Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ya'll can't be putting that dog up in my car like that!

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...


Damsel Underdressed said...

You could have ended this post with the very first line. You already had me cracking up. Great story!

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

. . . taking as long as I can to give the K9 time to arrive . . .

You may want to take this out. If it is true then the court will suppress the mj.

Officer Krupke said...

No they won't. Not even in Mo'Neek's public defender finds this blog, which I doubt seriously. It's still a reasonable delay as I must write my tickets legibly, check off all the boxes, and wait for my records checks via dispatch.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Yes, but you aren't allowed to write slower than you normally would in order to wait for the dog. That is where your behavior violated the Fourth Amendment here.

Officer Krupke said...

Would you by chance have case law to cite?

I mean, I've read the 4th Amendment a few times and it doesn't say a thing in there about the speed with which a police officer must scratch out a ticket.

Believe me, I've been playing this game for a lot of years. I know how it works. If it were proven that I just stalled for half an hour while waiting on the dog, that would be one thing, but that wasn't the case here.

But if you disagree, feel free to let the public defender or the court know your opinion on this case.

Oh that's right...I've never told you or anyone else my name or where I work, have I? Darn.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...


2. Remember, I am not trying to get you in trouble here. I am try to keep you out of trouble. Can you imagine how heartbroken I would be if you lost your mj conviction? That is how you keep people safe from the demon weed.

Officer Krupke said...

Aw, and here I thought you'd have something better than a generic Google search. But I'm familiar with the concept, and if it's necessary for me to write slowly so as to be able to produce a legible ticket or two, well that's just fine and ok. And had I finished writing the two warnings prior to the arrival of the dog...well I'd have just written the fellow a few more--I had plenty of violations that I could have cited.

Like I said, I've been playing this game for a while. I play it well and always within the bounds set by the rules.

Officer Krupke said...

Oh, and by the way...I couldn't care less about marijuana except for the fact that it's currently illegal, and that makes it an easter egg in the unending easter egg hunt that my job represents.

If you want to be a player, you need to know that I'm a player too, only on the other side. And I enjoy the game and I always play to win.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Well, if you were writing slowly to write legibly, then that is not the same thing as writing slowly for purposes of waiting for the k9 unit to arrive. Which was it? It looks like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth here. Maybe best to just change the original post to say that you were writing slowly so that the warnings to the valet would be legible (as long as that is the truth of the matter).

I appreciate that your job is to enforce the law, but remember, violating the Fourth Amendment makes you a lawbreaker.

Officer Krupke said...

Look, I don't pretend to be an expert on how to cook and serve fries, so do me a favor and don't try to tell me how to do my job, ok? I've probably forgotten more about Constitutional law than you'll ever learn so if you're of a mind to take someone to school, try it with someone else.

But I do appreciate you stopping by. Be sure and check back as I update this site as often as interesting things happen.

Mad Jack said...

Question for Officer Krupke: Since Monique has been busted for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and must now appear in court, what are the maximum penalties that she could get? If Monique actually does appear, what is she likely to get when she shuts her yap and pleads guilty?

I may be stretching credibility here, but it kind of seems like Monique's best course of action is to square away her driving privileges with a valid license, registration and insurance then clear the pot charges with a plea of no contest or guilty. Truth?

FlyTrap50 said...

Yes I am sure that you are just looking out for Officer Krupke's well being. Thanks for playing!

Officer Krupke said...

Mad Jack,

The possession of MJ is a 180 day misdemeanor and the paraphernalia charge would be a 90 day misdemeanor, but she'd have to have an awfully bad record and really piss the judge off to get anywhere near 270 days in this court. She's looking at probation.

But if she fails to appear, that's another 180-day charge altogether, and the judges tend to give time for that, since many feel personally disrespected.

Also if she has an FTA on her record, she'll have a much tougher time getting pre-trial release in subsequent cases. I really hope that she doesn't show up.

You're correct in that she needs to fix her drivers license problems though. This jurisdiction won't do much about it but if she gets caught in one of the neighboring jurisdictions, she'll get some days in jail.

Jay said...

I have seen Cleanville’s posts on another Blog. In my opinion he’s one of the few people who, without a pre-existing medical condition, can talk without moving his lips or using his vocal chords. However, if he burps run for cover as the smell can be overpowering.

Moe said...

Cleanville is that douchebag patent attorney who was trolling police blogs under his real name a while back. Pay him no mind -unless you've got something you'd like to patent.

Officer Krupke said...

Honestly, I suspected as much but it doesn't just sound like that guy.

Andrew said...

Out of curiosity, when you talk about those nights when you need to make a bust, do you mean that there are quotas of arrests you need to fill? Do they enforce that kind of stuff with pay penalties or whatever?

Officer Krupke said...

No, Andrew, we have no quotas. I could go years without arresting anyone and I'd still get paid the same.

But arresting people who need to be arrested is fun and it makes the time go by, plus it's what the citizens expect me to be doing.