Friday, March 10, 2017

The Long Day

Several years ago, it had been a long day.  Nothing drastic, but a lot of hours.  I helped close the school house at about 11:00 p.m on a Friday night, got in my pickup truck to head home.

My habit was then, and is now, to click the little button that lets my radio scan frequencies as I drive home.  I'm officially "off-the clock" on the drive home, but I couldn't live with myself if one of my brethren was in a bind and I drove past him or her on my way home, so I scan the radio traffic as I go home and turn the radio off when I'm in my driveway.

As I crossed the river, I heard the dispatcher looking for free units.  A citizen had called in a disturbamce that was about to occur at a taco joint in a strip mall on the north end of the parish.  The strip mall was well-known for having a taco shop, a late night greeting spot for high-shcool and young adults.  As the radio traffic cleared up the situation, it seemed that a bunch of high-shcool kids were going to settle some differences in the parking lot of the taco shop.

"What the hell," thought I.  "I'm hungry, and a taco sounds like a good way to end the evening."  So, I headed for the taco shop.  When I got to the parking lot, I saw two units, clearing the area.  I happened to notice one older redneck, sitting on the tailgate of his pickup truck.  A young deputy was talking to him, and it appeared that he was being obstinate.

I walked over and as I approached I heard the old redneck telling the young deputy that this was a public place and he didn't have to go anywhere. He intended to sit right there, all night.


The young deputy greeted me, and asked what I was doing out so late.  I told him that I had been working a detail, and thought I'd come eat a taco.  "Let me talk to this guy." I asked.

"I ain't going nowhere!" the old redneck exclaimed.

"Well, sir, maybe you are, and maybe you aren't."  I made firm eye contact with him. "You see, it all depends on whether this parking lot is private property or a public space."  I paused for a moment to let that sink in.  "Now, I'm going to go in and get myself a taco.  While I'm there, I'm going to talk to the manager.  If he tells me that this is private property, then when I come out with my taco, if you're still here, I'm going to arrest you for trespassing."

"If it turns out, " I continued, "that this is public property, then when I come out, I'm going to arrest you for Resisting an Officer."  I took a few seconds to let that sink in.  "But, I'm hungry, and I want a taco.  So, however this turns out, when I come out of the restaurant and you're still here, you're going to jail. And, we're going to tow your truck."

As I walked toward the taco shop, I winked at the young deputy.  When I came out, munching on a taco, the old redneck and the pickup truck were no where to be seen.

It's all in how you explain it to people.


Old Grafton said...

It always astounds me that when police officers tell people they should "go away" they don't understand that they should "go away". Even if not versed in the local lingo the uniforms and directional gestures are fairly universal and generally indicative of the necessity of unassing the area.

Old NFO said...

Yep, NOT the time to 'discuss'... Just go away. :-)

Navy91 said...

Outstanding! I have an "old redneck" that works for me, and I have to guide his thinking sometimes as well. Confronting him rarely works. He has to be led there. Sigh...

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Two Thumbs Up!

pigpen51 said...

I love when I see the people who like me support freedom. They are the type who stand around with a camera filming a cop while he talks to some dude, and when the cop asks the camera guy why he is there, the guy says, " Am I being detained?" Like he is some kind of lawyer or something. Then proceeds to refuse to answer any questions or give his name and shit. All while the cop is simply trying to do his freaking job. I understand that there are instances where the presence of a camera has helped to bring a bad police officer to light. I also understand the concept of civility and manners. If a police officer asks you to stand back, even if you have a lawful right to stay right there, merely as a courtesy, I believe you should stand back, just as if you were in a grocery store and a stocker asked you to step back so they could reach the top shelf. I guess I got to damn old, while I wasn't looking. Or maybe my parents just didn't raise an asshole.