She ripped him off


On Saturday night, I was sitting in my car when I heard dispatch say, “The RP (reporting party) paid for sex and didn’t get any. He wants to report prostitution activity.”

Who calls the police about that?

Now, that’s not something you hear on the radio everyday! I was one block away from the call and decided to head over there to see what the story was. Before I drove away, I typed to one of the responding units and said, “I gotta see this.”

When I arrived at the motel, I parked near the front office. It was a two-story building that was at least 30 years old and stood in the shadow of the huge hotels across the street.

My friend Sean arrived about the same time. As he got out of his car he said, “I thought you were kidding when you said you had to see this.”

Another officer went into the office and spoke to the clerk about the room in question. While we waited, I asked, “Where’s the guy who called?”

“It was a refused RP,” Sean said.


That was disappointing to hear. That was part of the reason why I went. Since I was already there I decided to have a little fun with dispatch. I keyed the microphone and asked, “Did the RP say if they had a receipt?”

There was a pause as the dispatcher asked me, “10-9,” which is radio code for repeat.

“Did the RP say if they had a receipt for the transaction?”

“The RP was refused.”

It was worth the attempt at humor because we laughed on the call. After that we went to motel room. As we walked up the stairs we passed tired looking tourist and I wondered if they had any idea about the prostitute who was ripping people off down the hall from them. I guess that’s the sort of thing that makes a vacation interesting for some people.

Of course, there was no answer at the door. Maybe it was our uniforms or the fact that we didn’t know the secret door knock. Since there was no answer it was time to move on to another call.

As I drove away I thought how funny it would be to put an add on Craigslist about the room. The add could have the motel’s address and the prostitute’s room number with a little warning like, “The cops already know about this place.”

I bet that would put a dent on business. Oh, the things you wish you could do……

The family food chain


If you have a teenager, you know what it’s like to deal with their hormones and mood swings. Add a younger sibling into the mix and there’s plenty of head butting.

Sometimes during these head butting and hormonal episodes, the teen forgets where they fall in the family food chain.

Today, I was driving northbound on the 57 freeway as I headed toward Brea. My son was in the front seat having a hormonal teen moment with his attitude.

After a few minutes, order was restored in the car as I reminded him about the family food chain in my house. He seemed to think he was at the top of it with me. I explained to him that one day he would be up there when he had his own family, job and house.

That’s when we came upon an SUV with a sticker in the window of a T-Rex chasing and eating stick people. It was a perfect moment for me to bring home my point as I said, “Look at that sticker on that car.”

With a pouty face my son looked over at it.

“See the T-Rex? That’s me and you’re the little people that are getting chased.”

That made him smile and eased the tension inside my car.  It’s always a good thing to remind the kids who the T-Rex in the family is.

Who did you shoot at?


On Sunday night I was working a patrol shift with my partner Eric when we were sent to a “check the welfare” call. A man called the police wanting us to check on his 7 year old son because his ex was supposedly not home. It was 1:30AM and we suspected there was more to the story.

We drove around the corner and met a male, who was about 40 years old, in a parking lot. He got out of his vehicle and told me a brief story about why he called the police. Since it was 1:30AM, I wanted to know more about him and his relationship with his ex before I knocked on her door at this time of night.

During our conversation he told me his ex had a restraining order against him. I asked him why, but he never really told me. He then said I could look up his criminal record if I wanted. Since he brought it up I asked, “What have you been arrested for?”

“Shooting into a dwelling.”

“Why did you shoot into a house?”

“It wasn’t a house. It was a car.”

“Was someone in the car when you shot at it?”

“Yeah, my sister’s boyfriend?”

“Did he get shot?”


“How much time did you get?”

“I got five months.”

“That’s not bad for trying to kill someone, ” I joked.

“I wasn’t trying to kill him.”

Who was this guy trying to kid? It’s not normal to shoot up a car when someone you know is sitting it in.

“Is the guy still with your sister?” I asked.

“Yeah, but she doesn’t come around.”

I couldn’t resist and said, “Well, that’s because she’s afraid you’re going to shoot at him again.”

I have a feeling there was a reason for that restraining order….. You just can’t make this stuff up.

Thinking outside the box


The other day I went to a robbery call at 8:45AM at a small apartment complex on the south side of the city. When I arrived, there were two officers already speaking to the victim.

It was hot already, so we moved under a tree for some shade. That’s when the officer asked, “What was taken?”

The woman, who was in her mid-40s, said, “My coboodle box.”

Her caboodle what?

There was a moment of silence as all three of us looked at each other. Obviously we didn’t know what she was talking about.

“What is that?” Asked the officer.

“It’s a caboodle box,” she said. When we didn’t answer she looked at us in disbelief. “You guys don’t know what that is?”

All three of us shook out heads.

“It’s my stripper box,” she said.

That’s when I took my phone out and  said, “I’m going to Google it.”

I did my search and found what I was looking for. I clicked on “images” and turned my phone toward the woman and asked if that was what she was taking about.

“That’s it, except mine is decorated,” she proudly said.  “I’ve had my caboodle box for 23 years.”

Wow, I bet her box has a lot of stories to tell.

Picasso and his ice cream


The other night, I responded to a crash and found a car in them middle of the intersection with front end damage and fluid splashed everywhere. There was a man, a woman and a dog from the crashed car waiting at the corner.

The woman, who was in her 20s, was injured and was sitting on the curb with her dog Picasso. He was small and had fur as white as snow. Even though his fur was white, I noticed his head had a Pepto Bismol pink tint to it.

Was this a new doggie hair style? I had to ask his owner.


It turned out Picasso and his owners went out for a snack that night. He got his own cup of vanilla ice cream, which he enjoyed in the backseat of the car. His owner was in the front passenger seat with a large bowl of strawberry ice cream.

That’s when a truck made a left turn in front of them and they broadsided it. The strawberry ice flew into the air and got everywhere, including on Picasso.

Poor Picasso got a double whammy that night. He was in a car accident and got a strawberry ice shower at the same time. In all my years of working traffic, this was my first case of a dog with a pink hairdo from flying ice cream.

Thanks for the pictures Picasso.

My first parking ticket

imageThe first ticket is like your first kiss or your first car. It’s just one of those things that you never forget. Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you never forget it.

On Monday, I was on my way to Starbucks when I took a side street and went by  my old high school. I only took the street to avoid traffic on Central Ave, which was the main road to the west.

As I passed by Chino High School, I glanced over at the street sign that said, No parking from 9AM to 2PM Monday thru Friday.

The old buildings from the school brought back memories, but that street sign brought back another.

That was because a long time ago I parked in front of the sign at 1:30PM….. Yes, Chino PD got me that day for my very first parking ticket.

Here’s another reason why I remember that ticket. I paid for it with the first check I ever wrote.

Nothing like a day of firsts….

784 En Route


If you’ve read the blog for a while, you know that my old call sign was 784. Depending on who is on the radio, I’ll still say 784 every once in a while just for the heck of it.

One day shift dispatcher will always reply back to me as 784 even if I made the last radio transmission as 729. Another dispatcher on the graveyard shift will do the same. It always makes me laugh and adds a little fun to the job to hear them do that.

The other night a veteran dispatcher sent me a message on the computer asking if I wanted to take a late call. I replied back, “I haven’t said 784 in a while….I’m going to bust it out.”

She typed back, “DO IT!!!!”

With a smile, I keyed the microphone as I said, “784.”

“784,” replied the dispatcher.

“784, I’ll be en route to the crash.”

“784, 10-4.”

I left the station and headed to a call that involved a security vehicle. When I got there, I saw the security car in the parking lot. I looked at the back of the car and saw something that was like the crack of thunder and bolt of lightning as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony played in the background.

Right there on the back of the car was 784.

Okay, maybe there wasn’t music, lightning and thunder…..but it was still kind of weird. That just goes to show you that you never know when 784 is going to appear at a car accident scene.

For now, 784 roams the streets at night in a black and white disguised as 729.

“784 log off.”

I speak 7-Eleven


I stepped into the ambulance and saw a paramedic speaking to a man on the gurney. The gurney was tilted so the man was sitting up. The paramedic told his partner that he was having trouble communicating with the patient.

I sat down on the seat next to the paramedic so I could try and ask the man about the collision. The man, who was in his 30s, was from India and had a red 7-Eleven shirt on. They spoke back and forth for a few seconds as I waited to ask my questions. The paramedic still had the same look on his face while they tried to talk.

That’s when the movie “Airplane” popped into my head. There was a scene where the stewardess was trying to speak with two men who spoke jive. She didn’t understand them and an older woman stepped in and said, “Oh stewardess. I speak Jive.” The  scene is funny after all these years.

As a cop, I’ve spent plenty of time inside  7-Eleven. It’s a perfect place to stop and take a break. That also means I’ve spent a lot of time talking with the clerks.

I looked at the paramedic and said, “I speak 7-Eleven.

I jumped in and started asking the patient what happened. Within a minute he told tell me the entire story about not feeling well, his speed, direction of travel and the crash. I looked over at the paramedic and said, “I’ve spent a lot of time inside 7-Eleven.” That made him laugh.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Here’s another favorite quote from Airplane…….

“A hospital? What is it?”

“It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.”

You have to watch the movie if you didn’t get it.

I was going to get insurance


Yesterday, I pulled up to a two-car crash and contacted both drivers. One guy crashed into another while running a stop sign as he made a right turn. I spoke with him first and asked him for his driver’s license.

He handed me a temporary license and I copied the information down. After I was done, I handed the paper back to the stop sign runner and asked, “Can I get your insurance?”

With hesitation he said, “I don’t have insurance. I just got the car.”

“When did you get the car?”

“Two months ago.”

“Why don’t you have insurance?”

“I was going to get it right now.”

“What do you mean right now?”

“I was driving to the insurance place right now.”

It was 7:30PM. Sure he was.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time I had heard this one before. Just once, i want to hear someone say, “Boy,  I”m lucky. I just got car insurance today!”

Maybe one day, but I’m not holding my breath.

Can I have a chance?


On Monday afternoon, I was stopped at a red light in the far left lane. A woman stepped off the curb and started crossing in the crosswalk. As she neared my car, I glanced over to my right. That’s when I saw a car in the far right lane as it rolled though the red light like it wasn’t there.

Once the woman passed, I put my lights on and went after the car. I stopped the driver, who was 18 years old and asked, “What two reasons do you think I stopped you for?”

“I ran the red light?”

At least he was honest.

“Did you see the woman in the crosswalk?” I asked.


“Can I see your license?”

“I left my wallet at home,” he said.

Strike three.

I took out my notepad and asked him for his name and other information. While I was writing down his address he asked, “Can I have a chance? I’ll never do it again.”

It was one of the most insincere things I’d ever heard.  That might work on mom, but not me.

“You ran a red light with a woman in the crosswalk and you don’t have your license with you. What do you think is going to happen?”

I continued getting his information when he gave one last ditch effort as he said, “Can I have a chance?”

“Don’t ask again,” I answered as I shook my head. “Why do you keep asking like that?”

“My parents will get mad if I get a ticket,” he replied.

“How old are you?”

“I’m 18.”

“So, you’re a big boy, who is able to make big boy decisions, right?” He nodded. “And you’re also a big boy who can make decisions too, right?” He nodded again.

I explained to him about being a traffic cop and what I’ve seen because of carelessness. He listened and seemed to understand. I next asked, “Now what would you do if I was sitting in the car and you were standing out here?”

He lowered his head and said, “I’d do what you’re doing.”

It turned out he had four violations. After a big brother talk I gave him a break on half of half of them. He signed the ticket and gave me a sincere thank you and a firm handshake.

In the end I said, “I bet you’ll never forget me when you make that right turn again.”

He smiled and said, “No, I won’t.”