“Everyone Speaks Tow Truck”

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I shouldn’t be surprised at work anymore, but it still happens. Just when I think I’ve seen it all….

On Friday night I went to a call where an unlicensed driver made a left turn in front of another car and they crashed. There was nothing shocking about that because unlicensed drivers crash all the time where I work. It’s the norm rather than the exception.

I went to speak to the unlicensed driver and asked him what happened. He asked me if I spoke Spanish. I told him I didn’t. We weren’t able to communicate so I called for a Spanish speaking officer to respond to assist me.

I called for a tow truck because I was going to impound the unlicensed driver’s truck. I then went to interview the other driver. When I was done with that I stood by waiting for the tow truck and the Spanish speaking officer. That’s when the tow truck pulled up.

I pointed to the crashed truck and told the tow driver that I was impounding that vehicle. That’s when the unlicensed driver said in perfect English, “Why are you taking my truck?”

I actually stared at him for a second wondering how all of the sudden English words were coming out of his mouth. It was like a bolt of lightning  struck and turned him into an English speaker. It was of Biblical proportions on Good Friday.

That’s when I said, “I thought you didn’t speak English.”
“I speak a little.”
“784, cancel the Spanish speaker. My driver started speaking English when he saw the tow truck.”
“10-4,” replied the dispatcher.

I was then able to conduct the interview with his English and the “car accident” Spanish that I know.

It was at that moment I was taken back to a saying a friend once said at work. It’s the type of saying that has stayed with me for years and I’ve tried to pass it on to other officers. Those particular words were perfect for this moment…..

“Everyone speaks tow truck.”

No matter what the situation, the sound of a tow truck can wake the heaviest of sleepers. Bring a tow truck into a neighborhood and people will pour out of their apartments.

There could be five police cars parked in a neighborhood and some people might watch. Have a tow truck drive in and doors will fly open. People can’t get out of their apartments fast enough. Even the stray dogs in the area come by to watch.

Up until last night, I had no idea a tow truck had the power to make a person speak English.

Like the saying goes……“Everyone speaks tow truck.”

Frank’s Back

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Frank’s back!

A few days ago I posted a story about a drug addict and thief named Frank, who I met while doing my DRE certifications. They story got people talking because it’s been viewed over 4,300 times on Facebook.

If that story got you upset, then this one should leave you wondering WFT?

Last night I was back at Fullerton PD doing my DRE certifications and guess who I saw? If you said Frank, you’re right. He was under the influence again.

Part of me was surprised and part wasn’t shocked at all.

As soon as I saw Frank, I instantly thought of the story I wrote about him the other day. Frank wasn’t worried about jail then. And guess what? He’s still not worried about it now. Prop 47 says he gets a citation.

It’s his “get out of jail free” card. Actually, it’s a pink copy of his citation.

Remember, the citation is just the cost of doing business to Frank. As long as he signs his ticket he gets out of jail. If he gets a fine he just has to pay it. And where do you think he’ll get his money from?

You again!

He’s a thief and a criminal. That’s the way he described himself last week. Frank steals to pay for his meth, so that means he’ll  probably steal to pay for his fine too.

So, Frank just needs to visit your house, business or break into your car to get the money to pay off his debt. Problem solved. His fine is paid and he gets to roam your neighborhood to feed his habit. Oh, I forgot to mention that Frank is also a documented gang member.

Not to rub it in, but Frank would’ve stayed in custody if it wasn’t for Prop 47.

Some people think being under the influence is a “victimless crime.” Well, tell that to the person whose house or car was broken into. They’ll tell you they felt violated and were the real victims.

Who thought Prop 47 was a good idea anyways? Oh yeah, the people who voted it in. The Franks of the world thank you for it.

Where Does An Addict Get His Money?

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The other night I went to Fullerton PD for my DRE certifications as part of the class I completed a few weeks ago. I had an interesting conversation with a suspect and I wanted to share it with people who are not familiar with addicts.

 

First of all, most of these people don’t have jobs, but they need income to support their habit. Where do you think they get their money from?
From you!

 

These addicts break into your cars, your houses and your businesses. They steal and then steal some more.

 

During our conversation I asked him how often he uses meth and marijuana. Without hesitation he replied, “Every day.”

 

“How do you feel when you don’t do meth?
“I get anxiety.”
“Does the drug make you feel well?” I asked.
“Yeah.”
“Do you drink?”
“No.”
“How come?”
“Because I lose everything when I drink.”
“What do you mean?”
“I lose my car and I go to jail. So, now I don’t drink at all.”
“How many DUI’s do you have?”
“Two.”
“How much do you spend a day on meth?”
“$300.”
“Do you have a job?”
“No.”

 

Let’s assume he over estimated his daily usage. Either way he still needs money for his habit. Where do you think he gets that money from?

 

“Where do you steal from?” I asked.
“I don’t do anything in my city. I have pride in my city.”

 

It seemed like he really wanted me to understand he had pride in his city and it was important to him that I knew that. I asked him more questions about his thefts, but he didn’t want to tell me. At one point he smiled and said, “I’m a criminal.”

 

At least he knows it.

 

Is this a guy you want roaming around your city? Absolutely not, but guess what? He was cited out. He was cited out like all the people who were arrested for being under the influence of a drug that night.

 

He was cited out because of Prop 47 in California. Prior to Prop 47, he would’ve remained in custody for the under the influence and drug paraphernalia charges. Now we have to cite him out. I’m sure that pink copy of the citation made him feel bad.

 

He said he normally starts to feel the anxiety about six hours after doing meth. That means he’s ready for more meth or he has to find more before that feeling of anxiety takes over.

 

Guess what he’s going to do if he’s short on cash?  You guessed it. He’s going to rip someone off.

 

I still find it shocking that people in California voted for Prop 47 and allow people like Frank to be out on the street to do their thing.

 

What if Frank gets caught stealing at a store? He’ll get another citation for petty theft. That’s just an inconvenience to Frank. It’s the cost of doing business.

 

Eventually things will catch up with Frank, but right now he only has to worry about a citation. County jail time is the least of his worries.

 

Frank’s job is stealing and getting high. At thirty-one years old he’s got all the time in the world.

I work in the Twilight Zone

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Sometimes it seems like I never get a normal collision call to handle. There’s always something.

Here’s what I consider a normal call.

  • All the drivers have licenses.
  • There are no injuries.
  • Everyone has insurance.
  • No hit and run.
  • No one has been drinking or taking drugs.
  • There are only two vehicles.
  • There’s no drama.

It’s not like I’m asking for much.

There was a call last Wednesday night that didn’t come close to what I just described. It was just one of those weird calls where I was in the Twilight Zone.

For the story we’re going to refer to one guy as DUI Man and the other as Motorcycle Man.  Then there’s Motorcycle Man’s son.  We’ll call him Knucklehead.

On that day, DUI Man was driving his vehicle even though he was never issued a license. The unlicensed part didn’t bother him because he drives all the time.

DUI Man doubled parked his truck in the middle of the street in front of his house. He left it there so he could talk with a friend. I’m sure parking in the driveway would’ve been too easy.

While DUI Man was talking to a friend, Motorcycle Man started riding up and down the street, even though he didn’t have a motorcycle endorsement on his license.  DUI Man thought he was riding too fast and he was concerned for the neighborhood children. He decided to tell Motorcycle Man to slow down.

Let me say that again. DUI Man was worried about the safety of the neighborhood kids.

Motorcycle Man’s son (Knucklehead) didn’t like this and decided he needed to get involved for some reason. Before you knew it, Knucklehead and DUI Man were fighting in the middle of the street. The crowd separated them and DUI Man wanted to leave.

DUI Man jumped into his vehicle, but there was one small problem. DUI Man was really DUI. As he drove off, he sideswiped Motorcycle Man’s car by accident. He then fled the scene, but returned a short time later.

DUI Man walked up to me and wanted to report an assault and battery because he was a victim. Did I mention that DUI Man was also an illegal alien and they were neighbors? Not that it mattered, but it just made the story that much more bizarre.

DUI Man ended up getting arrested and went to jail. Of course, this wasn’t his first DUI arrest.

That’s when I learned a little bit about Knucklehead. It turned out he was in his thirties and still lives at home. He is unemployed and has “Three baby’s mammas.”  Those were his words.

He has a couple of arrests for domestic violence, but he just got off probation. I’m sure he’ll treat the new “Baby’s Mamma” much better than the last two.

I forgot to mention that Knucklehead was shot during a drive-by years ago and his license is suspended for not paying child support.

The only thing missing from this call were circus animals, clowns and some midgets.

The next call was much easier. That one involved an unlicensed driver who, crashed head-on into another car while on the wrong side of the road.

There was a restriction on the victim driver’s license for corrective lenses so I asked him where his glasses were.

The driver told me ink spilled on his glasses and they were smashed. After that, the glasses were in the kitchen and the dog, “Disappeared them.”

“Your dog ate your glasses?” I asked with a hint of sarcasm.

“It was a Pit Bull,” he said.

That was the funniest thing I heard all night. See, you just can’t make this stuff up.