"Isn't it a little cold to be praying outside?" - A Cop Story

With some minor exceptions, today has been craptastic. The Japan-America career fair that ended at 5 actually ended at 3, and thus I showed up when it was all over. Dinner with friends (Happy Diwali) was fun, but I ended up spending 35$ somehow. The cherry on this fucking fudge sundae was when I got stopped by the cops, and that is the tale for this thread.

After mass, I was heading back to my place when I decided to walk through the seminary. It’s a really beautiful campus, and especially tonight when the stars were at their twinkly best. I wished I had a telescope. I mean I felt like I could see pictures in the stars like peoples of old. Anyway, so I’m walking along when I realize I’m not heading the right direction, but I eventually find a path in between some bushes and a building.

Upon exiting the bushes, there are two girls walking along, having come out of a building a little way down the road. A few months ago I met a girl going to dance practice in that building, and these girls were wearing sweatpants soooo as they walk by I said ‘hello’ and then ‘dance practice?’ They said yes, and they were 10 feet the other way from me by then so that was that right? They were staring at me weirdly when I passed but then it’s a little strange I guess to be a guy at the seminary at night…

So, I get to the chapel and get my pray on. It’s a shrine covering the tomb of a 20th century Catholic bishop of Japan, so I like to go there to pray and ponder my future in Japan. As I’m praying, I get a vague sense of “in the future, things will be difficult at times, so be ready.” That’s interesting I think, and start heading down the hill. Oh, the tombs in a hill and surrounded 3/4 by some shrubbery… more like tree-ery, but yeah whatever.

I’m walking down the hill onto a field when I see a cop on a motorcycle with his flashlight sweeping the area. For some stupid reason I decide to approach him. He sees me and I say “how can I help you officer?”

  • Cop “What are you doing here?”

  • Me “I came here to pray on my way back home.”

  • Cop (on radio) “Seeking affirmation, target is a young white male wearing a black winter coat?”

-Me (thinking) “…I’m a young white male wearing a black winter coat… awww shit.”

  • Cop “What were you doing in the bushes?”

  • Me “I was walking through them on the way here.”

  • Cop “You weren’t doing anything suspicious in the bushes?”

-Me “No.” I say, putting my hands into my pockets.

  • Cop “Take your hands out of your pockets. Do you have any weapons on you?” As his partner then proceeds to frisk me. Lovely.

  • Cop “ID please.” (Checks Id and sees its from Florida)

  • Cop “Why do you have a Florida ID?”

  • Me “I took a year off school. I’m a BC senior. I live at 1949 Commonwealth Ave.” The cop gets on his radio and verifies all that.

  • Cop “So two girls called us and said you were walking in the bushes, came out, and then went back into the bushes. Are you sure you weren’t doing anything there?”

  • Me "Yes. I was walking through them on the way to pray at the shrine up that hill. It’s covered by trees so you can’t really see it from here.

  • Cop “Isn’t it a little cold to be praying outside?”

  • Me “I was in the mood after mass.”

  • Cop “Where?”

  • Me “St. Ignatius 9PM mass.”

  • Cop “I know they have a 5PM mass but not a 9PM”

-Me “Well I’m sure they have one at 9PM too. You can check the sign out front.”

  • Cop “You look kinda nervous.”

  • Me “I get nervous when I’m approached by cops in fields.” The cop confers with his partner for a while.

  • Cop "OK we’re gonna let you go, but you’re in our system now. Stay in well-lit areas and on main roads. If you do this again, you have a problem. "

I walk through the field then stop, and the cop says ‘take the road.’ I mutter a quick ‘thanks. goodnight officers.’ and head home finally. So yeah… W. T. F. That was freaking surreal. It’s not that I’m angry, as the cops were just doing their job, but they didn’t have to be such smarmy dicks. As for the girls, it’s not like I jumped out of the bushes at them. I was friendly and smiling, not menacing in the slightest.

Does this look like the face of a sexual predator to you? (I’m clean shaven now too btw).

I’m too tired to talk about it any more than I already have, but dont worry I’m fine… just tired from the stress and adrenaline rush.

You look pretty freakin’ scary to me! (just kidding). Welcome to the 21st century, post 9/11 full of suspicion, world. Makes me kind of glad I’m nearer to the end of my life, rather than just beginning it.

You should have refused to give your ID. Then you would have been arrested, and when you went to court, we could have these questions answered once and for all.

It probably wouldn’t have been a great idea, given that they were already playing the Agent Smith role, but I’d have been inclined to ask “Exactly what kind of a problem, officer? Are you saying I have done something illegal?”

The guy who sexually assaulted me didn’t look like a predator, either. Sorry, but many women tend to get nervous when approached by someone who appears to have been stalking them as he knows what they’ve been doing. It sucks that life is that way, I agree. I doubt I would have called the cops, but I might have kicked myself on and off for weeks for not reporting the guy who was apparently stalking me only to back off when he saw there were two people there, not one - or however I might’ve rationalized the situation.

Wow. That sucks. I went home and watched a movie. Uneventful. And I paid $35 for dinner too.

A few years back, I was hassled by a couple of motorcycle cops for being out in a field with a telescope. “What are you looking at with that telescope?” “Umm… Plieades? Double star in Ursa Majoris? Jupiter? The Orion Nebula?”

I guess that satisfied them that I wasn’t using my 'scope to peer in windows 300 feet away at middle-aged fat Hispanic housewives doing the dishes or whatever. Upside down.

Actually, those glowing red eyes are a bit unnerving.

It’s the creepy smile that bugs me. Oddly enough, fat Chinese girls with bleeding breasts don’t seem to be bothered by it.

Plus, what’s he doing with his hands?

Were they campus cops? Campus cops are the ones who generally can’t cut it in other police forces, and can sometimes be pretty arrogant about things.

Hiding a stolen purse.

You don’t look scary to me. Cute, actually. But just because you don’t look scary doesn’t mean you couldn’t be a threat to someone. Sorry, man, sometimes that’s just how it is.

Eh - you look kinda like Danny Bonaduce to me. But what the hell do I know?

And yeah, the others are right - someone doesn’t have to look “scary” to be a threat - it’s unfortunately just how things are these days.

And here we learn the lesson–it’s only okay to be friendly to college girls after dark if they’re already imbibing intoxicants.


Not all campus cops are dicks, either, we had one bike get really huffily curious about what we were doing (in fairness, we were six guys sitting in a gazebo at 2AM hitting a hookah, even though it was actually only tobacco), but once he smelled it and saw the empty packages of tobacco, he even took a hit before he went on his way.


Simple rule: don’t be friendly to women you don’t know in secluded areas. Don’t go out of your way to talk to them.

Most women have had experiences where some guy forced unwanted attentions upon them (not necessarily rape, but some kind of insistent unwanted behavior). Most of those guys did not look creepy. Approaching a woman like that is not really kosher, and good guys who don’t want to scare women don’t do it.

But do you then go to the other extreme, and try to ignore them? The way I read the OP, he’d simply tried to go through the social formula for a friendly greeting to strangers: a little hello, and a little detail that he’d noticed thier attire.

What you seem to be suggesting would seem to me as being just as likely to be taken as creepy: “This guy came out of the bushes by Mudd Hall, and he stopped, stared at us, and then walked on without saying a thing. He’s got to be some kind of creep - let’s call 911.”

I don’t disagree that women have reason to be cautious in encounters with strange men. But I am of the opinion that if someone wants to view unusual behavior as a threat, they will - no matter the actual provocation.

Speaking as someone who has been told that he looks like a child molester, sometimes it seems if you’re male you just can’t win.

Aw - you’ve made me all nostalgic. Not for being questioned by cops, but for BC. I miss it.


I don’t know about your average woman, but I really don’t want a strange guy talking to me, at all, in a semi-secluded area unless there’s some pressing need. Do you really greet all strangers in passing like that, and if so, how do you get anywhere on time?

What I would have expected was for him to keep walking. Maybe a semi-distracted, “Evening,” in passing. Period.

I dont greet every passerby, but if there’s eye contact and a chance to say some friendly chit-chat, then I will. These girls were staring at me hardcore, and it felt so weird that I couldn’t not say anything. Again, I don’t blame the girls, but neither do I blame myself. I’m not going to change my behavior just because the world is such a fucked up place.

And yeah, I’m not totally sure but I think they were BC cops.