male, who told me his vehicle was parked in the alley when it was hit by another car. Simple enough, right?

Of course, that plan fell apart because any time you want to get off early something always happens.

I contacted one of the driver’s and could tell he had been drinking. He was also unlicensed. I got his statement and another officer conducted the DUI investigation. In the end, the driver was arrested for DUI and taken to jail.

Here’s the best part of the story. It turned out the DUI guy was the one who didn’t want to exchange information with the victim driver. That was the only reason why the police were called.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

She just didn’t believe us

Traffic Control

A few months ago I was at a crash where a woman in her 40s ran a red light and collided into two other cars. After speaking with her I could tell she had major emotional problems. The accident made everything worse because she was driving her mother’s car and she didn’t want to tell her.

After a few minutes she started talking about not wanting to live. I called for a patrol unit to deal with her while I continued to handle the collision investigation part.

Two officers rolled up and spoke to the woman. A few minutes later one of the cops told me she really didn’t want to kill herself. He said she was an emotional wreck and more worried about telling her mother about the car. They helped out by calling mom and breaking the news to her.

When I was done, I walked over to where the woman was. She was still a mess, but things were better now that the officers had calmed her down and spoken to her mom.

I tried to make her feel better by telling her we had all been involved in on-duty crashes before.

She looked at me with a suspicious look and said, “No you haven’t.”

“Yes, I have. One time I hit a house,” I replied.

With a skeptical look she said, “No you didn’t. You’re just trying to make me feel better.”

I pointed to one of the cops and said, “I met him his first day at work when he crashed on his very first call.”

She looked over at him as he said, “I did.”

“No you didn’t. You’re lying.”

“Serious. I did.” he said.

The other cop then said, “I’ve crashed too.”

She squinted her eyes as she said, “You’re making this stuff up.”

No matter how much we told her about our traffic collisions she didn’t believe us. We all wished the stories weren’t true, but they were.

I know it sounds pretty far fetched for a police car to hit a house, but it was true. Maybe a picture of my crashed patrol car in the front yard of that house would’ve made her believe me.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Did she hang up on me?


The other night I drove to a person’s house to try and contact them about a traffic collision they were involved in the week before. The driver wasn’t home, but I got their phone number from someone who lived there.

I drove around the corner and pulled over so I could call her. The phone rang once and she said, “Hello?”

I told her my name and what police department I was from. I then asked, “Were you in a car accident last week?”


I explained to her that I was the officer investigating the crash and asked, “Can you tell me what happened?”

“I’m driving. I can’t talk right now.”

“But you answered the phone,” I said shaking my head. “Can you pull over and tell me what happened then?”

“I’m driving. I can’t talk.” She then hung up.

I looked at my phone with a confused look as I wondered what just happened. What the heck was this lady talking about? It sure didn’t bother her to answer the phone when she was driving. Now she can’t talk when the cops call?

I hit redial.

Ring, ring, ring, ring, voicemail.

“Hi, this is the officer you just hung up on. Can you call me back so I can ask you what happened about the accident? I work until 3AM.” I left the department phone number and hung up as I said, “Thank you” in an overly cheerful voice.

Five minutes later I hit redial again, but it went back to voicemail. I never heard back from her the rest of the night. Did she think this was a random police calling sting where we try to catch you on the phone?

I guess I scared her into not using her phone for a while. I bet she had to fight the urge to touch it for the next hour, expecting it to be the cops to see if she answered again.

Part of me wanted to call at 3AM just so I could hang up on her too.

“Hi, this is Officer………” Click.

We could call it even then.

I can’t look at the sidewalk the same way


There are times at crashes when people try to describe what happened by writing on paper or using their finger to draw imaginary lines on their hand.

Some have even reached for my pen and grabbed it as they say, “Can I show you?’

That usually ends in a tug of war for my pen because it’s plain rude to try and grab it out of my hand. What are these people thinking?

Other times they flail their arms around trying to tell me what happened. It sometimes feels like I’m dodging karate chops while they tell their story. I recently told a woman at a crash, “Can you not poke me in the eye?”

The other night a guy was trying to tell me how the collision occurred. He was in his early 50s and had a thick Vietnamese accent. I got the story the first time, but he really wanted me to understand.

The car in front of him had stopped suddenly as the light turned red. He thought the car was going to continue through, but it didn’t and they crashed. Easy story, but apparently he wanted to add to it.

That’s when he suddenly dropped to his knees in front of me and started pointing to a large gap in the sidewalk. The gap was now an imaginary crosswalk where the car had stopped in front of him.

First of all, it just looks weird when a grown man is kneeling in front of a cop on a major highway where hundreds of cars pass every minute.

While he was on his knees, I turned to the other officers and said, “This is awkward.”

I looked at the guy and said, “Can you get up and shake it out?”

I took a step back and he stood up. We were back to normal again. He seemed to snap out of it, but then dropped back to his knees as I said, “Don’t go down again.”

I shook my head and smiled at the other cops as they laughed at what the guy was doing.

Somehow this gap in the sidewalk was going to make him feel better and justify the collision. He was talking  a mile a minute when I looked over at the cops and said, “I can’t concentrate here.”

My comments were adult in nature and went right over his head. I just couldn’t resist.

After the guy left, I asked one of the cops a question about the call. They said, “Do you want me to get down on my knees and show you?”

That was the funniest thing I heard all night!



You never know how people are going to react at traffic accidents. Some people fall apart even though the damage was minor and others take it in stride.

Every once in a while a person will knock down a pole and take it like a champ. You have to admire a guy who can walk away after destroying his truck and then joke about it.

A few weeks ago I met a guy like that. He had turned too fast and ran off the road. He struck the curb, a street sign and knocked down a light pole in a gas station parking lot.

His truck ended up in the bushes and caused a minor power outage. He stood there like nothing happened when I arrived.

While I was talking with him I noticed his shirt said, “Deathwish” on the back. I pointed out to him that he drove like he had a death wish and then asked, “Can I get a picture of your shirt?”

He was more that happy to pose for a picture and turned around for me. He was such a good sport about the crash and the shirt, I figured I’d ask him for another picture.


“How about one in front of your truck where we can see your shirt?” It didn’t hurt to ask.

“Sure,” he replied. He turned his back so we could see his shirt and gave me a thumbs up. The thumbs up was the best. Combined with the shirt and the crashed truck, it was priceless.

When it was time to leave he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess I’ll go look for a new car tomorrow.”


Where’s the steering wheel?


The other night I was sent a call on the eastern end of the city. I was near the freeway, so I decided to jump on and get there faster. I took the on ramp and started to accelerate.

I was up to freeway speed in a matter of seconds and looked into my mirror as I prepared to merge into traffic. Just as I looked, I heard the sound of skidding off to my left.

I turned my head just in time to see a car blowing by me as it was trying to slow down. Its brake lights were shining brightly like a lighthouse on a rocky coast on a foggy night for passing ships to see.

The car decelerated to 70 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.

It’s amazing how that works when you pass a police car like that. Of course, he needed to be stopped. I’m sure everyone else on the freeway wanted to see it too.

I turned on my lights as red and blue reflected off of everything around me. In defeat, the car pulled over and stopped on the shoulder. After the car stopped, I walked up on the passenger side as I used my flashlight to illuminate the inside.

I looked into the car trying to see the driver’s hands. That’s when I noticed there was no steering wheel. It just didn’t look right. How was he steering the car? I actually had to do a double take.

That’s when I saw a steering wheel on the passenger seat. That didn’t look right either. It was like a Twilight Zone car stop.

I asked, “Why is your steering wheel there,” as I pointed to the passenger seat.

“I wanted to show you I wasn’t going to take off,” he replied.

That actually made me laugh.

I never even thought of that one before. I took out my phone and told him, “I’m taking a picture of that.” I instantly knew he’d make the blog.

You just can’t make this stuff up.