Just What Was Up There?

, , , , | Legal Right | October 2, 2018

(I work at the local courthouse. Everyone has to go through security before going inside. Seeing as my town has two state prisons, many citizens are jailbirds! A man deposits his gear into the pan then bolts through the metal detector. The machine starts beeping.)

Security Guard: “Oh? Let me-”

(The man is instantly defensive — red faced and loudly sighing.)

Man: “Yeah, yeah, I know how it goes.” *facing the concrete wall, he spreads his arms and legs, then bends over* “Search me.”

Security Guard: “No, sir” *chuckles* “You don’t have to bend over, not unless we meet under different circumstances.”

(The man remains bent over.)

Man’s Girlfriend: “[Man]! STAND THE F*** UP!”

(Just a normal day going through security…)

Sounds Legit…

, , , | Legal | October 2, 2018

(I came across this gem in a spam email I received impersonating another organization:)

Spam Footer: “Remember: We ask for private information such as an account number, card PIN, Social Security, or Tax ID number in email messages.”

Need A Hotel To Get Some Arrest

, , , , , | Legal | October 1, 2018

I work night audit at a hotel. Most of the time it’s a fairly mundane, quiet job. On this particular night, we are at something like 10% occupancy, which means paperwork will be light and I’ll likely have several hours to just chill. I’m setting up my papers for the night when I get a call from the bar staff, who are still going through their closing procedures. We have glass elevators, and the bar is directly across from them; the bartender says she just saw a man and a woman get into a physical altercation in one of the elevators.

I radio for security; meanwhile, the woman has come back down to the main floor, but states that the man in question has stolen her purse. Apparently, he tried to convince her to come back to his room with him, and when she declined he tried to force her from the elevator, but only managed to get her purse out with him. He then set the purse on the ground outside the elevator and told her to “come and get it.” She smartly refused and returned to the main floor.

We all look at each other incredulously; it’s so slow, and the man was at the bar for several hours, so we know exactly which room he’s in. Our security guard goes up to the room. The man is right there, and at first denies having the woman’s purse until the guard points out that it is literally sitting in plain sight on the table. The man lets the guard take the bag, and the woman insists she doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble, but given that several people who witnessed the altercation state they don’t feel comfortable with the man still being in the hotel — including myself — the police are called.

I can’t say for sure what happened up at the room, as I can’t leave the desk per policy, but a bit later the man is escorted through the lobby in cuffs, and with a freshly torn shirt. The police urge the woman to press charges, as apparently, from what they saw in the room, “he had no intention of ever letting [her] leave,” but to my knowledge she never does.

So, the police are cleaning up that mess, my guard is taking statements to write up a report, and the excitement is over, right?

Wrong.

Suddenly, two women come barreling through the front doors, and upon seeing the officers, go straight to them. At first I think they are here to plead the case of the man who was arrested, but nope. They are actually in no way related to the earlier events. They had received some distressing texts from a friend and had been driving around all night trying to find her car somewhere. And wouldn’t you know it, it was in our parking lot.

Now, technically speaking, I am not allowed to give out room numbers without the guest’s express permission. But, having overheard the gist of the texts they are showing the police, and with the assurance that it will be the officers going to make the welfare check and not the women themselves, I make the decision to break with policy and give them the woman’s room number. And a good thing, too, because apparently she has pill bottles everywhere and is barely conscious on the bed.

She is wheeled out on a stretcher, but does make a full recovery.

And that’s the story of how I didn’t get to even touch my paperwork until three hours into what should have been a nice, quiet shift. To this day, if anyone starts to say, “This will be a nice slow night,” I tell them off for jinxing it.

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.

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