Keep your hands to yourself

64EC445D-BD82-41A7-B390-11E6F74B4714

It was the late afternoon when I pulled up to a two-car crash at a busy intersection where a  fire truck was blocking the street and causing a huge traffic jam.

One of the drivers was being treated by fire personnel while he sat in his car. Both of his hands were bloody and I cringed at the thought of him handing his driver’s license to me.

After about ten minutes, the driver declined medical treatment and I interviewed him, along with the other driver about the crash. While I did that, another officer helped by writing the driver’s information on the collision report form.

A little while later, the motor cop held up the report form and said, “I have to redo it.”

I looked over at him as I wondered what he meant. That’s when I saw him holding a blood-stained report form in his hand as it blew in the afternoon breeze.

The cop told me bloody hands was standing next to him while he wrote down his information. That’s when bloody hands decided it was a good idea to point at something on the report form.

In horror, the cop tried to move his clipboard out of the way, but it was too late as the worlds largest drop of blood flew through the air and hit its bullseye.

Well, that was a first.  I’ve had coffee, water and food spilled on my report forms before, but never blood. What’s next? Vomit?

Keep your hands to yourself. I don’t know where they’ve been…..

 

Too Soon?

honda-guy

photo by: socalhondadealers.com

The other night, I responded to a traffic collision involving a vehicle and a pedestrian on a major highway on the west side of the city. When I got there, I saw the fire truck in the middle of the street, along with a couple of police cars.

The pedestrian, who was about 45 years old, was lying in the street with fire personnel around her. She was awake and complaining about her arm. After she was loaded into the ambulance, I walked over to the driver, who was bathed in the flashing red and blue lights of the emergency vehicles.

The driver was wearing a powdered blue polo shirt with the Honda logo on it, which I recognized from the commercials. He had a serious look on his face , which I understood because of what he’d just been through. As I walked up, the officer next to the male said, “He’s the driver.”

I looked at the driver and said, “You’re the helpful Honda guy.”

A strange look flashed across his face. It was like he wasn’t sure if he should laugh, be worried or try and sell me a car.

Too soon?

The cat did it

0CD26319-9BE3-414B-A2E4-097A90C944BF

One thing you hear every so often is the old “an animal ran out in front of me” excuse. Yes, I realize cats and dogs have a death wish, but a parked car is always involved when our four-legged friends are blamed. It’s funny how there’s never a witness around when this happens.

Then there’s the “my steering wheel locked up” excuse. Of course, a parked car is always the victim when this happens too. And once again, no one is ever around.

A few weeks ago, I responded to a crash at 1:30AM where four parked cars were struck. When I arrived, the officer on scene told me the driver was 18 years old and not DUI.

I replied, “Let me guess. A dog ran out in front of him?”

“No, a cat. He also said his steering wheel locked up.”

Oh boy.  A cat and a locked steering wheel on the same call? Was it Friday the 13th also?

I prepared myself for a tall tale and asked the driver what happened. The driver told me he was going 10 miles per hour when the cat dashed out in front of him heading southbound. I was on the edge of my seat when he courageously swerved (spectacular movie music in the background) to miss the cat. That’s when his steering wheel mysteriously locked up at that very moment and he crashed into the parked cars on the wrong side of the road.

I was breathless, intrigued and aghast at the cat and this incredible story. That’s when I asked, “What color was the cat?”

“It was black.”

Of course, it was a black cat. An orange cat with stripes and white tipped paws would never dash out in front of a car at 1:30AM.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

What planet are you from?

DA33ECA9-B2CA-46EF-B8B0-0A86A7FF9D51

As a cop, you’re used to people lying to you. It’s part of the job. Sometimes it’s like a chess match where you have to be one step ahead of the lie. Other times, people are just plain stupid and say the dumbest things imaginable.

On Saturday night,  a driver told me he was stopped for a red light when he realized he was in the wrong lane. Instead of going straight,  he wanted to be in the left turn lane. He reversed without looking and crashed into the car behind him.

The other driver told me she was stopped at the red light when the car in front of her backed up and crashed into her.

It was nice and easy with no drama except for a DUI investigation.

During the investigation one of the passengers from the offending car told me, “She rear ended us.”

What planet was she from?

She went on to say, “I saw the gear and it was in drive. We were stopped and she rear ended us.”

Was she from plant “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire?”

I shouldn’t have engaged her, but I did. I told her that both drivers confirmed how the collision occurred and she wasn’t telling the truth. Of course, she told tell me her silliness again, which made her nose grow like Pinocchio’s.

What a waste of time.  

Nothing annoys me more than hearing someone trying to influence the collision investigation with a lie. To me, this isn’t a normal lie. It’s much bigger than that.

A person’s driving record and insurance rates are at stake here. A lie like that could cost someone a lot of money over the next couple of years, or more if they are sued.

Next time how about being from plant STFU.

“It’s complicated”

IMG_0553

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.”

Was it a squirrel?

IMG_7941

I always find it interesting at car accident scenes when someone says, “An animal ran out in front of me.”

I know it can happen, but I’m always skeptical when it’s a single vehicle crash into a parked car or an object like a pole.

The other night I responded to a traffic collision where a parked car was sideswiped. The witness saw the driver texting as he drifted onto the wrong side of the road and crash.

The driver, who was 20 years old, was nervous and fumbling with his phone while he tried calling his mother. He was stressed and having a hard time focusing when I asked him what happened.

He said, “An animal ran out in front of me.”

Ah, the phantom animal. They, like the phantom car, have caused many collisions in my career.

“What kind of animal was it?” I asked.

That question always confuses people and it’s funny to watch them figure out the randomness.

Random is the name of the game to having fun on this job. That’s when I asked, “Was it a squirrel?”

The look on his face was priceless. With raised eyebrows, I could tell the driver was wondering why I asked about a squirrel in a suburban neighborhood. “No, it was small,” he replied.

“Are you sure it wasn’t a squirrel?” I asked again.

“No, it was a rodent.”

“Is it possible it was a squirrel?”

After each squirrel question he got more confused by the minute. I finally stopped and told him what the witness saw. With a deep breath of defeat, the driver confessed there wasn’t an animal. Not even a squirrel.

“If there was an animal, what would it be?” I asked.

With an unsure tone he said, “A stray cat?”

“A shaved cat?”

“No, a stray cat.”

The randomness of night shift……

You get an F

_DSC6365

About a week ago I was stuck in late afternoon traffic that was heavier than normal. While I was stopped, dispatch put out an injury traffic collision involving four cars at the freeway off ramp just ahead of me.

I looked across the sea of cars and saw the crash north of the city limit and I requested the neighboring city respond for the report.

I turned on my overhead lights as I tried to move over to the left. Once in the left lane, I squeezed between the median and traffic as I moved at a snail’s pace. Getting through traffic was no different than trying to put on a pair of jeans that I wore in high school. It just wasn’t happening.

When I finally got up to the crash I saw car with a shattered rear window and its trunk in the backseat. The driver had a dazed look as he stood next to the paperweight that used to be his car.

A full-sized truck had rear ended him, which caused a chain reaction with two other vehicles. The driver of the truck told me he was on the gas while changing lanes and never saw the car in front of him.

I started the paper work and waited for the other officer to respond. Once the other cop arrived, I told the offending driver I was leaving.

He gave me a lost look and asked, “Do I get a report card?”

I knew he meant report number, but I couldn’t resist as I replied, “Yeah, you get an F.”

The F comment hung there like a silent but deadly fart traveling through the air searching out an unsuspecting victim. His facial expression then changed knowing he was just Badge415ized.

He smiled and said, “That’s fucked up.”

“You opened the door on that one,” I replied as I smiled.

Postal?

img_0540

Photo from Newsweek.com

The other day I was at the station getting ready to go 10-8 when a sergeant broadcasted on the radio that he came across a non-injury collision. About a minute later he came back on the radio saying a postal truck was involved and the parties wanted a report.

He also inquired about another crash involving a postal truck and asked if his call was the same as the other. I didn’t know what he was talking about so I paid attention to the next transmission.

The dispatcher came on the radio telling him there were two separate collisions involving postal trucks. One was at his location and the other was in the western part of the city.

I keyed the mic as I said, “729.”

“729?” the dispatcher parroted back.

“729, confirming the crashes have gone postal?”

The radio was silent for what seemed like forever. It was an awkward silence like when someone farts in an elevator and you can’t wait for the doors to open.

The silence was finally broken as she acknowledged me.

I got into my car and looked at my MDT. There was a message from DSP1 that simply said, “REALLY????!!!”

“I couldn’t resist,” I typed back.

I went to the crash and handled it. About 35 minutes later I was ready to clear the call, but I needed to get on the radio one last time.

“729.”

“729?”

“Are there any other crashes involving postal trucks that are holding?”

“Negative,” came the reply.

My MDT beeped as “MESS” appeared on my screen from DSP1.

What other time am I ever going to say “postal” on the radio twice  in less than 40 minutes? Probably never again.

Sometimes you just have to roll with it and have fun.

 

2016 went out with a crash

img_0226

I worked New Year’s Eve and 2016 went out with a bang. Actually, more like a crash.

When I first went into the traffic detail 17 years ago, my training officer told me to keep track of every crash I took so I could testify to it. Since that day all those years ago this week, I have done that for every crash.

At this rate I’m probably hit 7,000 crashes in early 2018.

In 2016, I handled 470 collisions that included 7 fatalities. My record month was 60 crash reports a few years ago in November. It turned out that December of 2016 went down as the second most for me at 59!

Here’s the worst part about that statistic. I took two days off in December.

Be careful out there.

Thanks for reading and sharing Badge415

A dumb excuse

FullSizeRender(9)

A few weeks ago, it was a rainy Friday night when I heard one of the dumbest excuses ever.  It was 2AM when I arrived at a crash where an officer pointed to a driver and said he was unlicensed.

During the interview with the driver I asked, “Who owns the car you were driving?”

“My mom.”

“Does she know you don’t have a license.”

“Yeah.”

After I was done talking with the son, I spoke to mom.

“Did you know he is unlicensed?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Why did you let him drive.”

“He was practicing.”

Practicing? That was the best she could come up with ?

“In the middle of the night and in the rain?” I asked with a surprised tone in my voice.

In the end,  the car was impounded for 30 days. Mom and son both got tickets. Mom for allowing an unlicensed person to drive her car and son for being unlicensed. 

Here’s the ironic part. Mom was the one who called the cops because she thought the other driver was DUI…… He wasn’t.