Going for a repeat

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Spontaneous statements are the hidden jewel of police work. They’re those little things people say in the heat of the moment that you can’t make up. They’re also the stuff that make for story time.

These little statements are quick and are gone in a heartbeat if you’re not paying attention. They’re like the setting sun at the beach. One minute it’s there and the next minute it’s not.

Not too long ago, I was handing a DUI crash when I stopped to watch the field sobriety tests. The suspect stood there and listened while the officer gave the instructions.

That’s when the suspect said, “I know how to do them. I’ve done this before.”

Did he really just say that? Of course, he did. This is police work and people just say the funniest shit.

I just stood there and shook my head as I silently laughed as repeat did his tests. What a mess. Hopefully he doesn’t go for a three-peat.

What was he thinking?

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The other night I was trying to get off early when I was sent to a non-injury crash an hour before I was supposed to get off. The call information was that the drivers were arguing and one of them was refusing to exchange information.

When I arrived, I contacted a male, who told me his vehicle was parked in the alley when it was hit by another car. Simple enough, right?

Of course, that plan fell apart because any time you want to get off early something always happens.

I contacted one of the driver’s and could tell he had been drinking. He was also unlicensed. I got his statement and another officer conducted the DUI investigation. In the end, the driver was arrested for DUI and taken to jail.

Here’s the best part of the story. It turned out the DUI guy was the one who didn’t want to exchange information with the victim driver. That was the only reason why the police were called.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

“It was.09, but I was fine”

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The other night I followed up an officer on a car stop after a guy had made a right turn on a red light without stopping. When I arrived the officer said, “He’s suspended for DUI. I’m going to get him out.”

The officer contacted the driver and asked him to step out of the car. He patted him down for weapons and told him sit down on the curb. The officer then did an inventory search of the vehicle because it was going to get impounded.

I looked at the driver and asked, “Did you crash or did you get stopped when you got arrested?”

“I got stopped.”

“What was your B.A.C.?”

“It was .09, but I was fine.”

“Well, you obviously weren’t fine since you were arrested.” I said. “Being DUI doesn’t mean you’re falling down drunk. It means you were impaired and above the limit.”

“What’s going to happen to my car?”

“It’s getting impounded.”

“For how long?”

“For 30 days.”

“Can someone pick up the car?” he asked.

“No.” I told him.

“Why?”

“You’re license is suspended and you ran a red light. You knew you weren’t supposed to drive, right?”

“Yeah.”

I was a little surprised he said he was fine after being a .09% B.A.C. and getting arrested. He just didn’t get it yet. Maybe one day he will. I’m sure he knows everything at 21 years old.

Too much information (T.M.I.)

_DSC4559-2I love the things that come out of people’s mouths at traffic collisions. It’s like they stepped into a world where the rules of privacy and too much information don’t exist.

On Friday night, I was at an injury collision at 2AM, involving a woman who had been drinking. During the interview, I asked her where she was coming from. The driver replied, “From my AA meeting.”

That in itself was funny. How could it get any better than that? Well, she didn’t disappoint. A few minutes later, the firefighter asked the woman if she was sick or injured. In a very loud voice she said, “I have a yeast infection.”

I almost burst out laughing at that, but I held it in. Her husband was standing next to us when she said that and stepped forward as he looked at her. The husband loudly said, “T.M.I! T.M.I!

Now I really had to hold it in as I asked the husband to walk away so I could get some information from him. While we spoke, I did everything I could to not smile. I even had to turn away from him. At one point I gave up and told him, “That was funny.”

It’s not every day a DUI driver with a yeast infection crashes while coming from an alcoholic anonymous meeting.  It was like a perfect storm of twisted humor and mishaps.

You never know what’s going to happen next in this wacky world called police work.

Happy New Year

_DSC7459The clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve night and it didn’t take long before we had our first DUI collision of 2016. Luckily the first victim was only a tree and not some unlucky person, who was minding their own business on their way home.

After the DUI investigation was completed, the driver was handcuffed and told he was under arrest. I was standing there when he said, “But I’m not drunk.”

I pointed to the tree the guy crashed into and joked to another officer, “Doesn’t he realize he failed the driving test?”

The driver was given the option of a blood or breath test. After he decided on the blood test I started to walk away. That’s when he said, “I’m not drunk” again. 

His car was stuck on the median and up against a tree with a flat tire and a damaged rim. Its front bumper and grille were also damaged. After looking at the car and hearing him over and over,  I wondered if he realized how silly he sounded at this moment.

You just can’t go around hitting things. Especially after drinking 4 or 5 beers on New Year’s Eve night. Maybe it’s time he drank from the cup of responsibility instead. It wasn’t like tree jumped out in front of him.

Have a safe 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

The funny things people say

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People sometimes say the funniest things at traffic collisions. That was the case one night years ago when I was sent to an injury collision where a Chevy Tahoe rolled down an embankment.

When I pulled up, there was a woman already in the ambulance with a broken nose. There were a couple of passengers with minor injuries standing with officers, who were writing their information down. The driver, a male in his 20s, was with another officer. Someone came up to me and said, “He’s HBD,” meaning he had been drinking.

I walked down the sidewalk and looked over the edge to where the vehicle was. The Tahoe had rolled down the hill a couple of times and came to rest on its roof in the playground area of a daycare center. There was a crushed jungle gym underneath it that now resembled a pancake. At least the daycare closed at the time.

I walked up to the driver and asked, “What happened?”

He said, “I was turning and lost control. I hit the curb and we rolled over.”

I could tell he had been drinking and asked, “How many beers did you have tonight?”

“Just two.”

“Two? I said with a raised eyebrow. “Come on man. I can smell it on you from over here?”

The driver pointed to his passengers and said, “It’s because their beer spilled on me when we crashed.”

It’s one of the best DUI remarks ever.

There’s no crying in traffic

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“There’s no crying in baseball.”

That was a famous line said by Tom Hanks in the movie “A League of Their Own.” Just thinking of that part in the movie makes me laugh.

The other night I drove up on a crash in which a car had struck a really big tree on the wrong side of the road. It was the type of tree that took the impact and still said, “Is that all you got?”

The driver was sitting on the curb and crying as he spoke to officers. He was very respectful and honest. He had been drinking and accepted responsibility for his mistake. I remembered thinking, “Why can’t everyone be like this guy?”

I took his statement and then went to look at the crashed car. He was still sobbing as I walked away. I spoke to some witnesses and then walked back to my car as the tow truck arrived. The tow driver attached his cable to the crashed car and dragged it up the flatbed.

As the car was pulled away from the tree, a loud sound could be heard as metal dragged across the pavement like nails on a chalkboard. The driver heard this and fell back on his elbow and laid in wet grass. The noise of his car being dragged seemed to be make him cry louder. It was as if we he was watching his first love leaving forever as she boarded a plane.

I had a feeling he learned his lesson tonight, but it left me wanting to say one thing…..

“There’s no crying in traffic.”

Two different types of drunks

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The other night we were in the 7-Eleven parking lot on a DUI crash. When I first got there, I saw a male standing in front and didn’t pay much attention to him. Where I work, it’s not uncommon to see people hanging around 7-Eleven with nothing to do. I figured he was just one of those guys.

I did my interviews and the DUI driver was arrested. He was a happy drunk and was very cooperative. He was a carefree guy and was handcuffed with no problems. After he was arrested the driver smiled and said, “Come on. Let me go.” The patrol officer then took him to the car and had him sit in the backseat.

That’s when the guy from in front of 7-Eleven started walking toward us with his hands out like a drunk zombie as he said, “Arrest me instead.”

What a guy, right? It was out of the ordinary for a stranger to act like this on a collision call, but then again, nothing is too weird at work.

We told the guy to step back and go away, but he wouldn’t listen. He kept coming closer and closer. He eventually got arrested and became a bigger idiot after he was handcuffed. The officers took him to the car so he could get a ride with the DUI driver.

Well, he didn’t want to get into the car. The officers took the DUI out and asked me to standby with him. During this time, the other drunk was yelling, screaming and telling everyone what he really thought of cops in his best Rated R language.

That’s when the DUI guy said, “Look at this guy. He’s full of shit. I’m not like that. Let me go.”

I told him, “We appreciate it, but we just can’t let you go. We have to do our jobs.”

“Come on. Let me go.”

“You were DUI and you crashed into that woman. Plus, you don’t even have a license.”

“I know, but look at him. I’m not like that.”

It was funny to listen to nice suspect while the other guy was being such an ass. It almost made me want to give the guy a freebie. Not really. I was kidding. It was amazing to see how a regular call could go downhill in a matter of seconds because of a drunk knucklehead who wasn’t even involved.

That’s police work for you though.

“You look familiar”

_DSC7442The other night I was on a three-car collision when I looked at one of the drivers and said, “You look familiar.”

He turned to me with DUI looking eyes and didn’t say anything.

“Have you crashed before?” I asked.

He nodded his head as he said, “Yes.”

“Do you remember me?”

He shook his head no.

There was a tremor in the force because my Jedi senses told me I had run into this guy before. Well, he actually ran into someone else to be more accurate. I spent the rest of the call trying to figure out how I knew him.

A little while later, the arresting officer told me our driver was in a 2014 DUI collision that I was on. I knew it. Later on I did some research and read the old report. Bingo. I knew exactly who that was.

Back in May of 2014, I was stopped for a red light when my partner and I heard a crash. I looked across the intersection and saw two cars that were involved in a rear end collision. I drove across the street and pulled in behind the cars. The striking vehicle had front end damage and smoke was coming out from under the hood.

That’s when the door popped open and the driver fell out of the car. It was as if all of his weight was against the door and he rolled out onto the street. Once on the street, he flopped around like a sea lion at Sea World begging for a treat after doing a trick. The only thing missing was a crowd, a bucket of fish and a large pool of water.

After a few moments of animal entertainment he rolled over and started doing a low crawl like a sniper was shooting at him from a clock tower. It surely would’ve won the grand prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos. In the end, he was arrested for DUI and went to jail.

It was funny to watch because it’s not every day you get to see a grown man fall out of his car because he’s so drunk. It’s also not every day you get to run into him again at another collision.

Here’s the sad thing. This is the second time this year where I’ve contacted a previous DUI customer of mine at a crash where they were DUI again.

When are these people ever going to learn?

The night Uber needed a taxi

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Last week I pulled up to a collision call and saw three disabled vehicles in the road and one parked at the gas station on the corner. It seemed like there were a ton of people standing around being treated by fire personnel or speaking with officers. It was as if the cars threw up people all over the place.

Everyone was calm except for one loud mouth drunk who just liked to hear himself talk. He pretty much yelled the entire call and was downright obnoxious. His dumbness wasn’t directed at us, but he certainly was the fart in the elevator.

After a few minutes I figured out who was who in the zoo and started interviewing the drivers. One driver was stopped for a red light when his truck was turned into an accordion with four wheels. He was the first to get rear ended and was pushed into the car in front of him. The truck’s rear end was smashed and its front wheel broke off like it was a small Lego piece. One look at that poor truck and you knew it was going straight to car heaven.

I next spoke to an Uber driver, who told me the soon to be accordion was stopped behind him when they were rear ended. The impact turned his poor Uber mobile into a metal paper weight. The damage on that vehicle was bad. It was also getting a trip to car heaven.

I went on to interview the fourth driver and asked him what happened. In a weird twist, he was also an Uber driver with a carload of passengers.

The two Uber drivers were unrelated and just happened to be Ubering in the wrong place at the wrong time. At least they didn’t crash into each other. That would’ve been too weird.

I learned that both sets of Uber passengers had been drinking and did the responsible thing by getting a ride. Unfortunately, there was an unlicensed DUI driver behind them who wasn’t responsible. What are the odds of drunk people getting rear ended by a DUI driver?

And in the final twist of irony, we had to call a taxi to pick up some of the Uber passengers because they needed a ride.

You can’t make this stuff up.