I’m in Seattle after being nearly arrested coming back into the US - or at least have Border Patrol “search” my rental car for 6 hours before returning it to me in cardboard boxes for not knowing what line to stop at at the Blythe crossing from BC. Oh and I went to college in Seattle 20 years ago before moving out of the state. It’s important.
Stopped on Alaskan Way south of town for speeding. The rental car has CA plates so I think it is more of a case of DWC (Driving while Californian). Copy takes my Colorado license and rental agreement and goes back to his car like they always do. 10 minutes - 15 minutes - 20 minutes later he hasn’t come back and a second cop pulls up with HIS lights and spotlight on. I look at Mrs Cad and say, “I think I’m about to be arrested.” and being paranoid I think it has to do with the Border incident. 10 more minutes and the original officer comes up to my window.
“Sir, you used to have a license in this state.”
[stammering knowing I’m about to be fitted with steel bracelets] “Yes I went to u-dub. It’s number <give license number I still remember even though in hindsight he obviously had it already>.”
“Be a little slower sir.” [hands back license and no ticket then takes off]
On I-65 in Indianapolis I was pulled over when the limit dropped from 65 to 55. I had been going 70 and missed the sign.
Highway patrolman walks up to me and sees that I look like hell warmed over. I have bits of dried blood and vomit on the sleeve of my shirt and he asked me about it.
I told the office I has witnessed a serious wreck on I-65 south of Indy. I and another man pulled a driver out of one vehicle and attempted CPR. The patient’s stomach contents were vomited up, not an entirely uncommon occurrence. Guess my hand position was a little low on his chest.
The ambulance came, picked the patient up, and made haste. I stayed long enough to give a brief account of what happened to the investigating officer. And then I went on my way. Fast forward an hour and I got stopped in Indy.
After explaining all this to the patrolman who stopped me he took my license and rental agreement and went back to his car. Took a long time. And he came back, thanked me for my efforts to help, and issued me a ticket anyway.
Driving on I70 through Missouri. Get pulled over. I had seen the police car from way ahead, so i wasn’t speeding. I was in the slow lane. He asks for license and registration, barely glances at them. Walks all the way around the van (Honda Odyssey, relatively new). Looks through the windows. Says, “My wife wants one of these, do you like it?” We chatted for a few minutes, then I was on my way. That was it. (Seriously - car shopping?)
I pulled over off of I70 in Missouri. On an off ramp, so I’m not on the Interstate. But it’s between Columbia and St. Louis. Middle of nothing but farm country. My son had a nose bleed, a bad one. So I pulled over to help him out. I stop the car, hit the button to open his sliding door, and before I can do anything else the largest wasp you have ever seen buzzes into the car. My kids are out of the car* and running down the side of the off ramp screaming like there’s a serial killer after them, my son is covered in blood (from his nose), and I am chasing them down (safety people! get off the road and get back here). I had just gotten them back to the van when, yes, the Missouri State Police showed up. Fortunately they missed the running and screaming part. Despite the extremely odd appearance of the whole thing, we explained it all (with excited kid interjections about HUGE WASPS), and I got sent on my way. It’s all in the ti-MING, as my husband likes to say.
It’s amazing how fast those kids moved when the wasp arrived. It normally would take them a short eternity, give or take 5-10 minutes, to get in or out of their seats. They were out of those seats in less than 10 seconds. A feat never replicated since.
I had just returned to college after summer break and was in my VW bug with 3 of my friends. It was 98 degrees and 98% humidity and my bug had no a/c. In order to fool ourselves into thinking we weren’t so stiflingly hot, we were signing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. We passed a cop car who gave us the stank eye and followed us until we came to a stop sign, then he flipped his lights and motioned to us to pull over. After making us all get out of the car and checking us for alcohol on our breath, he shook his head and let us go. I don’t know how he would have written up a ticket for us…suspicious caroling while driving?
Well I stopped before the cop caught up to me and I was already out of the car, so he technically didn’t pull me over, and my 3 other ‘drunken’ friends were also out of my car but their multiple empty bottles were all over the inside of car and obvious to anyone who looked. I assume the reason he came after me was something to do with a speed limit that was set too low for the speed I was driving at but he never did say why.
The officer escorted me back to the car as that is where I left my license, in my backpack right alongside those bottles mentioned above. I retrieved my license and handed it to the officer. Archangel Micheal, revealing himself, then told the officer that the he was not needed here as he was watching over us. The officer quickly gave me back my license, wished me a good evening and hurried back to his car and drove off.
I’ve done that! After a summer nor’easter in Virginia, the cheap bastards at Blockbuster forced us to stay open despite the fact that we had no power. (We closed when it got too dark to see.) 90-plus degrees in there for three straight days, and we sang Christmas carols.
Back in the early 80s I drove a 1959 Edsel Villager station wagon as a daily car. Not driving a car much it worked and I got it and rebuilt it cheap. And it was really easy to spot in a parking lot. I was heading for a friends house out in the country for our usual Thursday night bull session when a local cop passed me heading the opposite way. All of a sudden I hear rubber squealing and look in my rear view to see said cop pulling a bootleg 180 in the middle of the road. No biggie – he got an emergency call. I’ll just pull off the road and let him go past.
He doesn’t – he pulls across my nose in a full felony stop position. My hands are frozen at 10 and 2 and I’m this close to a heart attack. He gets out keeping his car between us and orders me “Get out of your vehicle”. Holy shit! Did someone just murder some family and escape in an Edsel? “Step to the front of your vehicle”. Dude – you got a badge and a gun; I’m stepping anywhere you say. He pulls a little camera out of his pocket, takes a couple pics, and says “Thanks” and starts to get back in his car.
My heart is racing out of control and I actually said “You moron! What the fuck was all this for”. He stops and squares himself up and says “A couple weeks back I saw your car and mentioned it to my Chief when I turned the car over to him for the next shift. He accused me of drinking on duty and seeing things and has been ribbing me about it ever since. If I saw you again I was getting a picture even if I had to shoot one of your tires out”. Well, I had to give him points for honesty.
I had some other adventures with that beast but that was my weirdest stop with it.
Years ago I was driving home from work, on the short route I had driven thousands of times before, and came up to an accident scene that must have happened mere minutes before. There was a police officer already on the scene directing traffic because the accident had taken out the power to the area. This was at an intersection going onto a bridge over the freeway with an off-ramp to the left.
It was very dark and the officer was using his flashlight to do the traffic direction thing they do. I pulled up and mostly stopped but thought the officer waved me through. It turns out what I interpreted as his go-ahead was the motion of his flashlight as he turned around to wave someone through from the off-ramp. I went, and so did a car from the off-ramp. I saw the car coming but I was ahead so I sped up a little.
The officer then chased me, on foot, for probably a hundred feet yelling, “pull over, pull over!” I did, though I was a little tempted just to keep going. I then sat there on the shoulder of the bridge for ten minutes while he went back to directing traffic while an ambulance and more police showed up. My adrenaline was up and I was getting angry at the injustice of my situation. When the cop finally came up to my window I starting arguing with him that his signals were unclear and that this was his fault, and that he obviously had more important things to be doing than chasing me down the road at that moment. He lectured me that there were always people rubbernecking accidents and not paying attention, and it gets people killed. I argued with him for several minutes. He finally shut me up by asking if the stoplight two intersections back was out. Total gotcha question. I didn’t know. I didn’t think it was relevant, but it made me quickly realize he was a cop and that arguing his incompetence was a really stupid thing to do. I probably could have apologized profusely for being distracted and gotten off with a lecture. Instead I was cited with “failure to obey a police officer” or some local ordinance to that effect.
I still shake my head that I was once pulled over by an officer who was on foot.
I’ve only been pulled over three times, and never got a ticket.
Once, I was pulled over for going into the left turn lane too early. I asked the cop what the rule was; he didn’t answer and just warned me.
The second time, they pulled me over for wearing earphones to listen to my iPad. That’s illegal in NY – though you can use a single earphone. I got a warning.
The third time, I got caught going the wrong way down a one-way street. There was a lot of traffic downtown that day and I was trying to bring dinner back. I didn’t see the “Do Not Enter” sign (it was hidden from me by a big van making a turn) and the cop pulled me over a block away. When he asked if I knew what I had done, I honestly had no idea.
He went back to his car, but after a minute he came back and said that, because things were so confused, he’d let me off. I thanked him profusely.
I do believe that in all cases, the fact that I was a white man with gray hair helped me immensely.
Another one that isn’t really weird but I shake my head at:
The first time I was pulled over was when I was 16 and had recently received my license. This predates cell phones by a number of years. I was coming back from playing some volleyball at the local sand pit. At the time I was into decking my car out with an overpowered car audio system and I did all the poor wiring myself.
As I was driving I realized something had come loose and one of my amps had turned off. This was on a fairly rural road so I wasn’t paying much attention, and bent over to fiddle with the switches that controlled everything. It seems I didn’t do a very good job of staying in my lane, though to be fair there was no stripe on the road. Shortly after this an SUV comes up right behind my small car, with headlights blaring in. I thought he must want to go faster to tailgate me like that, so I sped up. He pulls up again, so I sped up again. Then the cop popped his lights. He didn’t appreciate my explanation that I was swerving because I was messing with a stereo, or speeding up because he was too close. I received a citation for failure to stay in my lane, speeding, and no seat belt.
The kicker is that I had turned off the ignition but neglected to turn off my headlights or power off my stereo, although I did mute it. My car wouldn’t start because the battery was drained. Since I had been down playing volleyball I didn’t have any shoes with me so walking anywhere would have been painful. I was forced to walk back up to the cop, knock on his window, and ask for a ride home. He seemed a bit put out but he gave me a ride the mile or so to my house. It was an awkward few minutes.
I think I was very lucky to look like a stereotypical stupid white kid in both of the encounters I related above. Arguing with a cop for minutes or going back up and knocking on a cops window could have gone very wrong under different circumstances.
There is the time I flipped the bird to a uniformed cop on his way to work in his personal car after he wouldn’t let me merge. At the time, I was rushing between two jobs, getting changed in the car (so driving with no seatbelt and barefoot) - after flipping the bird next thing I saw was a badge waving out the window at me.
Then there was the time that I got caught at 160km/h in a 60 zone - long, straight 3 lane avenue at 2 am - ony one car the entire 2-3 km I could see down the road, saw his brake lights come on so slowed down, saw the lights flash again, so slowed down some more - finally saw that it was a marked car, he pulled in behind me and the lights came on - his first words “I don’t know how fast you were going, but it was at least 100”. I didn’t argue - just listened to his riot act and then left. (he never got me locked in on radar)
Then there was the time I was going home after a dinner with Dad, drifted my way around a around-a-bout just for the hell of it, about 600m down the road, saw the familiar red and blues and think “oh shit” - turns our he was pulling me over about my lights (was using fog lights as my pop-up headlights were jammed) was chatting to me when a car comes rushing up and excited passenger gets out to tell him about a suspected drunk driver. Cop decides he has more important things to do and rushes off to catch the drunk.
Then there’s the time I got caught at 103 in a 50 (50 over is court appearance) - see the marked car pulling a u-turn so I stop in a very safe police. Hop out and chat to the officer - he writes me up for 99 (a $490 fine I was very happy to get)
The other stop that went well, after work (finished at 9:30pm) I went to the local bottle store to pick up a slab - left the carpark forgetting to turn on my lights. Naturally I get pulled over, and it being a Friday night the first question was if I had been drinking - pointed to the 24 pack in the passenger seat and said “not yet” - he let me go on my way.
About six months a go I was coming home in a rental vehicle that I wasn’t quite used to - a nicely appointed new Ford Explorer that just liked to drive really quick and smooth. In Maryland you can generally run up to +14 over the speed limit on the interstates before MSP pulls you over, and I had forgotten that the road dropped from 65 to 55 and was still rolling at around 73.
I came around a curve, spotted the trooper on the side of the road and just pulled right over as soon as I saw him put his car in gear. I was stopped, license & registration in hand out the window before he pulled up. Soon after he walked up, chuckling - “So, do you know why you pulled over and offered me your license and registration before I even turned on my lights?”
As is pretty standard with a clean record I got a written warning for my efforts.
Earlier today at work I was outside a hospital where we had just reported on a story where a couple guys had kinda sorta been chased by police to the hospital as they were driving a friend who had been wounded in a shooting. Once it got sorted out they were not charged with any traffic citations for not stopping for the police (a reasonable thing it seems).
Meanwhile there was some question as to whether my reporter and I were allowed on the spot of land we occupied to do our report, so a local officer wandered over to make sure everything was okay. It was, and we were, and he was relieved that he didn’t have to have any trouble with us over our doing our respective jobs, and he left happy.
So happy that as he drove away in his Crown Vic he yelled “I Love You Channel 9!” to which I screamed back “I Love You Too Officer”, in keeping with the situation…
18 years old. I’m a local living in a college town while going there my freshman year. My best friend lives on the complete opposite side of town. I go over to his house a lot and hang out with him and his sister and her friends. I don’t drink.
As I do hundreds of times, I leave late at night and drive home. Around 3am. I’m tired and I run straight through a red light right before main street. I just didn’t see it. I almost run into a Sheriff’s Deputy. I pretty much pull myself over at that point and wait for him. He asks me if I’m drinking, what I’m doing, etc. I tell the truth (disclaimer: Generally I am a “never, ever talk to cops for any reason” person). He takes my information and hands me his card. He tells me he can’t write me a citation right then, and I need to call him in the morning. He says he’ll come to my house if I don’t call. I call him and he says “OK, since you told the truth and you called me like you promised, I’m not going to write you up for anything.”
2a,2b- Not traffic stops, but during that summer I am accosted twice by cops in weird situations.
a. Right after I graduated from high school (background: I am about as “clean cut” looking as possible, I won academic scholarships, highest SAT in my class, very nerdy, while poor my name is literally used in commercials by HUD as representing the epitome of upper-class whiteness,etc) I went to a grocery store in my town I have never been to. Some weird manager walks by and whispers that he’s been "watching my friend (someone I’ve never seen in my life) and he is keeping an eye on me. I am then stopped by cops as I was exiting, and accused of shoplifting- because I was wearing a watch.
b. I was standing on a second floor porch, when I saw a cop run up the side walk and up the stairs as fast as he could. Then he demanded to know what I was hiding behind my back, because I was leaning against the wall standing on my porch and I wasn’t doing the Hokey pokey or something.
Driving across the country westbound on I-90 in the middle of the night. I saw a police officer. I chose not to slow down - I was only going 7 over. He pulled me over. He came up to my window and asked me if I had any drugs in my car. I told him no, of course not.
I asked why I had been pulled over and he told me it was because I had too much hanging from my rearview mirror (i had a few trinkets hanging from it). He then told me to take all of it off, and watched me do so. This was in the middle of the night, there was no way that was the reason he pulled me over.
While I was doing it, he said, “Ma’am, is that marijuana in your cupholder?”
Earlier in the day I had stopped at DQ and gotten a blizzard, and it spilled out of the cup. It was a piece of chocolate chip I missed while cleaning. I picked it up and held it out to him.
“Does this look like Marijuana?” At this point I wasn’t taking him seriously. He laughed and told me to have a good night. Didn’t run my plates or issue a ticket. I think he was just bored.