Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In Law Enforcement, They Call it a Clue......

THE SETTING:
The city of Fresno is bisected by State Highway 99. This busy thoroughfare, which stretches nearly 300 miles through the central valley of California, is a well traveled route to many of the small towns and villages located between Sacramento and Bakersfield.

My husband, Dan, often travels on Highway 99 during his work as a detective with the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. When he is on duty, Dan wears street clothes and drives an "unmarked" car. By "unmarked", I mean the car is plain white. It does not have a light bar mounted on it roof, nor is it painted with the distinctive green stripe and big gold star, like the cars in the patrol division.

It does not mean that it is difficult to figure out it is a cop car of some kind.

THE CLUES:Clue No. One -- The car has a "California Exempt" license plate. Also note the bracket surrounding said license plate which advertises "Fresno Sheriff's Dept. Recruitment" with a phone number.

Clue No. Two -- The car has been assigned a number and sports two bumper stickers. One bumper sticker asks if the person reading is an organ donor and the other is a D.A.R.E. sticker to keep kids off of drugs.

Clue No. Three -- Two guns (a shotgun and an assault rifle) in their brackets are easily visible through the rear window. Also visible is the cage protecting the driver from a violent passenger.
Clue No. Four -- The car is a white Ford Crown Victoria with the model name "police interceptor" clearly visible on both sides of the car.

Clue No. Five -- The car has a steady red light beacon (required for a traffic stop in California) mounted on the driver's side door and a spotlight on the passenger door which are folded forward when not in use. Also visible on the dash is the top of the mounted notebooks and other equipment required by the Sheriff's Department.

AND THEN THERE'S CLUELESS.......

Dan is traveling north on Highway 99 in the "fast" lane. Traffic is moving at a good clip with most cars moving along at approximately 70 m.p.h. (The speed limit is 65 m.p.h. along this stretch of the road). Glancing into his rear view mirror, Dan sees a gray BMW rapidly closing in on his bumper. The driver is obviously in a hurry and rapidly closes the gap between his car and Dan's Crown Victoria.

The BMW pushes its nose to within five feet of Dan's rear bumper and begins tailgating. Now, at this point, one might think that the impatient driver would begin to notice those aforementioned clues we talked about. But noooo, he appears to be oblivious to them. After tailgating for about a half mile, he then begins to flash is headlights at Dan, a signal that Dan should get out of his way.

His curiosity thoroughly piqued, Dan decides to pull to the middle lane and let the driver through. As soon as he is clear of the fast lane, the BMW blows by him at approximately 85 m.p.h. and accelerates away. As Dan watches, he begins to weave in and out of the fast lane, passing slower cars, then careening back into the fast lane.

Now, you have to understand Dan. He hates, and I mean HATES, to write traffic tickets. In fact, in the 16 years I have known him, the number of speeding tickets he had issued could have been counted on one hand.....until now.

Dan sped up and began to pace. When the GPS unit on his dash reached 110 m.p.h., he had had enough and hit the red lights. It took three more miles before the driver of the speeding BMW noticed that he was being red-lighted and finally pulled over.

As Dan walked up, the driver confidently told him that he couldn't be given a ticket because Dan was not in a "real" police car and he obviously wasn't a "real" cop!

Wait until he get to court and discovers he will owe a "real" fine of $721.

11 comments:

Sharon said...

and the moral of the story is, never underestimate people's stupidity! The number of complete morons out there is disturbing to think about.

sophanne said...

Yes! Thanks to Dan from one who obeys the speed limit.

What I love about your writing is that at the beginning i can pretend it's that opening voice from the old Dragnet series. Then when it gets funny, it gets funnier because I've got that voice going on in my head!

zquilts said...

Dan also probably saved the person a WHOLE lot of money really - an accident would have cost a whole lot more ! Yeah Dan.

knottykitty said...

THAT story is toooo funny! Loved the build-up to the clueless part! Unbelievable. Talk about the truly clueless!

I don't mean to offend any nice people out there who drive BMW's, but it seems that up here, EVERY time I see BMW on the freeway, they are driving like a jerk! What's up with that?

Amanda said...

Thanks, Dan! A major motivation for us to leave Seattle was the terrible traffic and high proportion of a$$holes on the freeway. Happy to say that I now ride my bike one mile to work!! People who drive like that should have their license suspended, at least for a short time...

Yarnhog said...

HaHaHa! If they offer a Darwin award in the driving stupidity category, that guy has to be the front runner. I do love it when someone gets what's coming to him. Wish I'd been there.

kay said...

I only wish it could have been more of a fine! I had a good chuckle at your story. Kudos to Dan, all I keep thinking about is the kind of damage this miscreant would have caused if he'd had an accident at that high speed.

Life's a Stitch said...

LOL! I was just telling my husband about a story I heard on the radio today, that truly happened in our province yesterday. A car was approaching a routine alcohol check roadblock. The driver did a U-turn, bringing attention to himself. A police car caught up with him and pulled him over. Turns out the guy had something like $45,000 in cash and 25 kilos of pot in his car. Can you imagine his sinking feeling when he saw that roadblock?
Li

Danielle said...

I don't feel very sorry for the speeder. But I do for Dan.

SHould have paid attention silly

whidbeyknitter said...

This was one time when there was a cop around when we needed one! I won't even ask if the guy was talking on his phone so he didn't notice that obvious white car!

Kathy said...

Tina sent me a link to this post a while ago...I always get a kick out of it. It reminds me so much of when I did plainclothes inv. for the military, except we didn't have "cool" vehicles. You could always tell where we were by our "Motor-Pool-had-only-baby-poo green-as-a-color-choice" painted over old vehicles. The problem was they even painted the wheels the same color as the bodies.
Who? Me? Plainclothes? Nah...you don't see a thing...

ROFLMAO!!!!!