This Ride-Along Is Peppered With Incident

, , , , , , | Legal | March 3, 2019

Several years ago, my dad got to go on a ride-along with a family friend of ours that happened to be a cop. They ended up responding to an incident where a couple of bicycle cops had caught someone and needed to have him taken to the station.

My dad and our friend showed up at the scene. They managed to get the guy into the car. The guy was on something, but they just weren’t sure what. He’d ended up needing to be pepper-sprayed because he wasn’t backing down when asked to stop advancing on the responding officers. The two of them got him back to the station and into the hands of whoever for processing. As our friend was filling out the necessary paperwork, they heard:

“You really don’t want to do that. Nope, I wouldn’t take your pants off. I wouldn’t do that.”

This was followed by a bloodcurdling shriek.

Apparently, the guy had decided he needed to go to the bathroom. After being pepper-sprayed. Another officer was called in to help calm him down.

Self Checkout Fallout

, , , , , | Right | March 3, 2019

(I am currently manning the self-check when a customer comes up with two fifty-gallon storage totes FILLED to the brim with assorted meats, produce, and the like. This raises a flag, so I instantly use the “head register” to try to flag down a manager while keeping an eye on her screen as best as I can. In addition, I approach her, trying to our “passive-aggressive” tactics to try to stall them as long as I can.)

Me: “Excuse me. Would you like some help with these tubs?”

Customer: “Oh, it’s okay. I got it under control; I use these all the time since your manned registers are so long.”

(Normally I would agree with the customer, as it seems like when we have half the store filled with customers we only have a few cashiers. However, in this case, it is the opposite; we have WAY too many cashiers when there are maybe a few customers an hour going through the registers. This, of course, raises another flag, so I go back to the head register and ping the manager again.)

Monitor Station: “Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, Ramen, Ramen, Ramen…”

(I’m sure you get the picture and, even while assisting other customers that trickle my way, I see her doing SCO trickery.)

Customer: *as I’m walking past her* “These pickle-pops are just wonderful, aren’t they?”

Me: *trying to feign obliviousness* “Yeah, they are wonderful, but I just use the leftover juices in my ice cube trays.”

(Once again, I head back trying to get a manager again… still no luck. Suddenly, the customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Uh… I, umm… forgot my wallet in the car. Can you hold my items for me, please?”

(I glance at her screen and see what I expected to see: she wants to void the whole transaction. At this point, I know I cannot keep her in the store, but at least the store gets a minor victory and she leaves without being able to complete the scam.)

Me: “Sure…” *thinking: please, manager, hurry up and get here… NOW*

(As she was trying to leave, I really started to pound the h*** out of the code to get the manager over there, doing my best to “forget” how to run it. However, she did start to leave, and maybe a minute after she did so, the manager came over and I explained what had happened. I later learned that while she did get away, the LP team got her face on the video and she was turned into the police and HQ. The total potential loss: almost half a grand! At least I got recognized for the situation and got a store gift card for roughly 10% of the would-be scammed items.)

Makes You Wish He’d Dig Himself A Hole And Fall In It

, , , , , | Friendly | February 28, 2019

(Living right next door to me is an obnoxious black man in his 30s; for the record, I’m white. For the most part, he’s just a name-calling windbag who curses like a kid who just learned all the bad words. However, he does have an ill-mannered pit bull to discourage people from standing up to him. And while he hates everyone, he seems to hate me the most. Why? Well… Case #1: The Hole. I am walking back home from the store, which takes me by his house. Mind you, he hasn’t been a resident for even 12 hours at this point, and I find a freshly-dug hole at the fence leading into my yard. I know nothing about his dog, but I do know that’s a bad place to dig a hole into my yard. Since I’m here, anyway, I decide to handle it now. Both of them decide to greet me at the door.)

Neighbor: “Yeah?”

Me: “Hey, neighbor, mind filling in that hole your dog dug?”

Neighbor: “He didn’t dig a hole. Your mutt did.”

Me: “Really? She dug a hole behind my shed, in a space too narrow for her, and did it by pushing the dirt onto your side of the fence?”

Neighbor: “My dog doesn’t dig holes.”

Me: “Well, since you have the dirt and the space, why don’t you fill it in?”

Neighbor: “Your dog dug it! You fill it!”

Me: *turns to leave* “I can’t. I’m not messing with that nest of spiders. If you’re not going to fill it in, I just hope they don’t hurt your dog.”

(For the record, while I hate bugs, and spiders are a “get the flamethrower” level for me, I don’t mind that nest. They kill the bugs that would kill my garden, none of us can get back there anyway, and barring an allergic reaction, there’s nothing dangerous to anything larger than a mouse. But why tell him that? He starts filling in the hole and starts scolding his dog when he re-digs the hole. I just wish he’d fill it in before he went to bed. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Case #2: The Walk. While I work from home, my wife works in an actual office. She’s usually home around six, which is when our dog needs to go out. As such, I make it a habit to take our dog out front so she can greet her mother. Since our yard is fenced off, I let her run around off a leash while I sit on the stoop. In the time we wait, she usually greets every passerby by running up to the fence. Outside of scaring a few people when she runs up — and most of them relax when they realize she’s just excited — she’s well-behaved. This includes when strange dogs walk by, even the neighbor and his yapping pit bull. On this particular occasion, however, the neighbor and his pit bull pass by right as my wife gets home. As always, his dog decides he wants to bark and growl at anything in sight. The good news is the neighbor has his dog under control. The bad news is that the pit bull barking at my wife sets off our dog. She runs right up to the fence and starts barking right back at the pit bull. I am going to break it up, but then the neighbor decides to kick my fence to spook her away. Now, I’m more content to head towards the gate.)

Me: “Why not come on through and let your dog off the leash?”

(He starts laughing.)

Neighbor: “You want them to fight? You know this is a pit bull?”

Me: “Do you know she’s a wolfdog?” *not lying*

Neighbor: “Like, bred to fight wolves?”

Me: “Like bred with a wolf. She’s more than 60% wolf, has longer, sharper teeth than your American Pit Bull Terrier, and has a jaw strength of about twice your American Pit Bull Terrier.”

(I’m still not lying. And at this point the gate is fully unlatched and open.)

Me: “C’mon. Let’s let ’em go.”

(Right on cue, he starts tugging on that leash like a maniac as he’s walking away from my wife and fence.)

Neighbor: “[Dog]! [Dog]! C’mon!”

(Since then, he’s always walked his dog away from my yard, and I’ve overheard even harsher scolding when his dog tries to dig a hole into my yard. But most importantly, I proved once and for all my dog wouldn’t run out of the gate if I let her out in my yard while I bring in groceries. Case #3: The Bus. Among my neighbor’s sources of income is driving a party bus. For the unfamiliar, it’s basically a small nightclub on wheels that can hold about a dozen people. One night, at around one in the morning, he decides it is the perfect time to turn everything on at full blast so the whole street shakes. And he won’t stop. Once again, I go out to greet him.)

Me: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

Neighbor: “Testing the systems! Now f*** off!”

Me: “It’s one in the morning! People are trying to sleep! Turn it off!”

Neighbor: “F*** you, you racist!”

Me: “What?”

Neighbor: “I’ve gotten nothing but f****** trouble from you! I’ve been living here fifteen f****** years and you’re the only f****** person who’s bothered me in that time! F*** off!”

(For clarity, he’s been here about a month at this point. However, I decide to take his advice to heart and go back inside… and right to my phone.)

Me: “I’d like to report a disturbance. There’s a strange bus out on [Street] in front of [Neighbor’s Address] that’s blasting incredibly loud music. The driver refuses to move or turn it off. The plate number is [Plate].”

(From my window, I see the police arrive and administer a sobriety test. He fails it. He never explicitly says anything to me, but since the bus disappears not long after, I’m assuming he lost his license. Case #4: The Skunk. Remember how I mentioned the hole his dog digs is let unfilled until the following morning? While it’s too small for either of our dogs to go through, and the area behind the shed is too narrow for either of them, it’s just the right size for a skunk, which is also too big for the spiders to kill. We’ve always had one who likes to skulk around early on garbage day. Thanks to the prep work I had to do for a wolfdog and a decent neighbor, the worst it ever amounted to for us was a very cautious walk to the car. Now that I have a neighbor who is leaving a hole under my fence, it now means my garden is getting torn up. I remedy that fairly quickly with some leftover cement and fencing, but there is one anomaly. While the skunk used to only visit on trash day, it is now visiting nightly. It takes a different neighbor to explain that detail. The obnoxious neighbor has been hired as a line cook at a restaurant a few streets over. Due to the size of the location, this restaurant can’t have a dumpster, so every night one of the employees is given the job of driving their trash to the dump. Our obnoxious neighbor, when charged with this duty, had decided it makes more sense to drive it home, leave it on his lawn, and wait for garbage day. Armed with this knowledge, and remembering he wants me to f*** off, I take to the Internet. This search proves tricky, as many of my keywords lead to results for lessors and lessees rather than homeowners concerned about their neighbors. As such, I call about something else, instead.)

Me: “I’d like to report a case of illegal dumping. For the previous few nights, someone’s been throwing several bags of trash into the yard at [Neighbor’s Address]. I’m also worried about any health risk this may pose to the entire neighborhood.”

(The effect was more profound than I could have imagined. First of all, while they learned it wasn’t illegal dumping, they did learn it WAS a public health hazard. Second, the restaurant caught wind of the incident, as well. It turns out they had been paying the same dumping fee for so long, they gave their employees the money to cover it up front and trusted them to be honest. When the owners found out he’d effectively been stealing their money, he was immediately fired and sued for the dumping fees he pocketed. Third, I’m pretty sure he found out I’m the one who reported him. His demeanor towards me specifically got progressively worse after this event. It also suggests he lost that lawsuit. I don’t know what case #5 will be, but I’m not looking forward to it.)

The Police Are A Must With The Pelvic Thrust

, , , , , | Legal | February 25, 2019

This is a story relayed to me by an employee at a small bowling alley that I frequent. It should be noted that the alley typically operates with a skeleton crew due to lack of people interested in working there full-time, so this employee acts as cashier, repairman, and manager.

It starts with a car accident across the street. Fortunately, the car winds up colliding with a large tree that remains undamaged, and nobody is badly hurt as a result of the crash, but the front of the car is completely caved in. Instead of calling insurance or maybe even a tow truck, the occupants ditch the car and head over to the bowling alley.

The group situates itself at a table and one of its members, who reeks of alcohol, approaches the counter. Much to the surprise of the employee, instead of asking for rental shoes or a lane to bowl on, the man demands alcohol. He does look over 21 but can’t present any ID, and he seems like he arrived over-served, anyway, so his request is declined.

He’s not happy but moves on to demanding to bowl against the employee, with the winner getting $1000 from the loser. Because the employee is working at the moment and he doesn’t know the guy, anyway, he politely declines, but his refusals are only met with the man continuing to up the reward money by another $1000. Eventually, he is told that if he does not want to buy or rent anything, then he needs to leave. The man complies at first, but is distracted on the way out by a random stranger minding his own business. The man suddenly whips around and threatens to fight the now-confused stranger, and while no brawl comes of it, the employee is alarmed by the violence and immediately calls the police. He then firmly reminds the man that he needs to leave, but that only convinces the man to storm over to the counter and start threatening him instead. Not wanting to escalate anything or get hurt, he steps back, bites his tongue, and hopes the man will be distracted long enough to not bother anybody else before the police arrive.

The man, however, is quickly bored of threatening the employee and moves onto the arcade games. Rather than play on any of the machines, he invents his own game of intensely and suggestively pelvic thrusting in front of the basketball hoop game.

Suddenly, the man’s friend yanks the man away from the machine and the group hastily disappears into the night. It happens so fast that it’s as though a switch flipped in the friend’s head.

The police arrive and start gathering evidence. Turns out the car isn’t the only thing that group chose to ditch. The friend, in his haste to leave, had abandoned just about every single document relating to his most recent car rental on the table, and the rental car’s description matches almost perfectly with the car that he’d just crashed. What doesn’t match, however, is the registration. The car has a Florida license plate; the form clearly indicates that the car is registered in Virginia. The rental company was contacted, and from there the police found out that there were also serious discrepancies with the personal information he gave the company versus the personal information on the document. This is a telltale sign of fraud and forging/doctoring contracts, most probably done because the man’s friend did not have a valid license and hence needed to fake one with matching fake information to rent a car.

While the man was clearly wasted, the police had no evidence or suspicion that the man’s friend had been drinking that night. Since the whole group had since vanished, the police then advised the employee to keep a small gun on him at work for defense should another incident occur, and to simply contact the police without engaging with the suspect at all if anybody from that group enters the alley again.

Hopefully, the group is smart enough to stay away, though, or at least has learned to keep a close eye on the guy that gets really crazy and stupid when he’s drunk.

Judgement Day

, , , , , | Related | February 24, 2019

(This takes place when I am fourteen years old. My father has full custody of me, and for good reason. I’m visiting my mother, and she and her boyfriend take me to the mall with them. I’m a huge lover of animals and always want to stop in at the local pet shop that has puppies and various other critters up for adoption. All the animals, except for puppies, are kept in unlocked cages so that customers can handle the animals, so long as they’re 18 or older. I can’t wait until I am old enough. I stand by as my mother lifts a ferret out of its cage, and I start petting it along with her.)

Mom: “Oh! You’re so cute! I wish I could take you home.”

Mom’s Boyfriend: *laughs* “Do it. Just stick it in your purse.”

(It’s obvious that he’s joking, but my mother does a quick look around and really does shove the ferret into the large purse she’s carrying!)

Me: *completely shocked, but keeping my voice down* “Mom!”

Mom: “Come on; it’s time to leave.” *starts heading for the exit*

Me: “You can’t!”

Mom: “Shh! Let’s go.”

(I glance at the employees, but they’re all busy. I’m about ready to shout and cause a scene, until a conversation I had with my father just a few weeks ago pops into my head and I can practically hear him shouting, “We don’t turn in family!” At the time, he was referring to some issues with my cousin stealing from us, because he is not a fan of involving the police. As I am now, I’d make sure my mother was caught for this, but at fourteen, I don’t. I storm off ahead of her and make sure she knows I am angry about it. A huge fight ensues, during which I hear some great gems from her.)

Mom: “Do you want me to turn it back in and get caught? Do you want me to get arrested? If that happens, I’ll never get your sister back.”

(My half-sister — not my father’s daughter, just to clarify, as people have asked why he didn’t have custody — was taken by CPS just a couple months ago.)

Me: “If you want to get her back, how about not breaking the law?! This is why they took her from you in the first place!”

Mom: “You’re judging me the same way your aunt judges you!”

Me: “My aunt judges me because I dress like a goth, not by what I do!”

Mom: “Well… Because of the way you dress, she thinks you do bad things!”

(I stopped arguing with her, because I figured that if a fourteen-year-old could see the major hole in that defense, there was no point in explaining it to an adult. My mother continued on with her own tirade, though, during which she took the cell phone from me when I tried to call my father to explain why I needed to come home early and announced that this must be the end of our relationship. Sadly, it wasn’t. I put up with her for several more years before I finally cut her out of my life for about a decade. Now that I’m thirty and better able to handle her, we’re speaking again on a superficial basis, mostly to help myself to move on from some unresolved issues and anger I’ve had towards her. And by the way, I’m pretty sure she’s the reason why that pet shop now has locks on all their cages.)

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