He poops where?

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The other night I was sent to a hit and run call, which involved an assault and battery after the crash. I was told four people were sitting in a parked car at 7-Eleven when a vehicle backed into them. After the crash the victim was punched by the other driver.

I walked up to the victim and asked, “So, you were sitting in the car when it was hit?”

“Basically, we were waiting for the dog to take a shit.”

“In your car?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“You just let the dog take a shit in your car? What was wrong with the grass?”

A female in her late teens, who was with the victim said, “We have a mat that he goes on.”

I shook my head and moved on as I took notes about the collision. When I was done I wrote the report number on a card and handled it to the victim.

That’s when I couldn’t resist and asked, “So, how did the dog do?”

“He didn’t poop.”

“After all of that he didn’t poop?” I asked with a surprised look.

“No.”

Thinking there was a blog in this I pointed to the car and said, “I have to see these mats,”

The female walked to the car and pulled out a plastic car floor mat.

“Wait. Your dog poops on that?” I said with a look of disbelief.

“Yeah.”

“How do you clean that?”

“With water,” she said. “We put these in the house also.”

“He goes poop on the car mats in the house?”

“Yeah. He wont go on the regular doggie mats you buy at the store.”

Now I know I’ve heard it all. You just can’t make this stuff up.

4Runner target practice

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On Thursday night, I responded to a hit and run call in an alley. When I arrived, I found a parked Toyota 4Runner with front end damage and the front bumper from the suspect vehicle on the ground right next to it.

Another officer advised over the radio that he was out with the suspect and the victim at a 7-Eleven parking lot about a half mile away. I interviewed a witness at the scene and then drove to the suspect’s location.

It turned out the suspect, who we’ll call Tammy, crashed into the parked 4Runner when she was trying to drop someone off.

Right after the collision, a vehicle drove into the alley and stopped. Coincidentally, it was the owner of the parked 4Runner, who just happened to arrive in the alley.

The guy got out of his vehicle and saw that his 4Runner was just hit. Tammy decided she was going to split and started to drive away. The only problem was that Tammy crashed into the guy’s other vehicle, which was also a Toyota 4Runner!

After the second collision Tammy fled the scene as the victim chased after her. She finally gave up and pulled over in the 7-Eleven parking lot.

What were the odds of the victim owning two 4Runners and having them hit by the same suspect in two separate collisions?

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Did you fall in the pool?

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The other night, I was at a hit and run call when one of the officers got on the radio and said he was in foot pursuit of the suspect. I looked northbound and saw a shadow running down the street.

They were at least 100 yards away, so I jumped into my patrol car and floored the accelerator as the Dodge’s engine roared to life. My tires were making up the distance fast when I saw the shadow turn left toward a house.

The officer in foot pursuit broadcasted the suspect went into a backyard and he was jumping fences heading northbound. I drove to the end of the block and set up on the north end of the perimeter. Our helicopter arrived overhead and the suspect was caught a short time later.

After he was taken into custody. I drove over to where the suspect was so I could talk to him about the collision. I opened the door of the police car and noticed he wasn’t wearing a shirt. I wondered what happened because it was cold out.

After I was done with the interview I joked as I said, “You’re lucky the K9 didn’t get you.”

“I heard barking,” he replied.

“It wasn’t from our dog. He was cancelled.”

“I heard fake barking.”

“What do you mean fake barking?” I asked.

“I heard the cops fake barking.”

I gave him a puzzled look, but his face told me he really heard “fake barking.” After I closed the door I wondered who the K9 impersonator was. I walked over to where the other cops were and they told me the suspect had fallen into a pool. Now I knew why he wasn’t wearing a shirt.

I opened the door again and asked, “Did you fall in a pool?”

“Yeah.”

“What happened?”

“I jumped a fence and fell in the water.”

It’s not every day when a hit and run suspect falls into a pool and hears the cops fake barking at him.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

By the way, I found out who the K9 impersonator was. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard a suspect say. Well played. Well played.

Where’s my mommy?

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The call came out as a felony hit and run involving a pedestrian with witnesses following the suspect. Dispatch updated the suspect’s location as it continued westbound on a major highway.

A few minutes later we caught up to the suspect and stopped the vehicle in a parking lot. After the interviews, we learned that the victim was transported to the hospital because her foot was run over. The suspect was arrested for felony hit and run and placed in the back of a police car. She also was driving on a suspended license.

This wasn’t the typical hit and run story though. This one had a bit of a twist to it.

What made this one a little different were the passengers in the suspect vehicle. They weren’t a bunch of hoodlums or gang members. They were the driver’s 6 and 3 year old daughters.

After mom was arrested, I walked up to the vehicle so I could get her purse and cell phone for her. There was an officer standing at the car wth the children. The 6 year old seemed to be having a good time taking with the officer.

I looked at her and asked, “Where’s mummy’s purse and cell phone?”

“Right there, ” she said as she pointed to the front seat.

“Thanks,” I replied.

I was about to walk away when she asked, “Where’s my mommy?”

I was kind of hoping to avoid that one. What do you tell a 6 year old? You can’t just say, “Mommy went to jail because she ran over a woman.”

Instead, I went with, “Mommy is talking to a police officer.”

“OK.”

“Your daddy is coming,” I said.

“My daddy is coming?”

“He’ll be here soon.”

“OK.”

I took the purse and phone to the patrol car and gave them to the officer. He then drove her to jail.

A few minutes later I walked by the vehicle and the little girl asked, “Where’s my mommy?”

“She’s talking with the officer at the police station,” I replied.

“Ok. Do you have kids?’ she asked. It was the cutest thing.

“I do. Do you want to see a picture of them?”

“Yeah,” she said with a smile.

I took my phone out and showed her a picture of my kids. The little girl looked at my daughter and said, “She’s pretty!”

You can’t beat a child’s innocence.

The missing piece of the puzzle

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Witnesses never get the credit they deserve. As officers, we know the value of a person stopping to be a witness at a traffic collision or a crime scene. The information they provide can be invaluable and can truly be the missing piece of the puzzle.

The other night I handled a felony hit and run involving a DUI driver and a pedestrian, who later died at the hospital.

After being struck, the pedestrian was left in the middle of the street as the driver took off. There were a couple of witnesses who chased the suspect about a mile down the road to his home. They called the police and stood by for officers to arrive.

The suspect was later located and arrested. After I finished the call, I was grateful the witnesses had followed the suspect. If it hadn’t been for them, we might never have found the bad guy.

People don’t realize how important their information can be. Without them, it’s a puzzle that can never be solved.

My hat is off to those witnesses from that night. I’m glad you got involved to help. I’m sure the victim’s family would agree.

She didn’t get our jokes

FullSizeRender(25)The other night, I was dispatched to a hit and run call where the victim was chasing the suspect vehicle. At one point she lost the car and pulled over into the parking lot of 7-Eleven.

When I got there the driver was standing in the parking lot with another officer. I went up to her and asked what happened. She seemed stressed and spoke very loudly as she said, “I’ve never been through this before.”

To lighten the mood I said, “This is my first time too.”

She missed my joke and went straight to telling me what happened. As she retold the story her voice got louder and louder. She described how the collision occurred and how she yelled, “You can’t leave!” to the suspect as he drove away.

After he left, the woman started chasing the driver as they went in and out of traffic. At one point she held up her index finger and thumb and said, “He missed a car by that much.”

“You mean like Get Smart?”

She didn’t even blink an eye, which told me she never saw Get Smart like I did as a kid.

She continued with the story as the suspect ran the red light at a major intersection. After that she lost sight of him on a different street, which was pretty far from where the suspect ran the red light. Of course, she didn’t mention running the same red light to keep up with him and I didn’t ask.

An officer named Eric, walked up just as she said, “This is the second hit and run I’ve been in.”

Eric, who is a very funny guy asked, “Were you the suspect or the victim last time?”

With a straight face she said, “The victim,” and continued with the story.

Eric looked at me as he asked, “Too soon?”

“No, not at all,” I replied as I smiled.

In the end I handed her a card with the report number on it and said, “Call your insurance company and tell them what happened.”

“I don’t have insurance.”

We looked at each other for a moment in silence. That’s when I said, “That got awkward.” Eric smiled, but she didn’t get it, which was probably good.

The 15 year old drunk driver

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I set a new record last week.

But this isn’t a record that you would want. It’s another one of those stories where I say to myself, “Just when I thought I’d seen it all….”

It’s not every night someone steals a water truck from a construction site. I’m not even sure why someone would do that. Wouldn’t it be easier to steal a regular car that didn’t stick out like a sore thumb?

One this is for sure. No one ever said bad guys were smart.

It all started when an anonymous person called the police on Wednesday night to report a construction truck driving around in the park at 12:30AM. The caller heard a loud noise and didn’t know if anything was hit.

When the officers arrived in the area they saw a water truck swerving as it went down the road just a few hundred yards from the park. Within a few seconds the water truck crashed and the occupants ran.

After they were taken into custody a sergeant asked for a traffic unit. He said there were “a couple” of parked cars that were hit. When he said “a couple” I assumed it was two cars. That’s no big deal since it happens all the time.

When I arrived, I was surprised to see a water truck in the front yard at the corner. There were damaged and disabled cars everywhere for a grand total of eight, including the water truck.

This definitely wasn’t something you see every day.

The first victim vehicle was a Prius. Now, try to imagine what a large water truck can do to a Prius when it’s being driven by a 15 year old drunk driver. Let’s just say the Prius got treated like the redheaded stepchild who got stuffed into his locker by a bunch of high school football players.

The Prius was broadsided by the water truck and then crashed into the car that was parked in front of it. This spun the Prius around and forced it onto the sidewalk where it became a giant paper weight. Two more parked cars were hit on the street after that.

After treating the Prius like a dirty girlfriend, the water truck ended up in the front yard of a house and crashed into three cars in the driveway.

The three cars in the driveway belonged to one family and had extensive damage. Two of those cars had damage to both sides after being sandwiched together from the impact.

There were a grand total of 7 points of impact in this scene of destruction.

Then the officers told me there was another collision scene located at the baseball field where the original call went out. What the heck?

I had never taken a traffic collision at a baseball field before. So, why not add that to my list of firsts.

It turned out our gang member suspect, who is on probation, was doing donuts in the infield at the park. After that he drove behind the backstop and crashed into the dugout on the first base side, which was now a twisted mess of metal.

This 15 year old has the honor of being the youngest DUI driver I have ever seen. I’m sure there are others who have arrested younger DUI drivers, but this was my new record.

At the scene, the suspect showed no remorse. Not one ounce of regret for the damage he caused or the lives he put in danger by driving that truck while drunk. He was just a mean drunk who yelled at the cops from the backseat of the patrol car and wouldn’t even tell us his name. He just didn’t care.

This was just another example of the people out there who don’t care about the rules or laws and have no regard for the rest of us normal people, who work hard for what we have.

Even the little league baseball players are going to be affected because their field has no dugout now.

What a dick.

The night the firefighter was hit by a car

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Firefighter Down

“2S2, a firefighter was just hit by a car!”

It was a summer night in August when I heard those chilling words over the radio.

The sergeant then broadcasted that this was a hit and run and he needed Code 3 units.

As I rolled toward the location I wondered how could this happen. Firefighters aren’t supposed to get hit by cars. It’s not in the rule book.

I just happened to be down the street when I heard the call. I floored the gas pedal and pushed the car as hard as it could go. I was there in less than thirty seconds.

When I arrived I saw the fire truck parked facing in a southeasterly direction with its red lights flashing in the night. A fire hose was pulled across the street toward the burned vehicle.

There was a burned out vehicle smoldering on the side of the road in front of this run down looking motel.

The air was filled with foul smelling smoke. It was the kind of smell that invades the lungs and makes you want to turn your head.

Everything looked normal up to that point.

That’s when I saw the firefighter lying motionless on his back in the street. He was wearing his fire turnouts, helmet and breathing apparatus.

His three partners were kneeling beside him and they were yelling his name. There was fear and panic in their voices. They kept calling his name and told him to hold on.

This weird feeling came over me. It was as if all sound ceased to exist at that moment except for their voices. The volume and emotion in their voices made me nervous. I didn’t want to see him die in front of me.

I stood over them and I was shocked to see blood on the inside of his mask. I could barely see his face as he grimaced in pain.

Then the sound of the night came rushing back to my ears. It was as if every police siren could be heard echoing in the night as they raced to our location.

Then there were tons of cops getting out of their cars, all wanting to help. A command post was set up to coordinate a search for the suspect.
Another fire truck arrived and the firefighter was loaded into an ambulance. The siren of the ambulance screamed into the night as it drove toward U.C.I. Medical Center.

His three partners remained at the scene. They all had a look of disbelief and anguish.

I have a vivid memory of the engineer slowly walking to the fire truck and sitting on the front bumper. I watched as he put his hands on his knees and lowered his head. He just sat there and didn’t move for a long time.

I then spoke to the captain. He told me about responding to the car fire and where their truck was parked. The firefighter pulled a hose and started putting water on the burning car. The captain stood a little farther south and stopped traffic in both northbound lanes.

That is when the suspect vehicle drove around the stopped cars and headed straight at the captain.

The firefighter was facing the burning car at this point and he had no idea what was about to happen. The captain waved his flashlight at the speeding car, but it didn’t stop. He yelled a warning toward his firefighter, but he didn’t hear it.

The car sped directly at the helpless firefighter and hit him.

The impact sent his body into the air as he was propelled backward. The firefighter then skidded across the asphalt on his back until he finally came to a stop.

His battered body made at least thirty feet of gouge marks in the asphalt as he scraped across the street. It was amazing he wasn’t killed. There’s no doubt his equipment saved him from more serious injuries.

The vehicle never stopped……

The fire truck wasn’t parked in the best spot to protect them, but that didn’t give the suspect the right to drive around the stopped traffic.

Fast forward over ten years later.

I drove by this location last night and the motel sign triggered the memory of this call. It was the same sign where the burned out car was parked next to. The sights, sounds and smell of that night came back.

I pictured the fire truck and where the firefighter was lying in the road. I could picture the burned out car and other things from that night. There was also the sound of the firefighters yelling out his name.

Then it all faded away back into a distant memory by the time I got to the next traffic signal. The night went back to being quiet and peaceful.

As for the firefighter, he recovered and was medically retired.

The suspect and car were never found. It’s hard to believe that no one ever came forward with information about this. Who fixed that car? Who helped hide the car and the suspect? Who could keep that secret?

Who could hit a firefighter or anyone else like that and not be disgusted every time they looked in the mirror?

Who knows, maybe the driver or someone who knows them will read this one day. If that ever happens I have a message for the driver.

“$#!%$@!. You suck.”

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

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I should have a frequent customer card for people. I could punch it every time I run into someone. Actually, every time someone runs into them.

Tonight I was at a crash involving two cars and a person. The two cars were parked facing the same way, which were next to each other. There was a guy named David in the driver seat of his car with his door open.

He was under the dashboard trying to change a fuse with his cell phone as a flashlight. His feet were outside the car.

While he was under the dashboard he heard the vehicle on his left start up. He tried to close his door, but he was too late.

The vehicle next to him sideswiped the door and ran over his foot. It’s pretty safe to say I have never taken a crash like that before, but that’s not even the best part of the story.

While I was speaking with David he told me I had taken a report for him before. I asked him what happened.

“It was a hit and run,” he said.
“Were you the good guy or the bad guy?”
“The bad guy.”
“Did I arrest you?”
“Yes.”
“For what?”
“For hit and run and for lying to you.”
“Oh, what a small world,” I said. “So, how’s it going?”
“Good. I paid the fine. I’m on probation now.”

This isn’t the first time this type of conversation has happened to me. After all these years it’s still funny to run into past customers. I later looked up the report and found the incident.

The crash happened in December of 2012. He crashed into a median while exiting the freeway. He was unlicensed and sober. Basically, a very easy report except…….

David committed a hit and run on the freeway. He was trying to get away from the victim at the time. Unfortunately for him he was going too fast and crashed. He had the bright idea to report the car stolen afterward.

The cuts to his forehead and hands didn’t help his story either.

After separating David and his passengers I was able to figure out he was lying. Despite all of this, David went to jail still saying he wasn’t driving and his car was stolen.

At least he finally admitted to driving two years later. Better late than never.

Sometimes it’s a small world in this job. You never know when a past customer is going to get run over.

You just can’t make this stuff up.