Saturday, July 25, 2009

Someone Told Her Wrong

A young woman gets stopped for traffic. The officer proceeds to write her a ticket. For whatever reason she decides she is going to refuse to sign it. The officer explains three times that she is only giving her promise to appear in court but she ain't having it. So it comes time for him to arrest her. He opens her door and she yells for him not to touch her. She's not having it. He has to pull her out of the car and arrest her. She screams, yells, and cries when the realization that she's going to jail hits her. At the jail when she's calmed down she is asked why she refused to sign the ticket to start with. She says she just wanted to get home to her family! Huh? Then she said that one of her friends told her that she really can refuse to sign the citation. I suggest when she sees that 'friend' again she slap the hell out of him for giving her bad advice. Had to have been a dipsh** lawyer or law student!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lunacy In the DA's Office

This maybe a regular feature here. Everyone, in every profession starts out wet behind the ears. Nobody expects them to be on top of their game for some time. Some people catch on quick and learn the ropes quickly and within a year or less are kicking ass and taking names. Others (like me) can be a bit slow learning and takes a while to catch their knack. However after some time and some experience start to catch on and kick ass and take names though from time to time have a 'duh' moment. Some get the same experiences over and over and can handle routine matters perfectly, but if they stray from their routine they are lost. Yet some others never seem to catch on and make the same mistakes over and over. Or, they make all new stupid mistakes and makes the rest of the crew wonder how in the hell did they pass the tests. Sadly, there are some officers whose work I review and shudder. I learned that quickly. However I was surprised when I learned this also applies to the district attorney's office.

Incident #1:

I was eating dinner when I got a call. Earlier that night a man had been arrested for aggravated assault of a family member. Generally, when we make an arrest for family violence we file a MOEP (magistrates order of emergency protection) which is a court order for the offender to stay away from his victim and not to assault, harass, contact, etc. The law says the victim can apply for it, or a peace officer on behalf of the victim, or a prosecutor. For whatever reason the original officers never filed the MOEP. We get called back and the victim is afraid and asks for one. The officer's call the DA's office and the assistant DA says they cannot file it because the relationship is landlord/tenant even though they live in the same house. The law defines a family as anyone sharing a household. So, this applies. It astounds me that this ADA does not realize he's not doing his part in trying to protect a victim here. I first told the officer to speak to the intake supervisor. However the more I thought about it, the madder I got and I called him back. After making sure the guy was still in jail (MOEPs are served in the jail before they are released on bond) I told the officer to fill out the MOEP application and fax it to the intake anyhow. If they don't want to file it, and something happens to that victim it will be on them!

Incident #2:

A warrant for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (layman's term auto theft). The guy first calls up to the office trying to tell us the car owner wants to drop the charges and asks if we can help him. We tell him no. The warrant is filed all he can do is post a bond, go to court and let the charges get dropped there. Then, he calls the car owner (ex wife, girlfriend or something) and offers her more child support money to get the charges dropped (I know classy guy). Then, he calls up and tells her if the case goes to court he will kill her. Now, any rational individual knows this is against the law. The charge is either tampering with a witness, or retaliation. However when the DA's office is contacted, they refuse the charge because they don't want to stack charges on the 'poor' guy! So, according to this assistant DA, a man with a felony case pending can threaten to kill the person who filed charges on him and the assistant DA is worried about stacking charges. Unbelievable!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Don't Care What He Has To Say

I came back to work after a few days off. I found a note from this guy. It took me a few minutes to recall who he was. It was one of those "I know this name but dammit! Can't place it! Oh yeah!!!" I'm guessing he got the two citations I sent him certified mail. Part of me wonders what could he possibly say. He's been cited and he has a court date. The hell with him! If he thought he was going to get away Scot free someone done told him wrong! I should have attached that note to a citation. I can see it now. He opens the marked envelope with a court notice, two citations, and a note reading "someone done told you wrong!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Game Player

The officer knew it was going to be a difficult stop. The guy's registration was expired, didn't have his driver's license with him, and didn't have any insurance. Yet, since it wasn't his car he didn't think he should be given any tickets. So when it comes time to sign the ticket he refuses to sign and demands the officer's supervisor. The supervisor is 20 miles away trying to catch up on paperwork when the officer calls. Not surprisingly, the supervisor is already irritated that he is behind and now he has to make a 20 mile drive because some fool doesn't want to sign the ticket. State law says if a violator refuses to sign the ticket the officer shall bring him/her immediately before a magistrate. Meaning the violator is arrested and brought to jail and will see a judge during the next court session. The law also says if the officer does not then he/she can lose their job. Some departments do not know this. They say write 'refused to sign' on the ticket and let the violator go. Even when they were made aware of this some administrators still haven't comprehended that. Anyhow, the officer tells the man a supervisor is coming and then says he has to leave and cannot wait! This guy demanded the supervisor to start with and when one comes he wants to leave. What kind of game is he playing here? He must have been trying to bully the officer by trying to make his job more difficult and intimidate him into giving up. The officer goes ahead and arrests the man for refusing to sign the citation. When the supervisor gets there the guy claims to be a former cop (so he should know better than to refuse to sign the ticket.). He denies he refused to sign the citation, he claims the officer never asked him to yet on the video the officer is handing him the ticket to sign and the guy won't shut up. I'm still trying to figure out what this guy's strategy was. Instead of driving off with three tickets he went to jail for refusing to give his promise to appear.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Think I Got Played

I was leaving dinner. I made a right turn and was in my own lane, minding my own business. This clown comes from the u-turn lane and cuts across three lanes cutting me off. Being a fan of the show Martin, I can picture;

"Hold up! Hold up! Oh no you did not shoot across three ***damn lanes cutting me off! Oh hell no!"

I pull him over and before I can even tell my dispatch what is happening he jumps out of the car apologizing. He says he's almost out of gas and he says we made eye contact and thought I let him go. I don't know what kind of crack he's on but we did not make any damn eye contact. Next he starts dropping another officer's name. He says they are good friends. That's nice but it's not going to make a difference. Then he doesn't have his driver's license. This is getting even better. I run him and find a license as well as a warrant for his arrest. Sweet! Dude flies across three lanes of traffic, claims our supposed 'eye contact' told him to do it and now he's going to jail. I hook him up for the warrant then he clutches his chest and fades in and out. He spills his entire medical history which nothing is life threatening. It all sounds like preventative type stuff. However, on the off chance this man is dying, nothing in the world is going to excuse me not taking action. So I call an ambulance and they check him out. Amazingly he is slightly better, but he can talk clearly when the ambulance arrives. Ever fiber in my being is screaming this guy is a con artist. He has a long history so he has to know how it works. He also has to know that I'm not going to waste resources sitting at the hospital over a single traffic warrant. Reluctantly I concede and he goes to the hospital. As I said, I'm not going to risk a death in custody and not having taken basic actions (i.e. calling the ambulance). My gut still says he conned me. However he better hope his address is current because today I'm sending two citations via certified mail for what I stopped him for.

I just got a call from his "good friend" the other officer who first made it clear they are not friends. The guy runs an extra job he works and is one of those who will drop names. He even told me he's known for taking his animals to the vet and demanding to be put ahead of all others. Dammit! Makes me really want to put this guy in jail now!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sorry Boss!

I was driving my supervisor today. I was driving him on a fact finding patrol to orient districts and activities. In other words we were going to dinner. Another officer calls me and I'm talking to him on my blue tooth. He's having problems with his report so I'm trying to explain what he ought to do. At the same time I am making a turn down a street off a main highway. There is a coffee shop and I happen to notice a fly honey wearing a red shirt and tight jeans. Well, I'm looking at her, talking on my blue tooth, and turning all at the same time. As you can tell this does not make for a good cocktail. I inadvertently turn into the wrong lane with traffic coming at me!

"Oh sh**!" I exclaim as I jerk the wheel and get into the correct lane.

"Sorry boss!"

I let him think I was distracted by the blue tooth. I didn't have the heart to tell him it was the fly honey that distracted me!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 08, 2009

After the complimentary phone call from the grateful wife (two posts prior) another call comes in. A woman from a bank calls up saying the parents of a missing teenager case we started yesterday came into the bank. Because of privacy laws she couldn't tell them anything. However since their son went missing she wanted to help, but didn't want to get jammed up. I faxed her something that should cover her in exchange for her telling me the missing person's credit card was used to check into a motel in Beaumont. I go to google and find the address and the phone number of the hotel and call it. The clerk there was no help. In this day and age she tells me they do not have computer records and the manager keeps them. I guess they have a folder where one can sign in under the name Mickey Mouse if they want to. To make a long story short I have Beaumont police make a stop out there and locate him. The detectives hadn't even touched the report yet. It's nice to start and close a case before the detectives even scratch their butt with it.

Later on I was getting something to drink when I get called and asked to come to a call. It was an injury to a child call. They already had charges on him however he had locked himself in his bedroom and wasn't coming out. Normally I hate these kids of situations but something about this got me excited. No way this guy was going to barricade himself in a bedroom. If he wasn't out by the time I got there that door was coming down. I was picturing all sorts of scenarios getting ready for a fight. A block before I arrive he comes out. Damn! When I get there everyone is crying because he's going to jail. He hit his son so hard he left some pretty nasty bruises. There's disciplining a child, and going overboard. However, the neighbors and other kids are mad at us for arresting him.

Misdemeanor Aggravated Assault

Two guys were literally partners in crime. From what I was told they smoked crack together, stole together, and robbed together. For some reason this relationship went sour. Last night they got into it and one of the guys got beat down. Today, in retaliation he took a blunt object (more than likely a bat) and beat his former friend almost to death. They are saying if he survives he'll be a vegetable. Officers went to do a welfare check and found the front door cracked. They knocked on the door and it fell in revealing the bloody carpet and walls. They check the house and find the guy almost dead. While homicide detectives were out and interviewing the girlfriend, the assailant calls. He says "you like what I did to *******? I'm gonna do that to you and your kids!" Now, I'm no detective but I'd take that as evidence of his guilt.

The Knuckleheaded Sergeant

I was trying to make my way to a weapons disturbance call. A man called in after a black male pointed a gun at his neighbor (come to find out his neighbor was getting robbed). I'm at an intersection when I spot a car going the wrong way. It's going west in the east bound lane. I watch it drive over the median into the correct lane, make a u-turn and come back. I then see the front of the car of caved in and has one working headlight. All the classic signs of a drunk who had just gotten into an accident. I cut in between some cars and go after the vehicle which takes a while stop. We pull into a parking lot and a 78 year old man with thick bottle glasses steps out. Okay, this is another explanation. I examine the damage and it looks old. Still, I check to see if anyone is working an accident looking for this vehicle and nothing. What gets me is that the front is caved in, both stickers have been out for over a year, and both airbags have been deployed. How the hell is he driving like this? I cannot let him drive off. I ask him if he has anyone he can call but he can't. Now, had he been about 30 years younger I can simply arrest him for all the traffic violations (called an instanter arrest), tow his car and be done with it. However no way I can instanter a 78 year old man simply because it was too dangerous for him to drive and plus it would look really, really bad. He lives way out of my district, yet the only option I can come up with is to have him park his car here and get another officer (who works until 2AM) to drive him home. I choose that option. The other officer takes the old man home.

This took place last night. Today I get to work and there is a message from the man's wife looking for the car. I call her and explain what happened. She then says I must be a man of God. Well, I wouldn't go that far with a compliment but I'm flattered nonetheless. She tells me that he is an Alzheimer's patient. They were staying at a hotel because their air conditioning at home went out. He was supposed to be going by the house to check on their animals and hours later I find him about 20 miles away! I had no idea the family had been looking for him (he wasn't reported missing at the time). So, turns out I made a good call on him. Because I felt so adamant that he was not driving away from that parking lot I more than likely prevented him, or someone else from getting hurt. His wife said he's a two time purple heart winner and he was a "knuckleheaded sergeant" who is used to taking orders, not giving them. I can certainly understand where he is coming from. He doesn't want to listen to his wife (don't most men). Yet he is a danger to himself and others on the road.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Misdemanor Homicides and Revelations

Texas Ghostrider had an interesting post. I have a similar post titled 'Misdemeanor Shooting.' The principal is the same. I remember a story an officer told me. I was in the academy and we had to do one ride-a-long as part of our training. At the time I worked at a grocery store and had a police sergeant come through my line so many times we became acquaintances. I asked him about doing a ride-a-long and told him I was in the police academy so he wouldn't dismiss me. He arranged an evening shift ride-a-long. To him it was a 'routine' shift. For me it was an adventure! I saw a call of a 15-year old acting disrespectful to his mother. It was the hood. He was a teen, no job yet wearing expensive sneakers. I remember the officer asking him how he paid for those shoes. The officer said he hustled but the kid denied it. When we entered the apartment the kid was holding a screwdriver which was promptly removed. The kid pushed his mother and was acting tough. So the officer picked him up and shoved him against the wall. He then looked at the mother and asked "is this how he shoved you, or like this!" The officer again rammed the kid into the wall. Now, even back then I knew the officer was going too far. However the statute of limitations has run out by now and plus I couldn't recall the officer's name if I was water boarded. The kid deserved it though.

Anyway, in relation to Ghostrider's post... The officer told me a story. We passed some apartment complexes that were full of crooks. He told me he made a shooting scene out there one evening. The victim was a drug dealer. He was shot by a rival drug dealer and was still alive when the officer arrived. The officer saw this young man die. I think he had kids but he got caught up in the 'game' out there and paid with his life. Yet before he died, the drug dealer apparently came to a revelation. He realized he f***** up his life and said so to the officer. The officer bluntly said that he's dying because of the choices he made. The drug dealer realized that before he died. That always made me wonder. Can someone get into heaven making that final realization at the last minute? Normally I don't care about drug dealers, however in the case of this young man, I do hope so. It's just tragic it took his death for him to realize it.