It hit the spot

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On Friday night at 7:30PM I was dispatched to a hit and run call that just wouldn’t end. The call lasted forever and seemed to grow tentacles as it went in different directions. With each word from witnesses and the suspect, I could feel the report getting longer and longer as the story got my complicated.  Nonsense piled on top of nonsense as my stomach protested.

By 10PM, I was frustrated and still there. That’s when I was reminded how nice people really are. The original witness came out to my car and offered me hot chocolate and pan dulce (sweat bread).

The drink warmed me and hit the spot as I snacked. It was like my mood transformed with each bite and sip. Thank you, sir. I appreciate your kind gesture.

In the crazy world of police work and nonsense, it’s the little things that make the night better.

Mom of the year

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Let’s add this to the WTF category of police work.

A witness heard a crash at his apartment complex and went outside to see what happened. He descended a flight of stairs to the carport area and saw a car had just collided into a wall and the driver was trying to leave.

He stood in front of the car and told her to stop. Apparently, she listened to the him and stopped her car between two apartment buildings. She got out of the car and walked away.

I guess she didn’t need her car anymore because that’s normal to leave your car like that.

That’s when something weird happened five to ten seconds later after she left. A child exited the car and ran after his mother as he probably screamed, “What the hell!”

Who leaves their child in a car after a collision and just walks away? Of course, A DUI person with a suspended license…..

I guess rules, laws and parental responsibility are just suggestions now.

His normal is not normal

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It was Thursday night and I was trying to catch up on paperwork after a rain-socked Wednesday shift when officers broadcasted a vehicle pursuit of a stolen car over the radio.

It was raining at the time and there was only one way this was going to end, so I prepared myself mentally for the inevitable collision. Of course, the suspect crashed and fled on foot.

After he was taken into custody, I got his information from the arresting officers and conducted a records check. His DMV record showed this knucklehead was convicted of failure to yield and for driving a stolen car.

Did I mention he was unlicensed too? Why would he have a license when none of the other basic rules apply to him. It seems like driving a stolen vehicle and being in a pursuit are the norm for him.

What to know what else is normal for him?

JAIL.

Maybe jail can keep society safe from this guy for just a little bit before he preys on us again.

They took my plant

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On Wednesday night, I was finishing up a crash report in front of an apartment complex when the manager said, “I have a question unrelated to this.”

“Go ahead,” I replied.

“I’m having a lot of problems with the homeless here. The other day a homeless guy was walking around the carport area and stole my son’s bike.”

She showed me a photo of him from a surveillance camera and told me she posted the picture on a light pole in front of the apartment complex.

After she was done talking about the homeless problem and the theft she pointed to her apartment window ledge and said, “Someone even stole my plant.”

“Your plant?” I asked.

“Yeah. Can you believe it? They took my potted plant,” she replied as she threw her hands up in the air. “The next day my husband went to the car wash down the street and he saw my plant there.”

I laughed as I said, “He saw your plant?”

“He came home and told me I wasn’t going to believe it. It was in front, so I went over there and took my plant back!”

She was definitely passionate about that plant and its liberation from the car wash. Wait until she finds the guy who took her son’s bicycle. He’s going to be in big trouble when she gets her hands on him.

 

Never take today for granted

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The siren wailed with my red and blue lights bouncing off the freeway overpass walls as my patrol car flew on my way to a major-injury felony hit and run crash.

A patrol sergeant keyed his mic and said, “The ped is still 929. We need a couple more units to shut the street down in both directions.” A few seconds later he said, “This might be a fatal.”

When I arrived, I saw a fire truck was blocking traffic with its side spot lights illuminating the intersection. A crowd was gathered on the southeast corner watching paramedics perform chest compressions on the pedestrian’s lifeless body.

The chaos, the noise and the sirens.  The crowd was captivated by the drama unfolding before their eyes as someone teetered on the edge of life on earth or floating into the heavens as an angel to be mourned by their family.

Then, with a snap of the fingers, everything calmed down with an eerie stillness as we waited for word from the hospital.

That’s when her phone started ringing over and over. Almost twenty missed calls later it before it stopped…..

Never take today for granted.

Number one or number two?

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It was dusk one summer evening when I saw a Starbucks employee franticly waving his arms at my patrol car. I pulled into the parking lot and stopped as the Barista hurried to my window and said, “A customer told me he went into the bathroom and saw a woman sitting on the floor with bottles all around her. I think she’s on drugs.”

“How long has she been in there?”

“I’m not sure. Can you help us out?”

From the way he described it, I figured this was a transient, who locked herself in the restroom with all her worldly possessions. This was not an unusual call, so I assumed the Starbucks guy was legit.

I walked up to the restroom door and knocked. A female voice from behind the door said, “Yes?”

“Police. Starbucks wants you to leave the property,”

“I’m on the toilet,” replied the voice.

“Number one or number two?”

With some hesitation, the woman answered, “Number two.”

“Okay. Go ahead and hurry up because Starbucks wants you to leave.”

About a minute later the toilet flushed and there was the sound of running water from the sink. The door unlocked and the woman opened it slowly.

I expected to see a transient and a mess all over the bathroom floor, but I was surprised to see a normal looking woman come out with a confused look on her face. I looked over at the Starbucks guy with a “WTF” look on my face.

She needed an explanation, so I told her about the trespassing call for service and being flagged down by the employee. She was still confused as she said, “I was waiting for a ride and had to use the bathroom.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

He was a train wreck

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On Wednesday night, I responded to a crash involving a single vehicle and a light pole near a train crossing. When I arrived, the railroad arms were down and a train was passing by.

The crashed car was just south of the railroad arms with major front end damage. I looked at the scene and noticed how close the car came to ending up on the tracks. That definitely would’ve been a new twist if it was struck by a train after knocking down a pole.

After I interviewed the driver, he stood by and made small talk as the world’s slowest tow truck man attempted to clean up. I pointed out to the man he was lucky he didn’t get hit by the train after he crashed into the pole.

I then added, “You would’ve been a train wreck.”

Groan……

At least Matt, the other cop, got it and laughed……

Did he have egg on his face?

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A few weeks ago, I responded to a disturbance call involving a man and a woman at an apartment complex. It was the type of night where the AC was your best friend because it was so hot and humid.

This particular apartment didn’t have AC and was hotter inside than it was outside. I spoke the female half in her bedroom while the other cop spoke to the male in the front room.

It was like a sauna in the room and I made an executive decision I was going to conduct the interview outside because it’s as too damn hot inside.

During the interview the woman told me she was cooking an egg when her boyfriend threw water at her. She said, “I got mad and threw the pan at him.”

“Did he have egg on his face?” I replied.

The blank look on her face told me she didn’t get it. I guess I’ll use my corny jokes on someone else.

He’s not listening

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I rarely have problems with the drivers at collision scenes. Most of the time it’s low key and the drivers are happy the cops showed up. But then, add a husband, wife or friend, who are emotional know-it-alls and everything goes downhill.

It was late afternoon when a male with no license ran a red light and crashed into another car. The driver said the sun was in his eyes and he had no idea what color his light was. This was a great statement, because even if he lied, he still ran the red light.

The other driver said her light was green and she never saw the car until it hit her. It doesn’t get easier than this, right? Now add a husband…….

“No offense, but I think his excuse is bullshit,” said the know-it-all husband. He then added, “What are you going to do to him? He’s not safe to drive.”

“He could be lying about the sun, but either way he’s at fault,” I replied.

“What are you going to do to him?” he asked again.

I told the husband people make mistakes all the time and unfortunately, they crash. I added no one was hurt and that was the most important thing.

“What are you going to do to him?”

“What do you want me to do to him?”

“He’s not safe.”

“People do stupid stuff all the time and they crash. It happens. I don’t want to minimize what happened to your wife, but people crash all day long.”

“But what are you going to do to him?”

Was I talking to myself? I might as well have been talking to the wall across the street. He obviously hadn’t heard a word I said. To be a smart ass I almost said, “Do you want me to shoot him? Would that make you feel better?”

It would’ve been totally worth it to see his reaction.

Always watch your back

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It was a warm September afternoon and I had just gone 10-8 when I heard one of the cops put out a car stop on the radio. His voice was normal and everything sounded routine.

About ten seconds later a voice of urgency came on the radio saying, “Code 3 follow.”

I hit the lights and siren as my engine roared to life. The car sped by as buildings, trees and cars became a blur. I turned eastbound onto a major street and then a hard right into the driveway of an apartment complex.

When I arrived the cop had the driver, who was uncooperative, at gunpoint. He was given numerous commands to turn around and keep his hands up, but he wouldn’t comply. After some tense moments he eventually listened and was handcuffed.

It turned out the suspect had a loaded revolver tucked inside his waistband, brass knuckles, a large knife and bullets for reloading. This definitely could’ve ended up in an officer involved shooting. I wonder what he was thinking by not listening. It’s almost as if he was trying to get shot, but chickened out.

A few months later, I went to my favorite taco place at 1AM to get something to eat. As I stood in line, I looked around and scanned faces. Some were looking at their food and others were looking at me. Then I stopped at one face.

It was the guy from the car stop, who had the gun.

He had his back to the wall and he was looking at me. We locked eyes for a moment and I could see the wheels turning in his head as he tried to figure out if he’d seen me before. He then glanced back down at his plate, but he kept looking up at me.

After I ordered, I took a spot in the restaurant so I could watch him while I waited for my food. I’d bet money he had a gun on him again and I wasn’t going to take my eyes off of him, especially wth the way he was watching me.

I stood there and formed a plan in case he pulled a gun out. I looked at places to take cover, how to exit the front door and the people around him if I had to shoot back.

It’s funny. Most people go to a restaurant and order their food without a second thought. As a cop, you see the world in an entirely different way and ordering food can be just as dangerous as handling a call.

It might sound silly, but you just never know what’s going to happen and you don’t get a second chance.