At least that's what she said.
It was a week-end night, and we were short on cars due to maintenance issues, so a partner and I doubled up and we went out to see what we could find.
As we were rolling through the club district, we happened to spot a car in reverse backing down the street at a pretty high speed. we watch it drive backwards about three quarters of a city block to slide into a parking space, and as soon as the driver parallel parks it, I pull up next to it and block it in, hitting the lights while my partner puts the stop out over the air. As he's doing that, I get out and introduce myself to our latest customer, a black male about 35 years old who is nervous as all hell.
The car has an odor of a substance that I'm quite familiar with, so I put it to him: "How come this car smells like weed?" The driver begins to visibly shake. He agrees with me, but says that it's not his weed and not his car. It turns out the driver is just a valet for a so-called "gentleman's club" up the block. He's sweating bullets because, as it turns out, he's only been out of prison for about a month. That should tell you something about this particular club, right there. But the club's manager sees the stop and verifies that the guy is indeed the valet, and he tells us that the car belongs to one of the dancers, who is about to get off for the night. my partner and I confer briefly and we tell the manager to go get the car's owner while we deal with the valet's driving issues.
Now the valet's being pretty cooperative, even consenting to letting us search him, and I can actually appreciate the fact that he's got what at least looks like a straight job after doing 15 years inside. So we call for an available narcotics dog and I write him out two warning notices for his infraction (improper backing and no seat belt), taking as long as I can to give the K9 time to arrive. The dog shows up in a few minutes and I give the valet his warning notices--no fine and no points because he was respectful and cooperative and I didn't feel like jamming him up--and then my partner had him stand aside (and away from the club) while Riker the Landshark did his thing. As expected, the dog hit on the center console and the ash tray, and now we've got all the probable cause we need to search the car thoroughly. But before we can start, Mo'Neek, the owner of the car, appears. (Yes, that's her real first name. I shit you not.)
"Hey! That's my car! Excuse me! Ya'll can't be putting that dog up in my car like that!"
But alas, we can. And we did. And I go into the car and find her smoking device and two zips of weed in the console and three roaches in the ashtray. I hold up the pipe. "This yours?"
She doesn't even try to lie. "That don't make no difference if it is or it ain't. You don't get to put that nasty dog in my car and you need a warrant before you can touch anything in there!"
"Don't tell me," my partner says. "You're working here to put yourself through law school."
I almost told her that the dog was a lot cleaner than her dirty, trash-filled car but I bit my tongue.
In the end, I took the weed and the pipe and handed Mo'Neek a couple of misdemeanor mandatory appearance citations for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. I let her know that she had to show up in court in a couple of weeks and that when she didn't show up (I didn't even bother saying "if") we'd be coming around to serve the warrant either here or at her home address. I also advised her as a courtesy that her driver's license was suspended/revoked and that if we caught her driving that car, she'd be getting locked up.
Of course she swore up and down that she'd paid her tickets and that her license was good, but then again, almost everyone operating after suspension says that. And I know that she won't get her license fixed any time soon but I'm actually good with that, because now that I know her car and where she lives and works, I doubt that it'll be too hard to find her driving around again. You see, I'm betting that when I do find her driving and I lock her up for operating after suspension, I'll get another crack at her car and odds are pretty good that I'll probably get more weed or maybe something even better. So she'll go into my "perp bank" folder and I'll keep an eye out for her car on those slower nights when I need a lock-up but can't find anything else. It's always good to keep a few of those in reserve.
The funniest part? When we left, she was yelling at the club manager and telling him that he or the valet needed to come up with some money since it was their fault that she just got busted.
Some people's kids...
'Twas the Night Before Christmas.... Again....
6 months ago