Talk about some of your more memorable run-ins with the law.

The SDMB is full of diverse and interesting people. I am sure that there is some good stories out there, so if you’ve got a story to share, please do.

For those you know me today, I am a law abiding grown up, I work with offenders, and visit the county jail on a weekly basis, but I get to leave at the end of my visit, and that’s how I like it.

Twasn’t always the case. No, I, like so many others, (hangs head in shame), have a past. and before I run for “Queen of the World”, I thought it best to bring it out in the open lest others, intent on my defeat, bribe the appropriate people and discover… my record.

The year was 1976. My grandmother had just died (in Florida). I’d just graduated from college, was at loose ends. Dad asked me to ‘help’ out at his shop (a custom jewelry store). First order of business? Clean.

Dad was leaving for a week to go to Florida to deal with grandma’s estate. He took all of the jewelry out of the cabinets, showcases, displays etc, and locked them in his safe and the vault at the bank. My task was to clean all of said displays, cabinets, showcases etc.

I walked in to the shop (so my mom wouldn’t be without transportation), so didn’t bother carrying a purse (after all, you don’t need ID to walk, right?). Got to the shop. Now, back in the mid 70’s not a lot of places had alarms on 'em, but dad’s shop did. He’d spent quite some time teaching me how to ‘not set off the alarm’, which would go off if you opened the doors or if there was movement inside the place while the alarm was on. It was silent one, too. There was a little box outside the door, with a cover. Upon opening the cover, you’d see a row of lights and a place to put the key to turn the thing on and off. He’d showed me how to turn it on once you were outside and ready to lock up for the day, and how to turn it off the next day so you could safely enter the building.

So, this day, I go, open the shop and clean. I had a dentist appointment in the am, locked up and walked the two doors down for the dentist, had a filling taken care of, and walked back.

I opened the alarm box cover and saw… the wrong lights were on. I puzzled about that. I’d never before seen the arrangements of lights as they were showing now. Geeze. Did I forget to turn it on when I left??? I don’t think so. What does this arrangement of lights mean? Finally, I stick the key in and turn it. Different set of lights, and ones I’m familiar with as showing the alarm is now armed. So I turn it off and enter the building.

And see… My mom’s purse. Holy shit. that means I turned on the alarm while she was inside. Holy shit. That means, the alarm was set off. Holy shit. That means the police are on their way. Holy shit.

I turn and look out the window and there’s the first cop car pulling up quickly outside. My first thought is “oh, they’ll be sooooo mad when they find out it’s a false alarm, I should go and tell them quickly”. So outside I run, saying “are you here for this, I’m really sorry, it’s all a mistake, you can go now”. As I do this, several thoughts are occuring :

  1. I’m dressed like a bum (I’m cleaning, right?) in patched blue jeans, t-shirt, bandanna, and exiting this high scale jewelry store.

  2. I don’t have any ID on me to proove who I am.

  3. My mouth is filled with novacaine so, in addition to an attractive mini drool going on, I’m not speaking too clearly either.

  4. Dad’s in Florida so all the jewelry is not here…

  5. I wouldn’t believe me if I were the cops.

  6. I’m totally screwed.

They have their hand on their holsters (thankfully, I had my hands in front of me, empty). They say “do you mind if we go inside and check things out?”

“sure, no problem” I say (tho it comes out more like ‘thure, no pwobwem’), while remembering point #4 above…
So, I’m saying over and over ‘well, I’m Herb’s daughter, and dad’s in Florida, but my mom’s here, and my mom’s here and…’ - they look around the shop, not only are the cases empty of jewelry, the lids of the cases are standing alongside each one, and no one else appears to be here

So. Your Herbs daughter, eh?, and the only photos they can see are the 30 or so of my little brother in his baseball uniform and one of me and my sister when I was 6 and she was 8. Um… I’m so totally screwed.

Your mom’s here? Ummmmm yep. Oh, Mom!!!. No answer.

They’re looking at me really hard now. Oh… Mooooooooooom"

“yes dear?” and from out of the back room, comes my mother, in all of her obvious middle class homemaker glory, looking a bit befuddled to see 3 police officers there.

Can’t beat wring’s tale, but what the heck…
Early 1980s, Athens GA (college town, U of GA), recently arrived from New Mexico. I’m invited to supper at a friend’s house, so I change clothes, inadvertently leaving my wallet in the other pants. Comb my shoulder-length hair, trim the facial hairs a bit, and I’m out the door.

This girl lived in a house just a short distance from a major intersection, on the other side of which was the Alps Road shopping center. The driveway to her house was virtually invisible to the driver, occurring right after a row of pine trees and requiring a very sharp (~ 120°) right. The first time I headed for it, I thought I’d make a left from the other lane, but oncoming traffic from the Alps Road making right turns was followed by oncoming traffic from the shopping center coming straight out and I soon gave up and went on into the shopping center, turned around, came back out with the flood of departing mall traffic, and, of course, shot right past the damn driveway.

Rinse, lather, repeat. On my second venture from the shopping mall’s exit portal, I’m creeping along more slowly, eyes riveted to the pine trees and as the last one comes up I’m preparing to make my right, and STILL almost shoot past it, so I jam on the brakes hard. The person behind me stands his car on its nose to avoid landing in my trunk. The person behind him is less fortunate and whops into him.

We all get out of our cars and I am preparing to tell the other two drivers that I will explain to the officers when I arrive that did brake awfully abruptly, so that perhaps they will go easy on driver #3 who of course is going to get busted for tailgating driver #2 and colliding with his car. But before I get started, she lashes into me something fierce for causing damage to her boyfriend’s car and says people like me have no business being on the road anyway.

Officers arrive. Listen to everyone’s story. Everything seems to be developing about as I’d expected it to until, in a routine sort of way, I am asked the routine question, “May I see your driver’s license?”

“Sure, it’s right…here, in my…uh,…wallet which I don’t seem to have with me…” “Well, do you have SOME form of identity on you?” Not exactly… “Do you have your insurance papers with you?” “I don’t have automobile insurance.” (It had not been legally required in New Mexico, from whence I came. Ignorant callow youth that I was, I had no idea that this made New Mexico unusual among states in the early 1980s, and had not thought to ask about Georgia law on the subject. Georgia law on the subject said if thou shalt drive motor vehicle thou shalt damned well have auto insurance.)

I was instructed to move my car off the road, which I did, and to park and lock it there. I was then detained and taken down to the county jail, where my clothing was removed and lice-killer shampoo applied to my hair, and I was given access to a cold shower to rinse it out and wash self in general, then provided with incandescent orange jail pajamas and escorted to a cell.

Had to have my grandparents bring proof of identity to secure my release – highly embarrassing!

Appeared in court and beat the traffic charge of “stopping in an intersection” after reading the text of the ordinance and arguing that it failed to apply in my case, and had to do a couple weekends’ worth of community service for absence of auto insurance.

The insurance company of driver #3’s boyfriend, hearing that I had been found not guilty of any relevant driving infraction, held her (and therefore him) responsible for the accident, so she proceeded to call and threaten me and scream that scum like me should be exterminated until I swore out a telephone harassment complaint against her (there is opportunity here for a hijack concerning southern college sorority members…).

Mine’s not as good as most here but here goes…

When I was 19, I was driving a friend to work. I got pulled over by an officer who was looking for another friend of mine, whom I had let drive my car on occasion. I was dressed in a rather showy manner,not too much though considering it was the late 80’s, tight shirt, short skirt and some black and white faux fur high heel pumps, very 50’s white trash looking shoes which I adored.
This particular officer, while somewhat cute and young enough, acted as though he had a chip on his shoulder. He looked in my car and asked what a green plastic bottle on the floor of my car was to which I responded,
“It’s a Mountain Dew bottle with the label peeled off. Would you like to see it?”
He did, so I got it for him, and to his obvious disappointment, it was indeed what I said it was. He then asked me and the friend I was driving out of the car, and told us to sit on the curb while he “ran” our ID’s. I tried to be polite to him but he just seemed as though he was trying to scare me or imdimidate us with his authority. As I got out of the car, he saw my shoes and said “Leopard spooted shoes, I should have known.”
Me, “Do you like spotted shoes?”
Officer, “No.”
Me, “Oh so what are you now? The fashoin police?”

Apparently he was not amused and wrote me a ticket for an expired registration. (Yeah I should have taken care of that a few days before, I admit it)

this one’s a gooder, not as funny as wring’s but more embarrassing. im 18, living on my own in wormtown, MA, and trying to impress a very cute girl. i wuz NOT good with girls back then. im in a bar with her, after work, and i asked her if she wanted to smoke a joint. she said “sure.” we went outside, and i moved just to the right of the door. she sez, “um, we’re right on main street, is this cool?” i reply, expansively, “no prob, ive done this a thousand times.” (not true.) of course, a worntown cop pulls up right then. i barely avoid urinating all over myself, drop the joint to the ground, and cover it with my foot. the cop comes up, and i shoot my arms up in the air, a nervous tic. the cop, all irritated, slaps my arms down, pats me down, feels something in my back pocket, gets all nervous, and starts to shout, “what have you got in your back pocket? pull it out, slow!” i am barely able to move or speak by this time, but i manage to pull out a package of planters cheese and peanut butter crackers, while stammering, “uuuhhh, cheese crackers, officer.” the girl bursts out LAUGHING. the cop, even more irritated, moves my foot and smushes the joint, all the while lecturing me. “if a punk like you wants to have a pot party, he should show respect for the law, and not do it on main street, blah blah blah.” the girl’s still laughing, and i feel an inch tall. needless to say, she had nothing more to do with me. i, however, take a tiny bit of pride in the fact i did not pee on myself. thank you.

One winterday in decemer 1999 I was walking home from school. I was walking on the right side. (Oh my god! She was walking on the right side of the road!!! Oh my god!)
so this police car drove by and stopped right next to me.
This one policemen looks at me like I am the devil and tells me that the law demands me to walk on the left side of the road.
They wait until I cross the street and walk on on the left side, then drive off.

And you people thought you were outlaws…sheesh…


So Kitty and Daniela are on the backseat of this car. The front seats are engaged by members of the male gender. They will from now on be refered to as idiots.

so they are on their way to the city. And the idiots got
air-pressure guns (I hope that s what they are called).
They start shooting trees and other stuff while they drive by. This one woman is standing in a telephone booth and the idiots are shooting a road-sign near her. She freaks out (big surprise!) and calls the police.
So a little while later the car is REAL guns and have to lie down on the ground. And yummie! full body search!!!
Kitty and Dani had a “nice time” on the backseat putting their hands in the air and hoping not to be shot.

I was a farm kid (15 years old) with an off-road motorcycle. There was a bush party just on the outskirts of the city. I drove 30 miles to this party with my girlfriend on the back, only to have a police cruiser waiting for me at the road entrance to the party.

I turned around and the chase was on. When the cruiser closed to within 20 feet on me on this gravel road, I dragged my feet and kicked up a storm of rocks and dust behind me. This lasted for about 2 miles until I spotted a field entrance and bolted off the road. By then, the cruiser had no more headlights and did not pursue me into the field.

The next issue of the local newspaper had a small blurb in the police blotter section dealing with the operation of non-licensed motorcycles within city limits.

Gee, I wonder who that was directed at? :rolleyes:

This was my most memorable run-in with the law. I was young and stupid. I could have seriously hurt my girlfriend, the police, or myself. I never went near that area again.

Oh yeah - I am also a “wanted” man in Alameda County CA.
(Unpaid speeding ticket) :slight_smile:

**Havoc** - Did you see the Edmonton dopefest thread?
[sub][Calling all Edmonton Dopers.]([/sub]

These stories always require a little scene-setting, so bear with me.

In the early eighties, I was at college in Conway, Arkansas, which is more or less in the center of the state. My family was living, at the time, in Harrisburg, Arkansas, a town of about 2000 residents (one hesitates to say “people”, certainly not “souls”), in the northeast part of the state. Harrisburg enjoyed reputation for general lawlessness that had been recently reinforced by the arrest of one of those residents as he landed a small plane filled with cocaine at a local crop-dusting airstrip. I had hair rather longer than the regulation length and was fond of my dad’s Korean War vintage army fatigue jacket and flannel shirts. I drove a 1974 Datsun B210 hatchback that ran great but that had a terminally peeling vinyl roof and a paint job that had seen better days. The passenger seat area was fairly clear, since my girlfriend rode with me at times, but the back seat and rear hatch area were littered with old soda cans, magazines, books, newspapers, etc.

One weekend, I decided to go home to visit. I loaded a couple weeks worth of laundry in a black plastic garbage bag and threw it in the back. My grandparents lived in Augusta, Arkansas – approximately halfway between school and home, right on the route I took – so I stopped in for a few minutes to see them. My grandmother gave me a quart of frozen strawberries in plastic container, inside a small brown paper grocery bag, to take to my mom.

About halfway between my grandparents’ house in Augusta and Harrisburg, there’s a wide spot in the road called Fisher (about halfway between Hickory Ridge and Weiner, if you’re keeping score at home). I approached Fisher from the south on U.S. Hwy. 49 as always, and as always I slowed down at the first “Reduced Speed Ahead” sign outside the town, speeding fines being a significant contributor to the stability of the local economy. As I did so, I noticed a pair of headlights in my rear-view mirror growing rapidly larger, then whipping around me. The Firebird (what else?) that passed me had to be doing at least 75 as I slowed to the statutory 35 for my transit of Fisher. In a town that size, it’s only a matter of seconds, even at 35 mph, from the city limit to the heart of the city, and the Firebird was still well in sight when I got there. I saw a pair of new headlights come on in the gap between the town’s two largest buildings, and making an educated guess, I concluded that it was likely to be the local constabulary; I also formed the opinion that anyone working as a police officer in Fisher, Arkansas who has an opportunity to nab someone doing 75 in a 35 zone is apt to be somewhat eager to do so, and may act imprudently. To preclude the possibility of being T-boned by the officer in question, therefore, I eased over into the other lane of the highway to allow him to pursue the miscreant unhindered by me.

Alas, the Firebird had also seen the lights come on and had reached the same conclusion as I had. Along the west side of Highway 49, for most of its run from Brinkley to Jonesboro, runs the old Cotton Belt Railroad track. In Fisher, the track is somewhat elevated above the level of the ground around it, to keep it above water when Bayou DeView, Ditch No. 15, and the surrounding sloughs flood. The Firebird’s brake lights flashed and it whipped into a left turn onto a side street, out of sight on the other side of the hump of the tracks.

I was already moving back over into the correct lane of the highway when the Firebird turned. The police car pulled out behind me in plenty of time to watch the Firebird disappear. There’s only one street parallel to the highway on the west side of the tracks in Fisher, and only a half-dozen or so that run perpendicular to that, only one of which offers a route out of town, but there are several ways that a car with its lights out could double back and slip away without being detected. Either the cop determined that that’s what the Firebird had done, or (and I’m coming more to this conclusion as I get older) he knew exactly who it was and had no intention of making trouble with a local. The story’s better if we assume that the cop had been frustrated in his attempt to nab the speeder, however. I continued through town, speedometer pegged on 34 mph.

Highway 49 crosses a slough as it exits the city limits of Fisher to the northeast, and it was just as I crossed the bridge that the cop turned on his blues. I was a little surprised, but I was also worried about what was in store for me as his consolation prize. I knew I’d done nothing wrong, but that’s not always a sufficient defense, especially in that part of the world.

The first part of the interview went more or less as you’d expect. The officer was in his thirties – young enough to to know that long hair and a somewhat scruffy appearance didn’t necessarily mean drug user or dealer, but he was still suspicious. Seeing that my home address was in Harrisburg, he eyed me meaningfully – Fisher’s only about 18 miles from Harrisburg, and they’re both in Poinsett County, so he was well aware of its reputation and the recent events that had bolstered it. He didn’t seem to believe that I was on my way home from college for a visit. He surprised me somewhat by asking if I’d been drinking; I hadn’t, and could think of nothing I’d done that would have given him reason to believe that I had been. However, you’d never go broke betting on any random male resident of Harrisburg being drunk at 8:30 on a given Friday night, so I suppose he figured it was worth a shot. He then asked me to step out of the car. I didn’t like the direction this was going at all, but so far at least I was holding up OK, so I decided to play along. My answers and my steadiness in exiting the vehicle seemed to somewhat allay his suspicions about my sobriety, so he turned his attentions elsewhere. He directed his flashlight beam through the rear vent window of the Datsun, onto the miscellaneous detritus collected in the back seat, then through the hatchback window, where it was partially reflected by the dark plastic of the garbage bag in the back.

“What’s in that bag?”
“Dirty laundry.”
“Mind if I take a look?”

Being fully aware of the relevant sections of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, case law and the various Supreme Court rulings thereon, I knew he was on very shaky legal ground in proposing to search a part of the vehicle not within arms’ reach from the driver’s seat, having no more compelling probable cause than he did. I was also aware that an attempt to educate him in these fine points was likely to result in a visit to what passes for a jail in Fisher, with the possibility of a boot to the organs of generation as a lagniappe. I’m sorry to say that rather than taking my stand for the liberties guaranteed to us by our forefathers and defended bravely through the generations by the blood of patriots, I caved and opened up the hatch. I rationalized that my principles were a small price to pay for the entertainment value to be had from watching him stir vigorously through the better part of a month’s worth of dirty underwear and socks with the handle of his Maglite.

Eventually, he concluded that he’d exhausted the possibilities there (or had inhaled all he could take). His eye next fell, however, on an olive drab steel rectangular box on the other side of the hatchback area – an old army ammunition box we kept in the car as a toolbox. He guessed at its function right away, this being common enough practice: “What’s in there, tools?” “Yep.” “Mind opening it up?” Well, I’d already established that I’d allow my right to be exempt from unreasonable search and seizure to be flung down and danced upon, so I popped it open. After jangling amongst the wrenches for a bit, he clamped the lid back on the box himself, closing the hatchback after replacing the box.

Having sniffed and poked to his content along the left side and rear of the car, he now made his way forward along the right side. I saw his eyes gleam suddenly, and for a moment couldn’t imagine what he thought he saw. Then I remembered, and had to muster all my reserves to maintain a straight face.

“What’s this on the seat?”
“Sir?” (no sense letting him off easy).
“In this brown bag?”

I leaned over to look in the window, though by now I knew what he was talking about. “Oh, that. Frozen strawberries. My grandmother asked me to take them to my mom.” I didn’t even ask if he wanted to see them; I unlocked the door, took out the bag and pulled the plastic container out of it, handing it to him so he could feel the cold himself. He was deflating visibly throughout this last exchange.

Finally he decided that there was nothing more to be done about me. He informed me that he’d stopped me because I’d been driving erratically. I decided not to bring the Firebird back into the story at this point, since it seemed likely he’d just as soon forget it as well. I said that perhaps I was a bit tired after a long week at school, and that I’d try to be more careful for the last few miles.

I’m sort of glad it happened; I’ve only been stopped twice in 21 years of driving, and the other time I got my only speeding ticket, so I’d say I’m still on positive side of the ledger.

My only impressive run-ins with the law are these two:

The first was in my ex-boyfriend’s mom’s car. We were wandering arounf Disney World on a saturday evening wih nothing to do. We decide we want to walk around on of the cool hotels they have over there. The security guard at the gate wouldn’t let us in though. On the way out of the entrance Matt (the ex) supposedly ran a red light. He then was going 60 mph down a cool winding, hilly road, when the limit was 35. We then took a left and were suppposedly tailgating a Disney bus.

We took a left into another hotel entrace when the lights started flashing. We stopped the car when we heard a speaker over us saying “Everyone in the car put your hands up where we can see them!” We all raise our hands. “Driver, get out of the car!” He steps out of the car. “Get on your knees facing us!” He gets on his knees, practically peeing his pants. They sit him directly in front on the headlights for 20 minutes, while his buddy and I sit in the car. Finally a cop comes over to me and asks me what we were up to. I explained the situtation. He then asked for my ID. I was the only one who was 18. He started asking me about the cigerettes in the car. I told him that I don’t smoke (I didn’t at the time) and that they belong to the boys. He had me get out of the car and take all the cigerettes one by one and roll out all the tabacco as the boys watched. Eventually they let us go with $180.00 in tickets to Matt for reckless driving and speeding.

The other one happened when I was living with my (now) husband. He had just gotten his second Carpal Tunnel sugury and I was driving him to college for class. he was running late and yelling at me about that. I was in a leg brace as well from an accident at work. I was pulling onto a road that is next to the building he had class in. I accidentally cut off a girl who was crossing the road, followed by a bike cop. He pulls me over. My husband starts yelling at me because we can’t pay for a ticket. I scream at him to get out of the car and go to class. I’m crying by this time. The cop reams me about my poor driving, but let me off without a ticket. How can you give two cripples with braces all over them, one crying, a ticket anyway?

So, I decided to drive from Colorado to Minnesota to see a girl I had met on the internet, but never met IRL (we’re doing fine, thank you). I set off one afternoon and headed across Colorado, up into Nebraska and north into South Dakota.

At about midnight, in Mission, SD, I get pulled over for a broken taillight (I mean, c’mon; how cliche can you get). I receive a warning from an obviously bored SD State Patrolman, and am on my way.

Quite a few hours of travelling later, I pass through Brown’s Valley, MN, where I am pulled over for doing 30mph in a 25mph zone. The exchange goes like this:

“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No, officer.”
“Well, you were speeding. May I see your license, registration and insurance, please?”
“Uh, I don’t have insurance (bigtime young and stupid days), the car is not registered (long story), but here is my dri…hey! Where’s my driver’s license? I swear it was here…”
“Sir, please step out of the car.”

So, they impounded the car in Brown’s Valley, about 50 miles away from where I needed to be. Says the policeman: “We’ll have to keep you in jail unless we can find someone to release you to.”

So, I call up this girl, who I have never met in person, and get her to coax her friend into driving to pick me up. Great first impression. Also, I have to go to court because of the no-insurance change. They decide to set a date for a week after I’m supposed to leave MN, but I convince them to call the judge and reschedule so that I can go to court on the day I had planned to leave.

Fast-forward a week

I convince the girl I was visiting to ask her friend for a ride to Wheaton, the county seat for the county in which Brown’s Valley is located, and fifty miles away from said town. She drops me off, and I have to wait several hours for my court appearance.

In the intervening week, I’ve been frantically calling USAA (the coolest insurance company in the world). They respond, twenty minutes before court, by faxing a document indicating proof of insurance in effect one week before the ticket. Insurance charge dismissed. Plead guilty to driving without registration, fifty-dollar fine, and I’m outta there.

Except my car is still in impound fifty miles away, and the Brown’s Valley chief of police won’t realease the car without registration in effect. Wheaton County judge, after some wrangling, convinces chief to wash his ahnds of the whole matter. Things are looking up!

But my car is fity miles from where I am, and here in rural MN, there’s no public transportation. So I alert the Wheaton city PD to my predicament, and sit down in frustration. A couple of hours of stress-reducing reading later, a man walks up to me on the front lawn of the Wheaton County courthouse, and asks if I need a ride to Brown’s Valley.

“Yes! Definitely! Who are you?”
“I’m the Wheaton County sheriff.”

So we hop in his car, and cruise down to BV. We arrive at the impound yard. We go inside, and prepare to get my car.

Me: “Can I have my car?”
Impound Guy (IG): “You gotta pay for it.”
Me: “What!? They said there would be no charge!”
IG: “It’s sixty bucks.”
I check my wallet. Forty bucks.
Me: “Can I write you a check?”
IG: “Nope.”
Me: “Do you take Visa?”
IG: “Nope.”
Me: “…Is there an ATM around here?”
IG: “Yup.”
Me: “Whew. Where is it?”
IG: “Wheaton, about fifty miles north.”
Me: :eek:

Eventually, the sheriff intervenes, persuades the IG to let me have my car, and I’ll drive back to Wheaton, get the cash and come back. As we’re leaving the impound yard, I mutter, “With my luck, I’ll get pulled over for speeding on my way there.”

The sheriff admits that would be pretty funny, but says it won’t happen. How can he guarantee it? He gives me a police escort, sirens flashing, at seventy miles an hour, back to Wheaton. I get the cash, check out with impound yard, and am on my way.

So it’s dark, and I’m driving just west of Sioux Falls, SD, when I run out of gas. Great. I pull onto an exit ramp that indicates a gas station (but it doesn’t look like there’s one there), stop the car, and get the full gas cans from the trunk. Bringing the gas was the only smart thing I did the entire trip. :slight_smile:

I add three gallons to the tank, get back in the car, and am about to pull out, when some headlights (attached to a car) pull up behind me. It’s the SD State Patrol. Wonderful!

The SD patrolman walks up behind the car with his flashlight, shines it on the broken taillight, shines it on the expires license plate, and leans against the driver’s window.
“How’s it going,” he asks.
“Fine!” I reply. “I just ran out of gas, and then added some. Is there a gas station up this way?”
“Nope, it’s closed. The closest one is back in Sioux Falls.”
“OK,” I say, much more cheerfully than I feel. “Can I just turn around here and get back on the highway?”
“Yup. That’s the way to do it. You have a good night, now.”
“You too, sir,” I squeak. And then he’s gone. Sweet!

So I refuel. And, after another twelve hours of driving, I get back home. And then I have to go to work.

Sorry so long. It’s way funny to me now, but it sucked bigtime then. :slight_smile:

I spent a couple of summers working as a teacher at nerd camp in Lancaster, PA. One year, the night before the students were due to start arriving, a group of teachers (all of us about 14-19 years old) decided we wanted to go out for pizza. The problem: 11 people, one car. So, we rolled down the windows and piled in, with various body parts hanging out.

One of Lancaster’s finest pulled us over for violating noise ordinances. He pulled us out of the car and lined us up on the sidewalk, staring sheepishly at our shoes.

“So, where y’all from?” he asked.

Not wanting to get the nerd camp in trouble, we answered, “Franklin & Marshall College” (the host school for the camp).

Not to be fooled, he asked, “Isn’t that some kind of gifted program?”

“Well, yes, sir.”

“Y’all don’t seem very gifted to me.”

“Oh, we’re not the students, we’re the staff.”

Somehow he managed to keep his face mostly straight. He made half of us get back in the car, and followed it back to the college to drop off the passengers and come back for the second load. We ordered Domino’s.

I’ve always been a few pounds overweight, so awhile back I decided to take up jogging. I’ve been jogging on and off for about four years now, and I’ve managed to lose about forty pounds (yay!).

Anyway, I can’t stand jogging during the day – I feel like a complete doofus bouncing around out there in broad daylight where everybody can see me, so I jog after the sun sets, usually around 8 or 9 PM. I also have a minor social phobia, which means I’m a little scared of going out in public and interacting with people, so I feel less anxious when I’m under the cover of darkness. I’ve always been a night person anyway, so I often don’t get my energy boost until the evening (I can’t even get out of bed in the morning, much less exercise).

Well, despite the fact that I live near the downtown area of a medium-size city, I’ve never worried much about running into trouble. I’m a big, imposing kinda guy, so I’ve always assumed that any mugger or serial killer would probably think twice before crossing my path. In fact, half the time I’m more worried about people being scared of me. I’ve seen a few people, especially women, cross over to the other side of the street when they see me coming. It’s a little sad, since I’m about the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. I just look frightening.

One night, a few months back, I was jogging down the sidewalk in an older suburban area, minding my own business, chewing on one problem or another in my mind (jogging’s a great opportunity to get in some much-needed think time), when I noticed a car following me about 50 yards back, driving at about 5 mph. I glanced over my shoulder every couple of seconds, trying to figure out what the car was up to. In the darkness I couldn’t discern the make or model. I assumed the driver was lost and trying to get a bearing on his or her surroundings. If anything, I was a little annoyed. It’s no fun jogging at night with bright headlights glaring behind your back.

Well, after about a minute, the car passed me, drove about two blocks up the street, and pulled over. End of story, I thought. I was wrong. When I reached the car, I heard a woman’s voice call out to me:

“Excuse me sir!”

I stopped, expecting to have to give directions to a confused motorist. That’s when all hell broke loose. Two figures jumped out of the bushes in front of me and another one appeared suddenly behind me. I almost pissed my pants!

Well, the lady jumped out of the car and identified herself as a police officer. It took me a few seconds to realized that all these people where cops. My mind was racing. What the hell’s going on? What did I do wrong? Then she flashed a bright green penlight in my face and started asking questions.

“What where you doing at that house back there?”

“Huh? What house?” I asked, trying to ignore the five or six police officers now surrounding me.

“We saw you approach that house. Do you know the person who lives there?”

“No, I… um… I was just… you see, the sidewalk…”

I lost the ability to speak coherently. By this time, more police cars were arriving and parking at strategic locations up and down the block. I felt like an animal in a trap. I tried to apologize for being so flustered, but the words came out in an incomprehensible jumble. Not only was I out of breath from jogging, but I had about a quart of adrenaline pumping through my body.

And I felt guilty as hell. Don’t ask me why. I felt like I really had been trying to break into a house. I’m a model citizen, for Christ’s sake. I had no reason to feel anything other than righteous vexation. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I have the self-confidence of a mole rat.

To top it all off, the police helicoptor – the goddamned police helicoptor – started circling overhead. I felt like the world was coming to an end.

I think the cop finally figured out my rabbit-in-the-headlights mentality, because she started asking me simple questions: my address, my job, if I was a student, etc. I answered as best as I could. Unfortunately, I couldn’t provide any kind of ID to back me up. I felt like an imposter.

“Have you ever been in a mental institution?”


“Uh-huh. Have you ever raped anybody?”

“Um… what?”

“You know, rape. Like having sex with women when they don’t want it?”

“No! Never!”

“You ever get real mad and kill anybody? Beat anybody up?”

“What? Why are you guys picking on me?”

“Standard procedure. Just answer the question.”

Yeah, well, I could just feel the haughty contempt in her voice. Nothing is more demoralizing than having somebody just assume you’re a lowlife thug, especially when you’ve spent your entire life trying to be a good person. The cops are supposed to be on my side, dammit!

I could hear them checking my information with their computers. I guess I came up clean. I was so confused and upset that I didn’t even think to ask any questions of my own. For one thing, I should’ve asked if I was under arrest. At this point I just assumed they would drag me off to the police station where I could hopefully gather my wits and figure out what to do next. In my mental state they could’ve gotten me to confess to all the crimes in the world.

You can imagine my surprise when they told me I was free to go. Just like that. The helicoptor flew off and the other police cars began to drive away. I didn’t say anything – I couldn’t – I just continued jogging for a couple of blocks, in a daze. After a few minutes I figured out that I had no desire to continue jogging so I made a U-turn and headed back. When I passed the block where I’d been ambushed, all the cop cars were gone. It was as if nothing had happened. By the time I got back to my apartment I’d almost convinced myself that the whole thing had been a bad dream – or some kind of bizarre hallucination.

After calling my mom I discovered that this is normal police procedure. (my mom’s an ex-cop, believe it or not) It’s called a field interview. Jesus, that’s what I get for not watching cop shows on TV. I just never expected to have any kind of trouble with the police. At least my information won’t go on any kind of permanent record, so I’m not branded for life, thank God.

Well, there’s a bright side to my story. I was so determined not to let the experience phase me that I went out jogging later the very same night. I was actually hoping I’d run into the same cops again so I could ask them why they had “interviewed” me. Of course it didn’t happen. A few weeks later I discovered that the local police department had recently established an anti-vandalism task force in that area. I guess they were looking for vandals. Friggin-A.

Surprisingly, the experience has actually helped my confidence. I feel like I’ve experienced the worst possible public embarrassment and humiliation. What’s left to fear? Certainly not talking to the clerk at the post office, raising my hand in class, or even striking up a conversation with a pretty girl (haven’t gotten that far yet). I still jog almost every night, and I’m not about to stop.

The moral of the story: forget the muggers – it’s the cops you have to look out for.

Achmed has had a near miss with your police. It happened when I was driving around the country a few years ago being a lazy bum.

I stopped in a Burger King somewhere in Allah-forsaken Oklahoma, stood in line waiting for a fish sandwich, and behind me some guy was talking to his friend about what a horrible driver’s license photo the DMV had taken of him recently. He showed it off and said he looked like a vampire in it! I peered over my shoulder at it and felt moved to comment.

“Yes, but it could be worse. In my photo, I look like a &@*$!%# COP!”

“Hey!” he said, “I’m a cop!”

I ordered my meal ‘to go’. :smiley:

Busted for beer - 1967 - best wisecrack opportunity

Dummies in the street - 1967 - thanks, bud

Busted for pot as a 2 yr to life felony in Houston - jail - 1971

Friend steals a car while I go crash in his bed - 1967 - heehee

PI outside of Austin - jail - 1975

Campfire in Big Sur - prison term - 1970

PI in New Orleans - jailish prison - 1983

PI in Houston - jail - laff riot - 1974

120 mph warning ticket - whoops - 1969

Other jovial moments in the company of our nation’s finest

Smuggling Dad - another whoops

Obviously (to me, anyway), I’m not going to get to them all.

I’ll start at the top. As a young fellow a friend of mine and I engaged the services of one Jimmy, attendant at a service station owned by our then hero, Sal Gambino, of the Houston PD’s motorcycle squad, to purchase for us a case of beer. We were 14 at the time. Jimmy’s delivery of the case of beer, to me, in the parking lot of the 7-11 convenience store, coincided wih the arrival of one of HPD’s finest. A spotlight inquiry informed me it was time to screw the beer and go off for a run.

And a run we had, with several blue-and-whites showing up for the fun. My bud and I, of course, knew all the local routes and soon distanced ourselves (but not before the glorious moment early on when a patrol cop cornered me and said, “You wait right here until I get back with the other one!” Yessir).

I finally shook them off, and I remember making it to my front door, and holding the screen door in my hand and thinking, “Well, this is a hell of a Friday Night if I have to hunker down in front of the TV set with my siblings for the rest of the night.” I decided to go back and see what the cops were doing.

Well, what the cops were doing was watching for me. I had this great story about visiting my friend in the high-rise a couple of blocks south, but they had seen me and it was soon all over.

So they had me, and no real criminal case to make, so the sargeant took me home. This all happened so early that when he delivered me to the house it was well within my curfew. My mom is standing in the kitchen doing battle with a greasy frying pan. She doesn’t look up, just says, “Oh hello, dear.”

I’ve got this cop behind me and realize she hasn’t snapped to it yet, so I say, “Mom, he followed me home; can I keep him?”

Many moons ago I participated in a peaceful demonstration. A large group of young people walked chanting from Berri Square down to Metcalfe Avenue in downtown Montreal, and at this point were accosted by a swarm of police. We were chased from Metcalfe to Saint-Laurent Boulevard, a distance of twelve blocks and three metro stations, where we were suddenly faced with a row of riot cops blocking our way. It was only through adrenaline-rushed thinking and motion that my boyfriend and I were able to duck into a parking lot and hide sobbing in fear until it dissipated. A goodly number of demonstrators were beaten up, arrested for Protesting While Socialist and later released.

And what were we protesting?

Would you believe police brutality?

My latest and second infraction resides here

However, my first was when I was in high school. I was pulled over for being the driver of a pickup truck who was launching water balloons out of the bed. I got handcuffed and read my rights, only to have my folks pick me up at the station. I later got “paroled” with a formal lecture with some ‘youth group counseling lecture’ with some people from town. It was sort of embarrasing, as one of the lecturers was a middle school teacher of mine. No big deal. I think I turned out okay considering my brush with the long arm of the law . . .
But lately, it’s a different story. . .

Busted for beer - 1967 - best wisecrack opportunity

Dummies in the street - 1967 - thanks, bud

Busted for pot as a 2 yr to life felony in Houston - jail - 1971

Friend steals a car while I go crash in his bed - 1967 - heehee

PI outside of Austin - jail - 1975

Campfire in Big Sur - prison term - 1970

PI in New Orleans - jailish prison - 1983

PI in Houston - jail - laff riot - 1974

120 mph warning ticket - whoops - 1969

Other jovial moments in the company of our nation’s finest

Smuggling Dad - another whoops

Obviously (to me, anyway), I’m not going to get to them all.

I’ll start at the top. As a young fellow a friend of mine and I engaged the services of one Jimmy, attendant at a service station owned by our then hero, Sal Gambino, of the Houston PD’s motorcycle squad, to purchase for us a case of beer. We were 14 at the time. Jimmy’s delivery of the case of beer, to me, in the parking lot of the 7-11 convenience store, coincided wih the arrival of one of HPD’s finest. A spotlight inquiry informed me it was time to screw the beer and go off for a run.

And a run we had, with several blue-and-whites showing up for the fun. My bud and I, of course, knew all the local routes and soon distanced ourselves (but not before the glorious moment early on when a patrol cop cornered me and said, “You wait right here until I get back with the other one!” Yessir).

I finally shook them off, and I remember making it to my front door, and holding the screen door in my hand and thinking, “Well, this is a hell of a Friday Night if I have to hunker down in front of the TV set with my siblings for the rest of the night.” I decided to go back and see what the cops were doing.

Well, what the cops were doing was watching for me. I had this great story about visiting my friend in the high-rise a couple of blocks south, but they had seen me and it was soon all over.

So they had me, and no real criminal case to make, so the sargeant took me home. This all happened so early that when he delivered me to the house it was well within my curfew. My mom is standing in the kitchen doing battle with a greasy frying pan. She doesn’t look up, just says, “Oh hello, dear.”

I’ve got this cop behind me and realize she hasn’t snapped to it yet, so I say, “Mom, he followed me home; can I keep him?”

I went to high school in a small town in northern CA in the early Seventies, and the cops in that town were a bunch of Nazi-wannabes. We just didn’t know how abjectly stupid some of them were.

Late one Friday night, a friend and I were driving home from a party. We had a case of beer and a half-gallon plastic jug of Screwdriver on the back seat. I was blotto and had to pee–had to go BAD. So my buddy pulls down a side-street and stops near an alley. I go down the alley, drop trousers, plant my forehead against the wall and cut loose. Pssssssssssss…

Next thing I know, the wall is flashing red. A pair of hands slams me hard against the wall, then flings me down the alley (my pants are down around my ankles the whole time). A cop picks me off the pavement and flings me over the hood of the cop car (I was 190lbs) and on the other side, another cop picks me off the ground and slams me face-down on the hood.

Cop shines a flashlight in my face. “WHAT WERE YOU DOING DOWN THERE?”

“Takin’ a leak,” I say.

“BULLSHIT!” says the cop.

[Repeat prior two lines twice]

“Whatta you think I’m doing down there?” I asked, tucking my pecker back into my shorts.

The cop turns the flashlight down the alley; above my pee mark, there’s a little window about ten feet up the wall. He breaks into a sinister smile. “Two nights ago someone broke into a store through THAT window. We knew he’d come back to try it again.”

[Brain starts doing backflips about this time. I’m gonna get screwed for burglary. I’m gonna get the cell next to Charles Manson. I’m gonna get raped. I’m gonna get knifed in the yard.]
“If I were trying to break into a store, would I have my fucking pants around my ankles?”

Meanwhile, second cop goes through buddy’s car. Finds the case of beer, puts it on the cop-car’s hood. Finds the jug of vodka-and-OJ. “What’s this?” he asks. We’re so busted.

“Orange juice,” says my buddy. (He forgot to mention the other 50%.)

Without unscrewing the cap to verify this, the cop takes our word for it and sets the jug atop the case of beer. "Well, we’re gonna have to write you up for the beer, and you’ve got open containers. (Two beer cans on the floor.) He takes our drivers licenses.

As the first cop is calling in to report they’ve caught the burglars, a school friend of ours drives past the side street and sees what’s going on. The guy has the hottest car in town and the cops have long had a hard-on for busting him. Our friend lets out a shrill whistle, gives the cops the finger, and burns enough rubber to raise a thick grey cloud.

Orgasm for the cops!

They weigh the bird in the hand against the big bird in the bush. They hand us our licenses, set the beer and jug on the ground and tell us (pointing their fingers for emphasis), “STAY HERE! WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK!” They pile into their car and take off after the hot-rod (which they never caught).

My buddy and I are left standing there in silence, stunned by our sudden luck. Were the cops that fucking stupid? We chose not to look that gift horse in the mouth. We piled the booze into the car and got the hell outa there.

Gotta love those small-town cops.

This was after my first year in college. I was moving from my dorm to an apartment about a half mile down the street. Now, I didn’t have a car (still don’t) and the guy who was going to help me move had to leave early (his uncle died, can’t blame him.)

I had devised a method for moving some of the things. I would fill one of my big duffel bags full of as many books as I could carry, lug them down to my apartment, dump them on the floor. Wash, rinse repeat.

Soon, I got to the big stuff that I could not, under any circumstances, carry for half a mile. I was pondering what to do, and I figured I’d ask random people for rides. Ufortunately, being rather shy, I didn’t really know anyone, and felt very uncomfortable going up to random people and begging them to drive me down the street.

At this point, lots of other people were moving into the dorm, and ResLife had provided several dollies and shopping carts to help move things around. I grab a big shopping cart, and proceed up to my room. I fill it with stuff, and then proceed down the street to my apartment.

There I am, young college student, dressed horribly, with long, disgusting hair, pushing a grocery basket full of one 19" computer monitor, two big 8" JBL speakers, a JVC stero receiver, a JVD 200-disc CD player with about 160 CDs, and my old Power Computing Apple clone, down the side of the street. As I’m turing into my apartment parking lot, a campus police car pulls up aside me.

Cop: Excuse me, uh (gets a closer look) sir.
Me: Yes sir?
C: Who are you?
M: Friedo
C: Are you a student?
M: Yes sir
C: Can I see your student ID?
M: Sure (hands him student ID)
C: (writes down ID info on clipboard) So, what exactly are you doing with that cart?
M: Oh, I’m moving. See, I live in the dorm (points) and I’m moving there (points) and I don’t have a car…
C: (obviously seen this scenario before) OK, one of my guys saw you pushing this stuff down the street and got concerned.
M: Well that makes sense I guess

The cop then proceeded to write down my dorm room number and apartment number, I imagine so if someone reported their stereo and computer gear stolen, they’d know whodunit.

Not very exciting, I know, I just find the memory of my pushing that cart down the side of the street hilarious.