I’m back, after some time off for vacations and training.
And it didn’t take long for people to reaffirm my belief in the inherent stupidity of some of our local citizens. All it took was a car broken down in the center lane of a multi-lane road yesterday. Flares were set out and I had two other offers trying to push the car over onto the right shoulder to lessen the hazard resulting from such a traffic obstruction. Like a good sergeant, I’d positioned my car just inside the flare line at an angle blocking both the center and right lanes as best I could. However, no sooner had I positioned my cruiser then I observed a gray Volvo approach my car, slow to almost a stop, then proceed to go around my car on the right, using half the shoulder in his effort to get around my marked police cruiser as it sat there with all lights flashing and the arrow board pointing clearly to the left.
Seriously? Is he really trying to pass me and drive into our scene?
Yep. He sure was. He went right around my car, running over a flare as he did so, and then began trying to angle around the car that was being pushed by my other officers.
Well this needed to be addressed, so I pulled out after the guy and stopped him just after he went around my other officers and the car that they were pushing. One of those officers had tried to flag him down, but he drove right past that officer, too. I got him to stop about half a block down. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods when I approached the driver.
“Do you make it a habit of driving through police scenes like that?” I asked him.
“I didn’t know that you wanted me to stop,” he replied.
“Sir, my car was right there blocking the lane. You drove around it on the shoulder. What were you doing?”
“Well there was room to get around…” he started.
“No, there wasn’t.” I said. And even if there was, why would you go around a police car with it’s lights on like that? You almost hit my officers back there, and then when that one tried to stop you, you swung extra wide to go around him. What’s going on in your head there?”
“I could see that all you guys had was a stalled car…” It was at this point that he gestured to the woman passenger beside him. “I knew that I could get through and I need to get my wife to the hospital,” he said.
OK. Now that MIGHT be a plausible reason. And me being one of those nice guys willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, at least initially…
“So what’s the emergency?” I asked. “Do you need an ambulance?”
“Oh, no medical emergency,” he replied. “She works there, and she’s going to be late.”
Usually it takes some work to convince me to arrest a person for misdemeanors on a holiday, But he managed. He got locked up for crossing a police line, and his wife, who doesn’t drive, was taken to the nearby hospital by one of my officers. (Hey, I’m not a total meanie…although I did tell the officer to drop her off where everyone could see.)
'Twas the Night Before Christmas.... Again....
6 months ago