Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I got a little reminder in basic police wisdom today. I hear a call go out that a man is holding a gun to a child's head. The first thing that popped into my mind is a crazed lunatic holding a child hostage with a pistol to the head. I'm many miles away but I felt it prudent to head that way. I looked at the computer looking for the call and find another call at the same location. Well I click on the first call so I can read the map. Had I bothered to look at the other call slip I'd have seen an off duty officer was calling in with robbery suspects at gunpoint. To be fair I was driving so it wasn't really prudent to go reading all the call slips while rushing down the freeway! Turns out that "child" just robbed someone and happened to get caught by an off duty officer. Just a reminder what dispatch says isn't always the situation you're facing!

An officer is riding through a hood apartment complex when he finds a stolen car. As he is recovering it he hears several gunshots then sees a group of people running past him. A search of the area turns up a gunshot victim outside an apartment that is occupied by dope dealers and dope heads. He gets taken to the hospital. As we're holding the scene there is a crowd of people standing outside the trouble apartment talking amongst themselves. No doubt they are talking about the shooting. No doubt they know who and why the shooting took place but they will never tell us. A woman drives by us in a car and mumbles "it all started where those people are standing" and keeps going. She's trying to give us a hint and help us out but can't be seen talking to us. She has to live there. Poor woman.
A couple slept soundly as at least two burglars came into their house and stole their keys and then two cars belonging to the family. Later on in the day the same burglars, using another stolen car, kick in a door in broad daylight. An alert neighbor called police and the two were arrested and charged with burglary. One of the burglars tells where the cars from the previous burglary was. One of them was later recovered by an officer working an extra job. So, two stolen cars recovered, and two burglars off the streets. The annoying thing is one of the crooks is just 17 and already facing two felonies. Knowing this place he will be out at a ripe young age probably to commit more violent crimes against people!

A woman gets into a minor accident earlier in the day and makes a report with another agency. She later calls us and is afraid because she gave her information to the other party in the accident. She demands another report! She is told nope!
An officer enters a major freeway and spots two vehicles racing at about 120 MPH and cutting in and out of lanes amongst traffic. He catches one of them as the other takes off. The one who stopped realizes he's being arrested and doesn't want to go alone so he tells who his friend is. His friend actually agrees to come back to the scene and goes to jail with his friend. Talk about a friend!

There is a sandwich shop that has an unwelcome guest. Some bum who keeps coming onto the property drunk and harassing customers for money. He keeps getting arrested and charged with criminal trespass. This last time on the way to jail he asks the arresting officer when will he give up on arresting him!

In the annuls of dumb criminals here is one for the books. Two officers are on bicycle patrol through a bad apartment complex when they approach a guy. As they get closer he blurts out that he is a parolee and had just smoked marijuana. The officers quickly determine he doesn't live on the property so he is arrested for trespass. On his way to jail he protests that he can't be arrested because his rights weren't read! What a stupid ass!
Everyone knows when there is an accident that a dozen wreckers get there before any emergency personnel. People often wish we had a response time like wrecker drivers. In this case a wrecker driver who had warrants and a suspended license was speeding to a crash when seen by an officer. The wrecker driver actually fled from the officer until he got to the scene. He went to jail and his tow truck got towed!

Another guy tried to run from an officer. He ran to his home and pulled into his driveway. Perhaps he thought he was safe. When he realized he wasn't safe he shouted "I'm not giving you my name I ain't giving you sh**!" A stellar member of the community to be sure!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I was catching up on paperwork when I got asked to tag along for a felony warrant service. Not being able to resist a good time I said sure. A group of young men were burglarizing houses for another person and then bring the stolen goods to his house where they were stored. He had been running around bragging to his friends that the "cops are too f****** stupid" to catch him. His house was the first one we hit. We get him no problem. Of course he uses "I ain't did nothing" line. Yet he didn't say it with any passion. He said in a tone that suggests it was expected of him to say it to continue the game. Keep in mind had the police just come in my house and said they had a felony warrant I'd act out the "aggravated" portion of the statute! As I'm walking out to the car I tell him his little burglar ring is over. I then add "by the way who is too stupid to catch you?" He looks at me and replies with an insincere "what are you talking about!" I tell him we hear he's been saying we're too stupid to get him. He laughs as he denies it! We then go to the next house and park right behind it. As we walk around to the front door we hear the front door shut. We start knocking and nothing, nada, zilch! Someone is hunkered down in there trying to wait us out. We debate kicking in the door and just going in (felony warrant) versus trying out other options. As we're pursuing an option a man calls into our dispatch wanting to know why the cops are at his house. He claims his neighbor called. Problem is that I talked to his neighbor and she didn't call! The only one who could have called was inside that house! He further tells dispatch that nobody is in his house! This gives us an angle to use. I call him and he repeats his story. I then tell him what I know and that I want son #2 for a felony warrant. I tell him not to lie to me because I know his neighbor didn't call. I tell him either there is a burglar in his house or it's his son and asked him to treat me like I treat him. It worked, sort of. He tells me son #5 is in the house. I reassure him I don't want son #5 and if it is just him all he has to do is talk to us and we'll leave him alone. After some more reassurances son #5 answers the door and says his older brother is inside. We weren't expecting son #4 (at first I thought he was our subject). After we clear the house we start chewing into the two boys who are telling one lie after another. Even when confronted with their lives son #5 doesn't skip a beat when changing his story to cover up his exposed lie. I imagine the whole family lies to each other so much it's pathetic. Unfortunately for son #4 he has traffic warrants which he claims his fugitive brother used his name and the warrants aren't his. Well, technically they are and really I didn't give a damn! He hid in his house for an hour and wants to play games with us so we'll humor him and put him in jail for "his" warrants and let him clear that up on his own!

The rest of the night was mostly uneventful. Until I spotted some fool driving on the wrong side of the road with cars swerving to avoid him. I pull him over and in a thick accent says "my bad!" He isn't drunk, he says he is not familiar with the area as he is from the southside. I guess they don't drive on the right side of the road on the southside. He has an assault warrant for his arrest so he takes a trip anyway.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Officers have a notorious reputation for divorce. I consider myself a statistic just another divorced cop myself. However I digress. I know an officer going through a separation. He can't get divorced yet because his wife hasn't given birth yet. Ouch! Well her boyfriend decided to make a false ad on Craig's List with the officer's email address looking for gay sex! I guess dumb ass doesn't know that's a crime now. I want to file charges on the guy myself but the officer wants to handle it himself.

A teenager with mental problems along with alcohol and drug use decides to take a shotgun and start shooting slugs throughout the apartment. With slugs they are lucky they didn't pierce the walls and kill or injure someone in another apartment. When officers get there he is gone with the shotgun. He comes back later and his mother claims she got rid of the shotgun but can't quite remember where she put it. Okay that's a lie right there. They later learn the mother lies about who she is so they return and arrest her for fail to ID. Her lying caught up to her that night.

Someone decided to shoot up another hood apartment complex. We get there and of course the gunmen are gone but the entire complex was out "seeing what was going on." There were maybe five of us and about a hundred people milling about. Many of them not fans of the police. One guy walked right by us not even acknowledging our presence muttering "I'm gonna beat that n***** ass! I'm gonna beat that ass!" Wonder what his issue was. Another guy comes walking his pit bull and actually stops to thank us for being out there. He said there was too much "bullsh**" going on out in that complex. He's right about that but I couldn't tell if he was being sincere or sarcastic. As I was leaving I looked up and saw little children looking down from a second story window. I smiled and waved at them and they smiled and waved back. Poor kids have to live in that rat hole apartment complex.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A woman makes an appointment for some meeting and asks her mother to watch her five kids ranging in age from 16 months to 8 years. About five minutes before the meeting she calls her mother who says she is around the corner. So the woman leaves. About half an hour later the 8 year old calls saying he is home alone with the kids and scared to death. The officers arrive and get pissed off that these young kids are alone. The father is located and comes home and has no idea his wife left the kids. The woman's mother eventually shows up apologizing saying she lied when she said she was around the corner. She said she was really still in bed and didn't want her daughter to miss her meeting so she told her to leave.

A wrecker driver is speeding to an accident in hopes of getting a tow. A friend of mine spots him and tries to stop him. The wrecker driver flees and starts a pursuit. He is eventually caught and arrested. His excuse? He was rushing to an accident scene oh, and he had a suspended license! Another wrecker was called to tow his wrecker. I wonder if he got fired by his wrecker company.

In another pursuit a guy runs a stop sign and flees from the officer. He pulls into his driveway and runs into the yard. He is caught and arrested and when asked his name "f*** y'all I ain't telling y'all sh**!" Damn I wish I was on that scene!
The shift starts with an officer following a "rolling stolen" vehicle. Units from further away start en route with one notable exception. The officer ran the plate on his computer as they passed going opposite directions. About a minute later the stolen hit comes through. So the officer has to make a quick U-turn and try to catch up to the stolen car. Apparently the driver noticed the officer make the quick U-turn and realizing he's going after him so he makes a quick turn and guns the engine. The high speed catch-up goes right in the middle of a particular officer's district. The officer calls for him to help catch him and silence. They bump the officer again and nothing. I have to shake my head. This officer has a bad history of not answering his radio and being absent when something is going down. Needless to say the stolen car gets away and people are cursing the officer who never answered his radio. He later claimed he was talking to a "belligerent" citizen and had his radio down. How convenient!

Later on in the shift an officer sees a dirty looking woman sitting on a curb. At the time he thinks nothing of it. About two hours later as he is passing through the same intersection she is still there and hadn't moved. So he goes to check on her and she claims she used to be a beautiful woman. Unfortunately the government conspired to make her ugly and did so. She went to the psychiatric hospital!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It was one of those nights I was tired. I really didn't feel like doing anything if I didn't have to. It was the end of the night and time to head home. I notice a truck in the other lane and decide to run the license plate. The return comes back to some 1980s model car that isn't manufactured anymore! Okay now I'm going to do something! I get in behind the truck and hit the lights to pull it over. We turn north on a road and I'm waiting for him to stop. Then I notice something odd. The last digit in the truck's plate wasn't what I entered into the computer. Uh oh! I ran the wrong damn plate! Great! Now I am behind this truck with my lights on with other cars on the road watching me. I spot the nearest crossover, tap my air horn a couple of times and make a sudden U-turn heading back the other way. I accelerate a little to give the impression that I'm going to an emergency call. When I'm safely out of sight I shut everything down, take a look around and say "geez I hope nobody saw that!"

I told my supervisor what I did. He laughed at me. I told him I learned that little trick from my dad. He told me a tale once on night shift he wasn't paying attention and wound driving the wrong way down a road. So he activated his emergency equipment to make people think he was going to an emergency call then he turned off the nearest side street and hid. My supervisor told me a tale of how he and his partner were looking for a fugitive couple who kept eluding them. So they decide to hit their house at 3 in the morning. They black out the cars and get out. The partner is retrieving a shotgun which accidentally hits the siren button and now everyone knows they are there ruining the surprise!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hindsight is always 20/20. The man in his late 50s had been depressed for a long time and taking psychiatric medications. This is never a good recipe. His daughter and grandson went out to run some errands. As they pulled into the driveway and opened the garage they were horribly greeted by the image of their relative hanging dead in the garage! She cried over and over "I never should have left him alone!" To have to live with that "coulda shoulda woulda" is terrible. Shame on him for putting his own family through that torture!

I'd been hearing of a con man who is living with a disabled old woman and her alcoholic daughter. Their house tends to be a meeting ground for drunks, drug users, thieves, and other types of societies undesirables. I'm just glad they don't live in my neighborhood. One of my officers has been trying to arrest the con man, R for months but can't get a good case on him. A fight call drops at that address. I'm the first one there and I meet R for the first time. He looks like a little runt. I find the woman that was hit and she's lit up and not making sense. As I'm trying to get the story a vehicle drives past and everyone points and says "there he is!" I watch which way he goes (past experience from rushing into the car putting it in gear then realizing I didn't see which way my target went). I go after him and catch him in his driveway. I rush out, put him in cuffs and stuff him in my car. After about another hour of shifting through stories I determine my new friend and R were fighting in the driveway and drunk woman tried to either break it up or get involved and inadvertently got herself hit in the eye. No charges were filed and I take the guy home. I go back to the original house and find some other people have shown up. One is chubby, ugly as hell guy. My officer tells me he's a known male prostitute. I shake my head. I really try not to judge other people but sometimes other people don't make it easy.