Maybe it’s you

It was dusk on Friday evening when an officer requested a follow up on a stop he’d made on a residential street not far from where I was writing parking tickets. When I got there, I saw an older car parked along the north curb and a male in the driver seat. Another male was already sitting on the curb with two other cops standing by.

The driver was patted down and instructed to sit on the curb next to his friend, who had been the passenger. The driver was in his early forties, thin and was wearing a Green Bay Packers hat. As soon as he sat down he started complaining as he said, “The cops are always pulling me over.” He followed that up with some more nonsense about being a victim and how the cops are always picking on him.

He said all of this despite having a meth pipe and being on parole for robbery.

Rather than stare at each other, I engaged him in small talk because you never know what’s going to come up, so I asked, “What else have you been arrested for?”

“Robbery, but that was a long time ago. I stole something from a store and they called it a robbery.”

“What else?”

“They once said I tried to cash a forged check.”

“What else?”

“Aggravated assault.”

“So, you’ve been arrested for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, forgery and now you have a meth pipe?” The driver nodded, but still had the victim look on his face. “And you say the cops are always stopping you?” I added with a tone of skepticism in my voice.

He nodded again and said, “I can’t even sit in my car without the cops giving me a hard time. They’re always stopping me.”

This guy clearly has made poor life decisions and continues to do so. I wondered if there ever was a time he owned any of his tomfoolery or idiot missteps in life. This guy was the poster child for people who don’t accept responsibility for their actions.

I couldn’t resist and asked, “Did you know there’s a book called Maybe It’s You?”

He couldn’t help but smile at that one, but continued to talk about how the cops always stop him. That’s when I added, “Once again, maybe it’s you.” He shook his head and smiled because he knew I had zinged him again with Badge415 wit.

His attitude improved after some light humor and talk about his Packers hat and how they became the team. In the end he was cited for the pipe and sent on his way.

My comments were meant to be funny and to have a little fun at his lack of responsibility in life, but it was obvious this grown ass man has never looked in the mirror and figured out his biggest problem in life was him.

That’s the best you can come up with?

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You never know what’s going to come out of someone’s mouth when they’re worried about getting a ticket. The stuff people blurt out might’ve sounded good in their head, but not so much when a follow up question is asked about their excuse.

The other day I stopped a car for making a right turn on a red light without stopping. After the car stopped, I walked up on the driver door and asked, “Hi, how come you didn’t stop for the red light when you turned?”

The driver, who was in his mid-thirties, unshaven and wearing a buttoned up work shirt nervously said, “I’m in a hurry to study for a test.”

I raised my left arm up in an exaggerated manner as I looked at my watch, which said 6:15PM. I looked back at the driver and asked, “Is your test at 7 o’clock?”

“No, it’s in two months.”

“Studying for a test that’s two months away is the best you can come up with?” I asked as The Price is Right’s loser tone went off in my head.

At least he smiled at how silly his excuse sounded.  I guess it was worth a try, but he should’ve studied the part about stopping for red lights in the DMV handbook instead.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Father Time’s driving alarm clock

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When are you too old to drive?

The crash happened at a small intersection when an elderly woman turned left as an SUV went through on a green light. The SUV was sideswiped and limped to a stop in the middle of the street after its driver side air bags went off.

The elderly driver completed the turn and drove home, which was around the corner. Luckily, a witness got the license plate number and an officer contacted the driver in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

She lived alone with her dogs in an apartment. She was fair skinned with short wavy gray hair and a soft grandmotherly voice that could offer you a freshly made chocolate chip cookie. The wrinkled and spotted skin on her arms and face showed her age like the rings on an old tree stump in the forest.

She had no idea there was a crash and she never saw the other car. The woman told me there was a noise, but she never felt the impact, even though the left front fender was peeled away from her Buick like a finger nail snagged on something.

She was also surprised to hear her driver’s license expired in 2017.

So, back to the question. When are you too old to drive?

That age is different for all of us, but it’s coming.  Tonight,  Father Time’s driving alarm clock rang at 83 years old for her.

Have you ever….

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Have you ever had a Samuel L. Jackson movie quote moment?

I had one tonight, but it didn’t involve the word “mother fuc#$%^r” or any of the countless ones from Pulp Fiction. Tonight, I looked at a guy and just wanted to say, “Bitch please.”

That might sound harsh and unfeeling, but I think everyone is allowed a Samuel L. Jackson movie quote moment every once in a while. Plus, I kept it to myself, so who cares and hopefully you smiled when you read “Bitch please.”

It’s no big deal if there’s damage to your car, but if it’s not there, then it’s not there. And certainly don’t say, “I’m going to take it in to be inspected,” if you can’t find a scratch.

I’m leaving a lot out, but to make a long story short……. “Bitch please.”

You might be an idiot if….

You might be an idiot if……

On Saturday night I walked into 7-11 (The NSUB for North Substation) to use the microwave. I noticed a woman in a short black dress standing by the beer cooler as she looked my way with a weird look on her face. There was a man with his back to me next to the coffee counter, which was across from the cooler.

I put my dish in the microwave and noticed the woman, who was in her mid-twenties, still looking at me the same weird look. What was up with her?

Since 7-11 has been locking the beer coolers and opening them up for customers, I assumed she was waiting for the clerk. I then walked to the bathroom while my food heated up.

After I was done, I took my dish out of the microwave and put it on the counter. That’s when the clerk confronted the man, who originally had his back to me.

There was a piece of fruit on the floor and the clerk pointed to it as he said, “You ate that without paying.”

The other clerk walked up with the empty plastic bowl, which was at the coffee counter where the guy was standing when I saw him.

I looked at the drunk knucklehead and asked, “Did you eat that?”

With a nervous low voice he said, “No.”

The clerk shook his head and said, “I saw him.”

“Did you eat that without paying?” I asked again.

“Yeah.”

He pulled out a hundred dollar bill and replied, “I’ll pay for it.”

What an original idea.

He picked the wrong 7-11 to be dumb in. This 7-11 has cops coming and going more frequently than arrivals and departures at the airport.

In fact, I’ve spent more time in this 7-11 than some new cops have time on the job.

Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck if” routine? That routine can also be used in police work.

“You might be an idiot if you steal from our favorite 7-11.”

“You might be an idiot if you’re eating something without paying for it when a cop walks in.”

“You might be an idiot if you lie and think it’s okay to go inside that particular 7-11 and act stupid.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

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.