Talking Complete (Pit) Bull

, , , , , | Legal | September 30, 2018

(My dog is a pretty large rescue pit-bull who would never hurt a person, but we believe that he was an escapee from a dog-fighting ring. We found him lost and wandering, and the vet said his injuries were indicative of fighting. He is very aggressive toward any other animal he’s near. We counteract this by only ever letting him run in our fenced backyard, and keep him harnessed when we walk him. He’s only ever gotten loose once or twice, never with serious consequences. Other people in my neighborhood take no such precautions, usually letting their dogs run loose in their front yards, but generally their dogs will stay in the yards, and if I cross the street, I’m fine. However, one night, a loose dog runs up across the street to me.)

Me: “Hey, excuse me, hey! Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: *sitting on her porch, not getting up* “Oh, it’s okay; he’s friendly!”

Me: *straining to keep my growling dog from jumping on the smaller one, trying to walk away* “Mine isn’t! My dog is very aggressive. Please come get your dog!”

Neighbor: “Oh, it’s fine; he’s very friendly!”

Me: “MINE ISN’T! COME GET YOUR DOG!”

Neighbor: “Gosh, all right.”

(She slowly stands up and starts making her way down the porch steps. At this point, my dog is barking like crazy, snapping, and generally doing everything he can to get at this other dog, who’s still coming towards him. I put myself in between them to keep them apart, and am yelling at my dog to stop. My dog is still trying to snap at the other dog, and the other dog is trying to get around me, nipping at my ankles as he does so, hurting me. The neighbor is standing in her yard, watching.)

Me: “HURRY UP AND GET YOUR F****** DOG!”

Neighbor: “They’re so close; I don’t want to get in the middle of it!”

Me: “GET YOUR DOG RIGHT NOW!”

(My dog lunges, and I use my shin to push the other dog out of his reach, figuring it’s better if he gets shoved a little than if he needs stitches later on.)

Neighbor: “Did you just kick my dog?!”

Me: “YOU NEED TO COME AND GET YOUR DOG, OR MINE IS GOING TO BITE HIM!”

(She finally walks across the street and grabs her dog’s collar. The dog is squirming away from her, still trying to get at my dog. I’m still trying to keep distance between the two, feeling pretty angry and upset at this point, when she drops this gem.)

Neighbor: “It’s just taking a minute, since I don’t have his leash.”

Me: “WELL, WHY IS YOUR DOG OUTSIDE WITHOUT HIS LEASH?!”

Neighbor: “He’s so well-behaved, he doesn’t need one!”

(The dogs are finally separated, so at this point, I turn to her and actually manage to speak rationally.)

Me: “Running up to strange dogs is not well-behaved. I’m not the only person in this neighborhood with an aggressive dog, and you’re going to get yours killed if you don’t keep him restrained. You need to keep him on a leash, and when you hear someone say, ‘My dog is aggressive; come get yours,’ you need to understand that it doesn’t matter how friendly yours is. You need to keep him under control.”

Neighbor: “Well, maybe you need to keep yours under better control!”

Me: “I did. I kept him on a leash and away from your yard when I saw your dog was loose. Your dog ran up to us, your dog attacked us, and your dog bit me.” *holds up my leg so that she can see the blood on my ankles from her dog’s bite* “I could call animal control and have them take him away right now, and you would be entirely at fault, but I’m not going to do that. What we’re going to do, is you’re going to put your dog inside, I’m going to take mine home, and then you’re going to give me a copy of your dog’s shot records so I know whether or not I need a rabies vaccine. And then you are never going to let your dog run loose in your front yard again, all right?”

Neighbor: “That’s not fair! My dog isn’t sick, and he would never bite you! I think your dog bit you; he’s so aggressive.”

Me: “Mine doesn’t bite humans. And he was in front of me the whole time. These bites are on the backs of my legs, and they came from your dog. So, if I do need a vaccine, you’re paying for it.”

Neighbor: “This isn’t my fault!”

Me: “YES, IT IS! You let your dog run wild, you didn’t come down to get him the second he left your yard — and by the way, him running off-leash in an open yard is illegal, too — and you are responsible for what he’s done!”

Neighbor: “Your dog was the one who started it, though! If he had just been friendlier–“

Me: “THAT DOESN’T MATTER! My dog is on a leash! The law says I did my part to properly restrain my dog, and you didn’t do yours! Now, go put your dog inside and get me a copy of those records! I’ll be back in ten minutes for them!”

(When I come back without my dog, the woman has locked herself in her house and won’t open the door for me. Ultimately, she calls the police on me for trespassing. Here’s how that conversation goes.)

Officer #1: “Ma’am, please step away from the door.”

Me: *doing as instructed* “Is everything all right, sir?”

Officer #1: “We’ve received a call that you’re trespassing and harassing the owner of this house.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not trying to harass her. Her dog bit me, and I’ve just been asking her if I can get a copy of the shots records so I know whether or not I need any treatment.”

Officer #1: “I don’t see a dog out here.”

Me: “It was about half an hour ago. I was walking my dog, and hers ran up and attacked us. The dogs weren’t injured, but her dog nipped at my ankle and broke skin.”

(I hold out my ankle again, but I cleaned and bandaged the bite, so it’s not readily visible. The officer’s partner goes up and asks the woman to step outside. She does and points at me.)

Neighbor: “That’s her! She’s been ringing my doorbell for hours!”

Officer #2: “Ma’am, she says that your dogs had an altercation?”

Neighbor: “Yes! Her dog got so aggressive, barking and snapping at mine! He’s dangerous.”

Me: “My dog was on a leash; hers was loose!”

Officer #1: “We’ll take your statements separately, all right?”

([Officer #1] takes me down to the curb, while [Officer #2] stays with her on her porch. As I’m giving my statement, the neighbors from across the street, the ones whose house I was in front of when the dog followed us up, come over.)

Neighbor #2: “Is this about what happened with the dogs earlier?”

Officer #1: “Did you see what happened?”

Neighbor #2: “Yes, and so did my husband. We were sitting in the front room, and we saw the whole thing.”

(She pointed to the house, gesturing to her big, bay windows that would have given her and her husband a perfect view. The officer asked me to stand aside while he took their statements, as well, which corroborated mine. Then he asked me to take off the bandage so that they could take a picture of the dog bite, and asked if I want to press charges. I told them that if the neighbor would just give me the shots records and promise to keep her dog restrained I wouldn’t. He relayed the message, and the neighbor still refused to hand over the records, so instead, the officers charged her, took the dog, and got a subpoena for the dog’s shots records, which were several months out of date. The dog was quarantined and ultimately found to not be rabid, and since I was up to date on my tetanus shot, I didn’t need further treatment, but the neighbor was charged with several misdemeanors and had to give the dog up. I felt bad about that; it wasn’t the dog’s fault its owner was an idiot, and I made sure to go to the hearing and testify that I didn’t think that the dog was actually dangerous. The court decided not to put it down, but instead to put it up for adoption. The whole time, the owner was yelling that this wasn’t her fault, so much so that she was removed from the hearing. The worst part is, when she was testifying as to what happened, she told the story exactly how it happened, and still didn’t seem to understand that it was her fault that her dog was running loose and unrestrained, and that keeping him on a leash was her responsibility.)

Buckled In For A Fun Ride

, , , , , , | Legal | September 29, 2018

In the late 1970s, my partner and I were sworn federal investigators with a then-obscure federal law enforcement agency. As befitted our low budget, our official government vehicles were a bunch of very un-cop-like AMC Hornet sedans, obtained when the federal government bailed out a failing automaker. We wore plain suit coats and ties, and our vehicles were unmarked.  

One afternoon while returning to our office in Norfolk, we approached a stoplight on a public street and stopped. An obviously de-commissioned Virginia State Police trooper-car, still with its door mount spotlight and a cheap mono-color repaint, pulled up alongside us. The driver was obviously a young Navy sailor, wearing a wife beater T-shirt and dark sunglasses.  

The light changed, and we drove up the street to the next light. All the while, the sailor behind the shades was giving us the once-over and scowling at us. At the next stoplight, the sailor in the ex-cop car again glared at us, resting his left hand on the spotlight control, giving an unconvincing impression of a real law-man.  

All at once, my partner burst out laughing. He explained that our sailor, while still glaring at us, reached down and brought something to his mouth and began talking into… his seat belt buckle!

As the light changed, my partner reached down, tapped the yelp button on our siren just once and grabbed our real microphone. Over the car’s loud-hailer, he called out, “Better re-buckle that seatbelt, sailor.”  

As we pulled away, this embarrassed cop-wannabe hit his brakes and pulled over to the side as we quietly drove away.

A Bad Sign(ature)

, , , , , | Legal | September 28, 2018

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, I was a tech at a small computer store. A woman brought in her malfunctioning computer and paid a rush charge to have it looked at right away. While I was checking her machine in, she was going on and on about being an attorney and needing the computer fixed quickly to be able to serve her clients. I handed her our standard disclaimer about data loss, etc., and asked her to sign.

Before I could finish explaining what it was, she grabbed my pen, signed the form without looking at it, and walked off.

I made note of her name in case I ever needed an attorney, so I could remember not to use her.

 

Driving On The Right Side, And The Wrong Side

, , , , | Legal | September 26, 2018

(My husband and I recently drove to Florida from a northern state. We decide to do some shopping and navigate our way to a mall near where we’re staying. We’re looking for an open spot to park, and turn down a one-way lane with parking on both sides. A Volkswagen in front of us stops, so we do, as well, kind of off to the right of the lane. After a moment, the Volkswagen shifts into reverse and starts driving backwards towards us; they are going slowly, thankfully, but their back passenger corner hits our front driver corner. We eventually decide the damage is minimal — on a car that runs fine, but the body has a few dings already — and we’re not going to make them fix anything, but not before this conversation happens:)

Volkswagen: “Where did you come from?”

Me: “We’ve been stopped behind you since before you started backing up.”

Volkswagen: “Well, why are you on this side of the road? You should have been in the other lane.”

Husband: “It’s a one-way.”

Volkswagen: “Where do people drive on that side?” *gesturing again to the right side*

Me: “Literally everywhere except England.”

(I think she thought since we were from out of state she could pull the “that’s how we do it here,” but I’m still floored that I was asked why we were driving on the right side of the road.)

Stuck In A Babbling Cycle

, , , , , | Legal | September 25, 2018

(I have just driven through a yellow light; hand in the air, I pushed it a little bit. Turns out there is a cop checkpoint around the corner, and I am rightfully pulled to the side. I apologise to the officer and give him my license. This is the first time I have ever had any encounter with the law at all, so I am a little nervous, anyway. The cop also seems to be taking a very long time to run my details, which is only increasing my anxiety. Finally, he returns.)

Cop: “So… you have been flagged in our system for questioning over the theft of a bike.”

Me: *blinking* “What… A bike?”

Cop: “Yes. Do you have anything you would like to admit to me at this point?”

Me: *starting to freak out a little* “Yes! I mean, no! No, I have nothing to admit. But how did I steal a bike? I don’t have a motorcycle license, sir! I mean, I keep asking my dad if I can learn, because he has one and it looks fun, but then my mother keeps yelling at me every time I bring it up because my dad fell off one at my age. I think that freaks her out and she thinks I’m going to do the same. She works with doctors, so she gets all the horror stories. She promised I could for my 18th birthday, but then she claimed she didn’t remember it when my 18th birthday came…” *continues babbling for ages out of anxiety*

Cop: “No. It was a stolen mountain bike.”

(The cop got another officer to come meet with me at a later date to confirm my story. Turns out, an old classmate of mine used my name to resell an expensive stolen mountain bike at a local pawn shop. The cop was pretty convinced it hadn’t been me when they explained it was a Polynesian girl with black hair and dark skin, which was quite different than my light brown hair and pasty English complexion. I got a warning for running the yellow light. I have had no further run-ins with the law.)

Page 18/46First...1617181920...Last