Did she hang up on me?

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The other night I drove to a person’s house to try and contact them about a traffic collision they were involved in the week before. The driver wasn’t home, but I got their phone number from someone who lived there.

I drove around the corner and pulled over so I could call her. The phone rang once and she said, “Hello?”

I told her my name and what police department I was from. I then asked, “Were you in a car accident last week?”

“Yes.”

I explained to her that I was the officer investigating the crash and asked, “Can you tell me what happened?”

“I’m driving. I can’t talk right now.”

“But you answered the phone,” I said shaking my head. “Can you pull over and tell me what happened then?”

“I’m driving. I can’t talk.” She then hung up.

I looked at my phone with a confused look as I wondered what just happened. What the heck was this lady talking about? It sure didn’t bother her to answer the phone when she was driving. Now she can’t talk when the cops call?

I hit redial.

Ring, ring, ring, ring, voicemail.

“Hi, this is the officer you just hung up on. Can you call me back so I can ask you what happened about the accident? I work until 3AM.” I left the department phone number and hung up as I said, “Thank you” in an overly cheerful voice.

Five minutes later I hit redial again, but it went back to voicemail. I never heard back from her the rest of the night. Did she think this was a random police calling sting where we try to catch you on the phone?

I guess I scared her into not using her phone for a while. I bet she had to fight the urge to touch it for the next hour, expecting it to be the cops to see if she answered again.

Part of me wanted to call at 3AM just so I could hang up on her too.

“Hi, this is Officer………” Click.

We could call it even then.

Can you hear me now?

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I got to work on Wednesday and started making phone calls related to a hit and run report from the week before. I made three phone calls and had no luck. About 20 minutes later, I was still sitting at the desk when the phone rang.

I picked it up as I said, “Traffic.”

“Someone called me from this number.”

“Is this Juan?” I asked, since that was one of the people I called. The connection was terrible and I could barely hear him.

“Who?”

I told the man I was a police officer and what department I worked for. I asked, “Did you witness a collision last week?”

“Who is this?”

“I’m a police officer investigating a hit and run crash. Is this Juan?”

“What accident?”

“Did you leave your phone number with someone at a crash last week or were you involved in a collision?”

“Who?” Apparently, the connection was bad for him too. This was like trying to make a special order in the drive thru.

“This is the police department. I’m trying to find Juan?”

“What number were you calling?” he asked.

I told him I had called a couple of different numbers because I was trying to speak with witnesses. I then started reading phone numbers off to him as I asked if one of those was his.

“This is a new phone. I don’t know the number.”

“Were you in a parking lot last week when there was a crash?”

“My family was in an accident?”

All I could do was shake my head in frustration. Talking to him was like watching an Olympic downhill skier tumbling down the side of a mountain after he hit a couple of trees. It was just painful.

First he couldn’t hear me and now he thought his family was in a traffic collision. It was truly a “Can you hear me now” moment. Our conversation would’ve made a great cell phone commercial.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

What’s On Your Teen’s Phone?

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Do you have any idea what’s on your teen’s phone?

Sometimes I just shake my head at work. I still get amazed by what people do to get themselves into bad situations.

The other night I went to a head-on collision involving a wrong way driver. There were seven occupants between the two vehicles and I was surprised only one person went to the hospital.

There were five people in the wrong way car. Three of the occupants were males who were twenty-three, twenty and eighteen years old. The two females in the car were fifteen and seventeen years old. The fifteen year old ended up being transported to the hospital.

The driver was arrested for various charges and the two other males got to leave. The only person left was the seventeen year old girl.

During the investigation I asked her to point out who the driver was. She said, “I’m ninety nine percent sure it was him,” as she pointed to one of the males.

I asked, “How come you’re only ninety-nine percent sure?”
“I just met them an hour ago.”
“What do mean you just met them an hour ago?”
“They just picked us up.”
“Where were you going?
“To a party.”

The males were adults and from Los Angeles County. I asked, “How did you meet them?”

“I met them on an app,” she said.
That was when my jaw dropped and hit the floor.
“What’s the app called?
“Meet Me.”
“You let complete strangers pick you up at your house?”
“No. It was in front of an apartment. We gave them a different address, but it wasn’t where we lived.”
“Don’t you think that’s dangerous?” I asked.
“It’s never been dangerous before.”
I pointed to the two vehicles and said, “Until tonight.”
She shrugged and said, “Yeah.”

She went on to tell me there was another friend, who was sixteen years old, that was also supposed to go. When the males arrived, there was only room for two passengers, so the sixteen year old went home.

It makes you wonder how many other teenagers are meeting adults on apps like this and going places with them. Makes you also wonder how many are being abused.

This is just something to think about if you’re a parent of a teen. You might want to check their phone to see what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with.

There’s a chance you have no idea.  That should be a scary thought for any parent.