Two things every rookie officer learns real fast;
1. Everybody lies
2. You are not a free taxi service
I had to learn both. The hard way.
I had screwed up.
I knew what needed to be done. I had to tell my Sergeant.
This was going to suck, but at least I would probably save my job.
I called him on the radio and asked if he was available for a meeting. He confirmed that he was.
I met him at a nearby 7-11 and began telling him how I had royally effed up.
To his credit, he began with the obligatory, “it’s okay, there’s nothing I can’t fix, if I know up front”. For half a second, I almost believed him.
I had committed the cardinal sin of policing.
I tried to be a nice guy and give someone a ride.
Well, lets get on with it.
The rain fell in sheets.
It rained hard; really, really hard.
The radio was dead so I decided I would patrol my area just in case. Within 5 minutes, this idiot decided to jump right out in front of my patrol car.
If it weren’t for my cat like reflexes and superior defensive driving skills, this dude would have been dead.
“Sarge, I’m not going to lie, I almost crapped my pants!” I said sheepishly as he nodded in agreement.
To make matters worse, the “almost dead guy” rushed up to my window blathering something frantic and incoherent.
I immediately pulled my gun from the holster (calm down, I didn’t shoot him) and rolled my window down.
With water pouring off him, he muttered the words “help me officer!” over and over.
I then interrupted him, telling him in so many words, how lucky he was to be alive.
Once he collected himself enough to make a full sentence and after I re-holstered my gun, he asked if he could get a ride.
I told him we don’t give rides. He persisted, begging for a short ride to the bus station.
It’s at this point I noticed, draped over his shoulders, a large green sea-bag, the same kind used by the military.
Because it was so slow and the rain relentless, I told him to get in.
This was a bad decision
As he piled into my back seat with his fully stuffed sea-bag, I realized that I was violating policy.
On top of that, I failed to let dispatch know that I had someone in my vehicle, another policy violation.
At this point, the Sarge continued to remain calm, not saying much, just listening to my story.
As we drove towards the bus station, I attempted to make small talk with the guy.
He seemed friendly enough and outwardly grateful for the ride, thanking me over and over.
After a couple of minutes of awkward silence, I asked the weary traveler what he had in the bag.
And another bad decision
This is where the story gets weird.
The guy then sat straight up in his seat with his head tilted slightly forward and said, “it’s none of your business officer.”
What kind of mess had I gotten myself into? For one, this guy just went from 0 to weird in less than 3 minutes.
No one on earth knew he was in my vehicle. I started to sweat and could feel my heart rate increasing. Something was wrong.
I had to stay cool.
“Really man, I’m serious, what’s in the bag?” I quipped nervously. In a sarcastic and arrogant tone, the dude replied, “really officer, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!”
At that point I made the decision to end this free ride!
I pulled into the first parking lot I could find and slammed on the brakes. My fare must have decided the same thing as he fled out the cruiser, on foot, as soon as we stopped.
I started to chase him but soon realized what a bad decision that was. The guy had broken no law, other than being weird and creepy.
As I walked back to my cruiser, soaking wet and feeling hustled, I saw that he had left the big green sea-bag in the back seat of my police car.
My Sergeant, showing great patience, asked several follow up questions about what had happened.
At no time did he yell or scream about how stupid I was or how many policies I had violated.
As we ended the conversation and as I was walking back to my police car, he turned and asked, “Hey, one more question, what was in the bag?”
I turned and looked directly at the Sergeant and told him, “Sir, it’s none of your business”…
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