Send You To Jail In An Undiscovered Country

, , , , , | Legal | January 18, 2020

In the early 1990s, I was part of a Star Trek reenacting of the Khitomer Peace Treaty between Humans and Klingons.

The guy playing Chancellor Gorkon, a Klingon, essential for the play, never turned up. “Surely, it is his new girlfriend; no respect for the fleet,” somebody accused. “He drank too much blood-wine,” somebody else suggested.

He never turned up… until the next day.

What had happened was the following: on the subway, two police officers asked him who he was; he said he was a Klingon. They thought this was a gang. They asked him what he intended to do with his big knife, and he replied that it was no big knife; it was a Bat’leth. And what are you going to do with this thingy? ”Kill puny humans.”

The police put him in the overnight arrest for planned manslaughter.

1 Thumbs

The Wheel Of Stupidity Keeps On Turning

, , , , , | Legal | January 15, 2020

(In Colorado, it is illegal to text and drive, but it is legal to talk on a cell phone or use a handheld device while driving if you are over 18. The officer in this story pulls over a driver who had his phone in one hand and a sports drink in the other.)

Officer: “You do realize you didn’t have any hands on the wheel, right?”

Driver: *in a tone that implies it’s his excuse* “Oh, but I was texting.”

1 Thumbs

No One Can Intersect Your Email

, , , , , , | Working | January 2, 2020

The drivers in my area are astonishingly bad at obeying road rules and it is becoming a serious threat to pedestrians. As a result, I emailed the local police department about it several times. The first time, they agreed to look into it and added a couple of people in their response to me. They changed the timing on the crosswalks and lights. Then, I witnessed an “Oh, my God, how did that not kill you?” moment of driver stupidity and reported it to try to get them a little more enthusiastic about dealing with the local drivers. They agreed to look into it and added a few more people to the list already CC’ed.

Today, months after the first complaint, I got harassed while crossing legally by a driver who was blocking the intersection while stopped behind another car who was one of several stopped in the crosswalk. I made yet another report, this time to the local mayor’s office, his assistants, and everybody from the original emails. Ten emails in total, when I’d only started with one and then added the mayor’s office.

My report bounced back from every one. Apparently, our mayor, his assistants, and everybody in charge at the police station are on holiday for the next month. I’m beginning to see why we have an enforcement issue.

1 Thumbs

They Were Tow-tally Annihilated

, , , , | Legal | December 25, 2019

(I drive a tow truck for a living. One night at around seven, dispatch notifies me of a call from a client who has a strange vehicle in his driveway. I drive over and find the client standing directly in front of the SUV, still short of the sidewalk and thus on his property, waiting for me. It should be noted that this client has a standing contract with my employer due to repeat problems like this — resulting in our company posting several signs warning not to park here and how to contact us if towed, “several” because they are frequently torn down — and that the property in question is his home. After I get him out of the way, I take my photos and  write down the make and model of the vehicle as well as the license plate. Just as I go to hook it up — and before I actually manage to do more than approach the car — six people jump out of the house next door. The client promptly retakes his position in front of the car, and two more people come out of the house across the street, phones in hand.)

Woman #1: “What are you doing? That’s my car!”

Client: “You parked it on private property.”

Woman #2: “What are you talking about? We parked in a community spot!”

Client: “No, this is my driveway on my land. You parked here illegally.”

Man #1: “Fine. We’ll move it. Now get out of the way!” *turns to me* “And you get lost!”

Me: “The order came through dispatch and the photos and information are in the company’s cloud. I can’t call off the tow without a drop fee.”

(For clarity: I could always try to convince the client into waiving the tow, but between the vandalized signs and the attitude the random person gave me when instructing me to leave, I am not about to do this group any favors.)

Man #2: “Okay.” *to the client* “Pay the man!”

Client: “You pay him. It’s not my car that’s illegally parked.”

(At that moment, one of the other men starts wildly gesticulating, turning back and forth to the client and myself, while rapidly speaking Spanish; I would translate if there had been an actual sentence rather than a string of obscenities. While he’s doing that, the first woman runs onto the driveway and gets into the car. She starts the car and begins honking the horn and revving the engine.)

Woman #1: *with her head out the window* “GET OUT OF THE F****** WAY! MOVE!”

(The client, unfazed, remains in place for a solid thirty seconds. The fourth man then rushes at him, shouting more obscenities with his fist held high, and still the client doesn’t budge. The fourth man then stops short of actually punching my client, despite no efforts from anyone to stop him.)

Client: “Are you going to fight like a man, or are you looking for a few bruises for when you cry ‘hate crime’?”

(I’ll take this opportunity to point out the client is white and the six of them are Latino. Anyway, the fist in the air was enough for me. Before he had even stopped his approach, I had already reached into the cab for my radio and asked dispatch for a police presence due to a violent outburst. The shouting and violent gestures continue, with no meaningful changes, while I wait for their arrival.)

Officer #1: “ENOUGH! Everyone take a breath and step away from each other! Ma’am, turn the engine off and step out of the vehicle!”

(He proceeds to talk to the client, who is still unmoved from in front of the car, while his partner talks to me. Once that’s done, the first officer goes across the street to the folks with their phones out while the second officer talks to the six friends. Despite my distance, I can overhear some of the questioning from the second officer, all of which is done in Spanish.)

Woman #1: “I thought it was a communal spot! I’m from California! There are no driveways in California!”

Officer #2: “Be that as it may, this is not California. He had every right to have you towed.”

Man #3: “Well, now he won’t let [Woman #1] get the car out! He keeps standing in front of the car and won’t move.”

Officer #2: “He’s standing on his own driveway. I can’t move him from that spot unless I arrest him, which I currently have no reason to do.”

Man #3: “We paid the drop fee! He’s just trying to help the driver screw us!”

Officer #2: “My partner’s looking into that now.”

(While he is doing that, his partner collects the video from one of the bystanders and, apparently, starts watching it. As they compare notes, it starts again.)

Man #2: *to the client* “The officer said you can’t stand there and we can get our car. Now get out of the way.”

Client: *in Spanish* “Is that what he said? I could have sworn he said I can stand wherever I want on my own land. But if I’m wrong, he can tell me himself in English. And while he’s doing that, you can try thinking of something more believable.”

(That brings the situation to a full stop until the officers are ready. Be advised: the breaks between the officer’s sentences are longer than they appear, because his partner repeats each one in Spanish.)

Officer #1: “All seven of you agree the car is parked illegally. You six say is it was a misunderstanding. And after reviewing the video, we know no money has changed hands and there have been no actual attacks. So, I propose one of you six pays the driver the drop fee, and then we will personally make sure the car is allowed to be relocated to a legal parking spot. After that, you can all go home. Agreed?”

Man #2: “F*** NO! This guy’s been harassing us for months! He doesn’t have any problem with anyone else! Just us! Do something about this b****** or get some real police who will!”

(The officers then exchange a look that said, “Was he really stupid enough to say that?”)

Officer #1: “Just to be clear: you don’t want police who make sure everyone goes home tonight. You want police who make arrests, ensure 100% compliance with the law, and make the streets safe. Is that correct?”

Man #2: “Yes! Real police work!”

(He then proceeds to read out the Miranda rights, in English and Spanish, while his partner reaches into the car. First, he fiddles with the radio, and then he pulls out a bunch of handcuffs and they go to work cuffing the six friends.)

Officer #1: “We have video of you running into your car while it was illegally parked. That’s trespassing.”

Officer #2: *to [Man #4]* “We have you on video rushing towards the homeowner with your fist in the air. That’s assault.”

Officer #1: “Neither of them would have had the courage to do that without you four backing them up, so that makes all of you accessories, so you’re all under arrest.”

Officer #2: “Since the car is still illegally parked and was used during the commission of the trespass, we can have it towed to our impound lot, so we no longer need a search warrant to tear it apart and look for any other crime you may be involved in.”

Officer #1: “Regardless of what we find, you six just earned a night in lock-up and a bail hearing tomorrow. Once we’re done processing you, we’ll be calling ICE to see if that could impact your bail.”


Officer #2: “Oh, you speak English!”

Officer #1: “Our sanctuary city laws are that we cannot question people about their immigration status, cannot detain them solely because we suspect they’re undocumented, cannot arrest them solely because we know they’re undocumented, and will not cooperate with ICE if they’re after people whose only crimes are being undocumented. However, when we make arrests based on other crimes, ICE is a phone call away and completely allowed.”

Officer #2: “And our desk sergeant is usually pretty lax about it, too. Even though we’re supposed to call for all crimes, he only enforces it on violent felonies and leaves it to our discretion otherwise. However, you guys wanted the real police, so I’m sure the sergeant will understand why you all are worth a call to ICE.”

(Once the six of them were detained, the officers verified my name and statement and sent me on my way. What happened next to those six, I can only imagine.)

1 Thumbs

The Grinch In Disguise

, , , , , | Legal | December 23, 2019

(It’s my first year patrolling alone around Christmas and I have been warned that I might meet the Grinch one of these days. Well, today I did. We have just had a heavy snowstorm with icy roads. I pull an elderly lady over for a traffic infraction: going too fast for conditions. Though she was only going 70 in a 65 mph zone, the roads are very slick and we have already responded to several accidents because of cars going off the road. It’s just two days before Christmas. She is very pleasant and talkative about her evening and upcoming Christmas Day plans and makes a few funny jokes as I’m running her details. When I first approached her car, I noticed she was decked out in Christmas attire, wearing a sweater with a light-up Christmas tree, a blinking Rudolph nose on her nose, and reindeer antlers with bells on them. This happens at the end of the stop as I’m letting her go WITHOUT the possible $250 ticket, instead giving her a warning.)

Me: “Okay, ma’am.” *jokingly* “Dispatch didn’t find you on the FBI Most Wanted List, so you’re free to go. Here is your paperwork back. Drive carefully and Merry Christmas!”

Elderly Lady: *screeching that sounds like nails on a chalkboard, sending chills down my spine* “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME, YOUNG MAN?!”

Me: *taken aback by the sudden shift in attitude, thinking she didn’t get or took offense to my FBI joke* “I’m sorry, ma’am, yo—”

Elderly Lady: “How dare you?!”

Me: “Ma’am?”

Elderly Lady: “How dare you wish me a Merry Christmas! How do you know I celebrate Christmas? How do you know I’m not Jewish?! I want the name of your boss, and give me your name and badge number! I am going to file a complaint for discrimination; this is unacceptable!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sor—”

Elderly Lady: “Listen here, young man! You need to learn to respect people and not assume they celebrate whatever you do. The world doesn’t revolve around officer [My Name] as much as you’d like it to think it does!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any offense towards you. I’m sorry I assumed you celebrate Christmas because you just told me you were so looking forward to Christmas and how you were going to your daughter’s Christmas feast. You are wearing a sweater with a lit-up Christmas tree on it, a blinking Rudolph nose, and reindeer antlers on your head, but again, I’m sorry.”

Elderly Lady: *slowly reaches up only to realize she is indeed wearing reindeer antlers, then looks down at her Christmas sweater and slowly removes the blinking bulb from her nose* “I, uh… Um, are we done here, officer?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, you’re free to go. Drive safely as it is supposed to rain and snow more later on today.”

(After she pulled off, I just sat in my patrol car for a few minutes trying to figure out what had just happened. I told my bosses what had happened and they congratulated me on finally getting my very first Hypocritical-Politically-Correct-Happy-Holidays-Do-Gooder. Apparently, they ran into several every year, some of whom got mad at them for saying, “Happy Holidays,” some of whom over, “Merry Christmas.”)

1 Thumbs