Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby Mama Drama

So I'm just sitting there in the dark--minding my own business and not bothering anybody--when I see this Dodge Charger blow through the stop sign just ahead of my cruiser.

I stop the car and observe that it's occupied four young black females who are all shoe-horned into in their club attire, most of which appears to be two to three sizes too small. I pretty much know that I'm going to get a bunch of baby mama drama out of this one, it's just a question of how much and why.

The car has a cardboard 30-day dealer tag on the back, but this one doesn't come back to the car and resgistered owner like they're supposed to. When I ask the driver for her license and registration, she decideds that she doesn't want to give me anything until we argue about her violation for a bit. I cut her off, tell her that it's not up for discussion, and ask her again for her license, registration and proof of insurance. She digs a big envelope out of her glove box and shows me the paperwork that indicates that she purchased the car in January. Then she hands me a Xerox copy of a registration. I note that it's expired by almost a month and the tag number is different from the one on the car. For proof of insurance, she hands me a bill from an insurance company which says that a two-month policy will take effect when she writes them a check for five hundred and thirty four dollars. The date is, of course, two months ago.

I wasn't born yesterday; I know the score. She bought the car and got just enough insurance to get her drive-away dealer tag, and she drove on that tag until it expired. She doesn't have insurance and can't get her hard tags so she just bought a new and probably blank temp tag illegally from someone who works at or stole it from a dealership and now she's trying to play it off as if it's all valid and clear when I already know it isn't. She keeps flipping through her paperwork and claiming that she gave me everything I asked for. Other than her driver's license, she's given me nothing that I wanted and I let her know. She starts getting louder and more upset, and two of her girls try to chime in to back her up. I tell them that they need to sit quiet because I'm talking to the driver. Surprisingly, they actually do shut up--usually the whole crow chorus jumps in to support the star in this impromptu bit of Shaniqua Theater. (Credit to Beat and Release for this wonderful descriptor of the behavioral characteristics of this particular demographic.) But the star is far from done. She shakes, she yells, she starts to cry, then says it's my fault for getting her so upset. She wails that she's a single mother (as if I care) and she bawls that she has a "federal job" and that I'm going to make her lose it with "all of this BS."

I tell her to calm down and remind her that the whole problem is stemming from the fact that I asked for two pieces of paper that every car owner is supposed to have and that she's apparently unable to come up with either of them. She demands that I "show some common sense" and realize that she must have insurance otherwise she could not have bought the car, and she claims that the registration--the expired one with a different tag number--is somehow adequate.

Finally I ask her where she wants the car towed to. I'm tired of her and she and her car need to go, only she's not going to be driving it. I offer her the choice of a tow to her home at her expense or to the impound yard for free, however she'll have to pay to get it out of there and the fees willl add up quick. She petulantly tells me to do whatever I want and tow it wherever. She claims to have no money, and when I ask her who she can call for a ride, she insists that she doesn't know anybody at all. The others all ape onto this crap too, claiming to know no one with a car, apparently figuring that if I can't get them rides away from here, I won't impound the car. But I'm not playing that game either. First of all, I don't care if they are all genuinely broke. That's their problem, not mine. Of course considering that they're all sitting in a newly-purchased two year old car, each with fresh new hairdos and stylish club outfits complete with plenty of jewelry, I'm not buying the "poverty" pleas. If they could afford all that crap and a night out at the club, they can afford a cab. So I flag down a passing cab and suggest that the passengers either get into it and work out payment for the driver or else they'll be walking. Suddenly they find money and off they all go, leaving me with my new friend. Fortunately the tow truck shows up before the cab's even out of sight. Meanwhile, my overly-dramatic new girlfriend now sobs that she won't be able to get to work AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING in the morning and when she loses her job, it'll be all my fault. She refused to hand over the car key until I told her that if I had to ask one more time, she'd be going to jail. Then she shouted "Just give me my tickets if you're going to ticket me!" Of course I'd already written them out, so it was no trouble to hand her three--one for unregistered vehicle, one for uninsured vehicle, and one for the stop sign. She bawled and ranted and carried on like a fool until she finally figured out that I really didn't care, and then she switched it off and just stood there all casual. It was all an act, and undoubetly learned behavior; at some time in her life she realized that she could get her way by throwing her dignity away and acting like an angry child. But it didn't get her anything tonight--if anything, if made me less inclined to cut her even the slightest break. I don't care for it when people try to play me.

The grand ticket total was $275, and the tow bill and impound fees are going to be on her, too. She doesn't get the car back now until she presents a valid registration and proof of insurance at the impound yard and storage fees accrue by the day. Of course she let me know that she'll be fighting this all in court. Yeah, good luck--your car was either registered and insured on this date or else it wasn't. And the fake tag and lack of any paperwork pretty much indicates which is the deal. Court should be fun--and short. But I get paid to show up so it's all good. Bring your lies and bring your girlfriends if you want...just file for a court date and bring on the court overtime.

Oh--and bring a better tantrum and more convincing fake outrage when you get to court. The judge wasn't born yesterday either.


Gia's Spot said...

Great read!
Stay safe

Sister Copinherhair said...

But I thought the tow to the impound was free? Now she has to pay for the tow and the impound? Such false advertisement, I tell ya. ;)

I'm a single mother too...but I don't run stop signs. In fact, I give my boyfriend (who is an LEO) grief on HIS driving.

Officer Krupke said...

My bad. What I meant was, when your car is impounded, you don't have to pay for the tow then and there like you would if we let the tow truck take it to your house. However, you'll still have to pay the towing bill when you go to get your car from car jail, aka, the impound yard.

Ten 80 said...

Have you seen the new VA temp tags? They are computer print outs that go in a plastic sleeve. The bad thing is that's easily faked. The good news is though that now they return to the owner and vehicle through DMV instead of generically to the dealer like the old ones. That'll be really nice running down counterfeits.

Boomhauer said...

No arrest for unregistered auto in your state? In DC she'd be a traffic lockup.

And when will people learn that at least 50% of the time paper temp tags are a big flashing red light that says "UNREGISTERED"

Mad Jack said...

Thanks - this one is a great read. I liked the 'crow chorus' description.

What do the lawbreakers expect to have happen here? why would they believe they'd be released to go about their night clubbing business? It's not like these girls are destitute.

Officer Krupke said...


It is arrestable here, but it's frankly not worth the hassle. If it was a slow night or I wanted in out of the weather, I'd have likely taken her in, but I wanted to stay out and play and hunt for mo' better stuff. And this way, if she skips court, she gets a warrant that'll hold her in jail for a day or two--or a weekend--the next time she gets stopped.

And I agree--paper tags on a car here are pretty much low-hanging fruit...always worth running.

Officer Krupke said...

I got the impression that they thought that if they could make me think that I was going to have a big problem getting them all safely off the street, that I might just decide not to bother. That stopped when they figured out that I didn't really care if they got off the street--they're all grown women and they've got feet, cell phones, and undoubtedly several phone numbers of guys with cars who probably didn't have jobs to be at in the morning and therefore all the time in the world to taxi them around in exchange for a bit of play.

Shalom said...

When I bought my car in '03, the dealer gave me a paper tag to tape inside the back window until the metal plates came in the mail. Problem was, that back window is tinted so dark (it's a Chevy Blazer) that you could barely see that there was a tag there in the first place, never mind what numbers were on it. All the time I was driving it, I was nervous I'd get stopped for driving a car with no license plates...

I do have one funny story with the impound yard, although it wasn't all that amusing while it was happening. My car got towed for alternate side parking a couple years ago. The towing company is literally around the corner from my house, but they won't give me the car until I get the release from the police station. I took the bus downtown to the station to get the release (and pay the fine while I was at it; although they give you 30 days, I wanted to get it done). Problem is, they want the insurance card first, and that's in the car... So, another bus ride back to the yard, get the card, another bus ride back downtown, get the release, and another bus ride back to the yard again. Good thing the buses run so often.

Kyle said...

$275?? She got off light! That wouldn't even cover the stop sign ticket in my jurisdiction -

Fail to obey stop sign - $287
Drive unregistered M.V - $230
Drive uninsured MV - mandatory court, minumum fine for first offence $2875 or 45 days in jail.

Shaniqua better be counting her lucky stars that she was in your town!

Officer Krupke said...


Many of our fines here are a joke. They were set decades ago and never changed.

And low as they are, many of these fools still don't pay 'em and wind up driving with license suspended.

Moe said...

I can't wait for her to tell the judge to use common sense!

Beat And Release said...

Nice job. Well done. Your fines make me sad, though. :( Down here she'd be lucky if the tow fee was lower than $275.

Stop sign: $133
Fail to Reg:$133
Uninsured: $445

alanmoore78 said...

In 2003 I bought a car from a small lot about an hour from where I lived. It had a 30-day tag on it of course, and when I returned to the dealer for my plates and title, they had nothing. So they wrote me a second tag. I was a guest of Denton County's finest for a few months after that. When I got out, I called the dealer to ask if my tags were in, they were not, and they told me to come by and they would write me a third tag. Now I knew this was not legal so I told them if they wouldn't give me my title and metal plates that they should buy the car back and wait to sell it until they had the title. They agreed* and I drove the car back there. On the way I got pulled over. That was a fun explanation. My paper tag was not only four months out of date but also did not match up to the purchase date on my paperwork. I was still let go as I was only a few blocks from the dealer. Had it been impounded, I would not have been able to get it out even though it was inspected and insured, since the dealer didn't even have a title for it.

*the dealer was kind enough to give me only HALF my money back for the car. For this insult, I insisted he give me a ride 40 miles home, and he did. During this trip, he got pulled over for his own paper tag being expired on the way, and I enjoyed every second of that stop and hoped the officer would impound the car so I could just call a cab and be done with the whole thing. That lot was closed within a month, and my car ended up at a local scrapyard after that. I tried to buy it but the yard said they didn't get a title with it and as such they had to part it out and crush it. At least I wasn't the only victim, but the car deserved better.

Cleanville Tziabatz said...

Good work. Beat and Release is correct that fines should be higher.

Thomas said...

Officer Krupke,

I would have sent this in a private message, but I'm new to the blogs and was unable to find where your e-mail is listed. (maybe it isn't)

Anyways, if you would grant me 4 minutes of your time, I was hoping you could read this article and let me know your thoughts on the police departments conduct in this particular case.

*Goddess* said...

"at some time in her life she realized that she could get her way by throwing her dignity away..."

Great way of putting it! You'd think a grown woman would be ashamed to act this way in public.

canoehead said...

Just reading all that makes me tired. How do you have the energy to continue your shift after all that drama?