Nailed it

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About a month ago, it was a warm summer night when an officer asked for a follow up on the radio for a 925 (suspicious person) male who was trying to hide from him in an alley.

I was in the area and responded to his location. When I arrived, I saw the suspect sitting against a block wall in the alley with the cop standing in front of him, waiting for us to arrive.

The male, who was homeless, was about 40 years old, Hispanic and unkempt looking. He was wearing a navy blue button up shirt and jeans. The most unusual part was his right shoe. Somehow the foot was out of the shoe and the laces were wrapped around it. It was comical when he stood up for the pat down with the shoe flopping around.

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During the pat down, the officer found a large nail in his front pants pocket as he pulled it out and showed it to us. The nail was huge and a good reminder to always expect the unexpected.

I looked at the guy and said, “Did you say ‘nailed it’ when you found that?”

He didn’t get my humor, but I sure nailed that joke.

Until the next joke that makes you groan and roll your eyes.

Where’s my clipboard?

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Last Saturday night I put my clipboard and notepad on the passenger side of my patrol car’s hood. If you’ve worked in a patrol car, you can see how this is going to end up.

So, there I was heading off to another late night traffic collision with the wind in my hair, lights streaking by me and the Miami Vice theme playing in my head. Well, actually there’s not much hair left anymore, but there were lights and it was nighttime.

When I arrived, I exited with the grace and agility of a jungle cat. That’s when I realized my clipboard wasn’t there. A feeling of dread hit me as numerous four-letter words flew out of my mouth. I needed that legal pad because it had notes from the last three crashes I took.

In a rush, I said hi to the cops at the crash and told them I had to go. I jumped back in my car and raced back to the scene of my absentmindedness. When I got there, I retraced my steps as I looked for my lost treasure.

That’s when I saw it. It was like a bright light as I saw my notepad lying in the gutter, untouched by passing traffic. The traffic gods had smiled down on me.

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And then I saw my clipboard in two pieces. Old faithful made its last stand at 3AM on a six-landed highway with a 45 mph speed limit. It never had a chance.

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It had been through so much over the last couple of years. Countless DUI crashes, fatal collisions, injuries and fender benders. It’s edges rounded, chipped and worn away. That clipboard had seen things..

Oh well, I needed a new clipboard anyways. That’s why Walmart sells a two-pack.

He told her what?

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Photo credit- Yahoo.com

Last week I called a woman to ask her a follow up question about a collision she was in. After she answered my question she asked, “Can you tell me who was at fault?”

That’s a question I like to avoid for many reasons because it sometimes ends up with hurt feelings when I tell them. The hurt feelings are usually followed by debate, arguing, and finally acceptance.

I guess it’s the car accident stages of grief.

With a bit of dread I replied, “You were.”

Her end was quiet as she digested what I said. After a moment she broke the silence and said with passion, “The witness told me I wasn’t at fault.”

I heard this and a Steve Harvey look of disbelief flashed across my face as all of these comebacks flew through my head. I pictured myself turning to The Family Feud answer board and saying, “The witness told me I wasn’t at fault.”

Instead of a “ding” for a correct answer, a long buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz could be heard as the X flashed across the screen.

After my Family Feud moment, I gently explained to her why she was at fault. I then tried to  lighten the mood as I said, “I’ve been doing this longer than the witness.”

 

A crazy 902T

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A few months ago the word “whale” came up during a call and it became a challenge to see if I could work it into the conversation with a suspect. Mission accomplished that night with a good laugh and an inside joke between me and another cop.

Another time the word “ball” came up on a call in a weird way by the driver of a crashed car. That night I was able to say ball in almost every other sentence while trying to keep a straight face. It’s a long story, but a good one for another time. It’s also another inside joke between me and the same cop.

On Thursday night, I was dispatched to a four-car injury traffic collision. A civilian report writer arrived on scene first and cancelled the fire department.

She next advised over the radio that the crash was a 902T (non-injury) instead of a 901T(injury). She added a little humor by saying, “It’s a crazy 902T.”

I never heard the phrase “crazy 902T” before, so I decided to have a little fun with it. I picked up the mic and said, “Confirming it’s a crazy 902T?”

“Affirm,” replied the dispatcher.

My computer beeped as a I got a message from MM, the cop with the inside “whale” and “ball” jokes. Her message gave me an idea.

I replied back, “Let’s see how many times I can say crazy 902T on the radio.”

I also typed to the dispatcher and said I was going to try and say “crazy 902T” on the radio when I went on scene.

When I arrived, I saw one car with front end damage disabled in the street. The other car struck two parked cars after the initial impact and was also disabled in the road.

“729, all eastbound lanes are closed and we’re going to have a sig-alert for the next hour for a crazy 902T.”

“10-4,” replied the dispatcher.

“729, I’ll need two 926s (tow trucks) for a crazy 902T.”

“10-4.”

Two times. Maybe I could say it one more time.

I started talking with one of the drivers and decided the paramedics needed to respond. I keyed the mic and asked for the fire department. I next wanted to change the status of the call from non-injury to injury. What better way to do that by saying “crazy 902T” again.

“729, this is no longer a crazy 902T. It’s a 901T light.”

Mission accomplished

How old are you?

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On Wednesday, I contacted a woman, who was about 20 years old, at a three-car traffic collision. After I was done with the interview, I turned to one of the passengers and asked for her name. The first passenger only spoke Spanish, so the driver assisted translation.

After I got the information and injuries of the first passenger, I turned toward the second, who didn’t speak English either.

The driver said, “This is my mom.”

“What’s her name?” I asked.

The driver replied by giving me her first and last name.

“What’s her birthday?”

The driver turned toward her mother and asked what her birthday was in Spanish. I was shocked, so I said, “You don’t know your mom’s birthday?”

The driver smiled with an embarrassed look as she continued to ask her mother in Spanish.

“How long has she been your mom?” I poked.

“Huh?” She said with a confused look.

“How long has she been your mom?” I asked again.

This time she got my sarcasm and laughed.

“Do you have any kids?”

“No.”

“If you did, I figured you’d forget their birthdays too,” I said with a laugh.

The driver gave me a “You got me” look and laughed again.

I gave her a card with the report number and said, “Thanks for laughing at my jokes.” At least she was a good sport about it.

I wasn’t texting

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On Friday night, I was stopped for a red light when the glow of a cell phone caught my eye in the car next to me.

I looked over and saw the driver holding the phone in her hand as she touched the screen. She then opened up an iMessage and started texting with both thumbs.

The light turned green and traffic started to go, but I waited for the driver to proceed forward. With the phone still in her hand and thumbs flying across the keyboard at 200 words a minute, the car started to go.

I took my foot off the gas and rolled forward just as the driver looked over at me. Amazingly the phone dropped from view like a rock plummeting to the bottom of a pond.

I got behind her and put my lights on to stop the car. Little did the driver know this was going to be an educational stop rather than a ticket as long as she didn’t lie.

After the car stopped, I walked up to the driver door and asked her for her driver’s license. After she handed me her license I asked, “Why were you texting?”

The driver said, “I wasn’t texting.”

Really???

“You were texting while the car was moving.”

“I was getting directions.”

“You have an iPhone. I have an iPhone. I know what a iMessage looks like. You were texting. I watched you open up the screen and type something. You then opened up an iMessage and started texting.”

At this point the teenager raised the white flag of surrender and said she was texting. I looked at her license and saw that the birth year was 2000.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“I’m 16.”

It was 11PM and she had two passengers. In California you can’t drive between 11PM and 5AM, nor can you transport passengers under age of 20 years old in the first year.

I looked at both passengers and asked them their ages. Both were 17 years old. I looked at the driver and asked, “What’s the restriction on your license?”

She told me she knew about not transporting passengers and driving after 11PM.

I said, “I’m going to write you a ticket for the passengers, but not the cell phone.” I explained that new drivers her age get distracted easily and are usually at fault when they crash with passengers in their car and while disobeying the restriction.

I think it stung a little when I told her, “If you told the truth I wouldn’t have noticed your age or the restriction.”

Hopefully she learned something from the stop.

A priceless moment

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The other day my daughter and I were at a store when I saw a cop I knew from work. He was looking at something on a shelf and didn’t know I was there. That’s when I thought of something funny to do.

I turned to my daughter and said, “See that guy over there? I work with him.” She peeked around the corner and saw him. I told her his first name and asked her to go up to him and say, “Did you arrest my dad?”

A shocked look flashed across her face as she laughed and said she couldn’t do it. After a few seconds of laughing she asked, “Are you sure it’s him?”

“Yes,” I replied.

She took a deep breath as she tried to put a serious look on her face. The serious look turned to a smile as she laughed and said, “I can’t do it.”

Now we were both laughing.

My daughter looked at me and said, “Okay, but you have to walk up when I do it.”

We walked over to the Kevin’s aisle and stopped. My daughter took one more deep breath and walked with a purpose toward my unsuspecting friend as she said, “Kevin, did you arrest my dad?”

Kevin turned toward my daughter with a surprised look on his face as he softy asked, “What?”

I stepped forward just in time to see the priceless look on his face. He turned toward me and realized he was pranked. He took a deep breath as the color came back to his face.

We shook hands and I introduced my daughter to him. He was much more relaxed now and shook hands with my daughter as he said hello.

We talked for a moment and then parted ways as we continued shopping. It was truly a priceless moment and he was a good sport about it.

When I grow up

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A few weeks ago I was typing reports in Starbucks when a woman and two children walked in. I looked up and glanced over as they went up to the counter. The mother ordered and sat down on the other side of the room.

I was concentrating on my work when I noticed one of the boys, who was about 4 years old, shyly peeking around a display at me. He watched me with curiosity and wonder. He had short dark brown hair that was parted on the side and was wearing a white polo shirt with dark horizontal stripes.

I looked over at him and smiled as I waved. His body flinched and his eyebrows jumped up in the air like a shocked cartoon character. A moment later his eyes lit up like a lighthouse on a rocky coast on a dark night.

He smiled as he rocked back and forth on his heels with nervous energy and gave me a quick wave of the his hand. With no hesitation, he walked up to me and said, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you.”

I smiled as I held out my right hand and asked, “What’s your name?”

He looked at my uniform and my equipment as he took it all in. He held up his hand and shook mine as he told me his name.

“Thanks for saying hi to me,” I replied.

He smiled back and hurriedly walked back to his mom, who was watching from across the room. He leaned against her as he continued to watch me. A few minutes later she got her drink and walked toward the door with her sons following like ducklings.

Right before stepping through the door he smiled and gave me a quick wave. I waved back and then he was gone.

Thanks little guy for making my day.

“It’s complicated”

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Last week I responded to a disturbance call involving a man and woman. When I pulled up, I saw that the female had rear ended the male at a stop sign.

The damage was minor and I wondered what the big deal was. I walked up to the female as other cops spoke to the male. I learned that they were married a few months ago and they had an argument today at her house.

Not at their house or their apartment. At her house. That part was too complicated try to figure it out.

After the argument he drove to the park to be alone and she followed him there. From there, he left again.

“Why was he mad?” I asked.

“I posted something.”

“What did you post?”

“I posted a pic of a guy saying it was my new boyfriend to get him to leave me alone.”

“Let me get this straight. You posted a picture of a fake boyfriend so your husband would leave you alone?”

“Yes.”

OMG! Who are these people and how did they get on this planet? Was I in the Twlight Zone again?

After he left the park she wanted to find him, so she went to where he normally parks his car. Didn’t she want him to leave her alone?

A few minutes later she found him and started following his car. He stopped for a stop sign and she rear ended him. To top it off, she told me he was drinking. Could this call get any stranger?  Yes, she didn’t even have a driver’s license.

In the end, he was arrested for DUI and both cars were towed.

After he was arrested she asked me, “Can I talk to him?”

Was she kidding?  It was almost like she was a black cloud following him. Maybe he was relieved to be going to  jail.

I’m wonder if her Facebook status says, “It’s complicated.”

“I have to poop!”

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On Friday night I was responding to a traffic collision when I saw a car run a stop sign as it turned left. There were units at the collision scene so I decided to stop the car.

I put my lights on and the vehicle pulled over abruptly. I exited my car and walked up on the driver door with my hand on my gun. A shone my flashing into the car as I looked for the driver’s hands.

I inched closer wondering what was up with the driver because of the abrupt stop and the way he ran the stop sign. That’s when he turned toward me with a panicked look as he practically yelled, “Officer, I have to poop! I have to poop!”

“You have to poop?”

“Yes, I have to poop!”

“Are you sweating?” I asked.

“No,” he replied with a strange look.

“Then you don’t have to poop that bad then.”

“I do.”

“Why didn’t you poop at the toco place down the street?”

“There was a taco place?”

He was talking fast and looked like he was crowning. From his facial expressions, he probably had a turtle head going. At one point he leaned back in his seat like he was trying to keep the deuce back.

“How do I know you really have to poop?” I asked.

“Can you follow me to Walmart so we can talk about it there? Thats where I was going.”

At this point I figured he was legit. Maybe the poor guy really had to poop. I decided to have one last bit of fun before I let him go without a ticket.

I said, “Tell me a joke and make me laugh. Then you can go.” He closed his eyes and was deep in thought, but nothing funny was going to come from him. “And no number 2 jokes either,” I added.

With his head on the headrest and eyes closed, the driver licked both index fingers and rubbed his earlobes as he said, “My dad says this works.”

WTF?

The earlobe thing made it weird. After his ears were nice and lubricated he said, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“That’s not a joke,” I corrected him, causing him to laugh.

Clearly this guy wasn’t good under pressure. He wasn’t the quarterback you wanted with the game on the line. He was just jello.

I laughed and handed him his license back as I said, “Go do that voodoo that you do.”

With a look of relief, the driver leaned out the window and said, “Thank you!”

What a crappy feeling it must’ve been when I stopped him.

You just can’t make this stuff up.