Saturday, August 18, 2012

Calling an Audible...

While I was rolling around Smithville earlier this week my attention was drawn to an illegally parked vehicle on one of the side streets off the Boulevard.  I noticed the vehicle was parked in a location with a white painted curb, which in these parts means you can park there for three minutes while loading or unloading passengers or depositing mail in a nearby mailbox.  This vehicle was unattended and was doing none of the previously listed activities, so I circled the block to write a parking ticket.

It took me about five minutes to get back to the vehicle, run the plate and scratch the ticket.  As I was placing the ticket under the windshield wiper the driver and a passenger came out of the veterinary hospital at the end of the block.  The driver explained that he was only parked there for a second to go in and pay a bill, and that he was leaving right now.  I explained to the driver that I had been there for well over five minutes to write the ticket, and that he should park in a different place in the future.  After arguing the ticket for a minute, he finally realized it was his to keep and got into his car.

As I left and began to turn the corner, I heard the driver yell "Fuck you BITCH!" in my direction.  Really?  Okay, I'll play.  I busted a U-Turn and turned back onto the street just in time to see the vehicle stopping at the stop sign.  Right about then I noticed the rear of the vehicle was completely lacking the red reflectors required by the California Vehicle Code.

Because of the equipment violation I decided to initiate a traffic enforcement stop on the vehicle.

I walked up to the window as if I had never seen the driver before in my life.  Our conversation went something like this...

Me:  Hi there.  I stopped you because your aftermarket tail light housings don't have red reflectors.  Now that I'm standing beside your car, I notice your aftermarket front turn signal housings are also lacking the yellow reflectors that are required in California.  Can I see your license please?"

Driver:  (Speechless - Hands me his license and registration)

Me:  Thank you.  Now how about a proof of insurance.

Driver:  It's at home.

Me:  I see.  Unfortunately California law also requires you have valid proof of insurance in your possession when you're operating a motor vehicle.  I also notice you have a rather large crack in your windshield that extends across your field of view.  Hang tight for me for a few minutes.  I'll be right back.

I cited him for the violations, which at the very least will result in $100 in correction fees, and sent him on his way.

Going the extra mile to teach the motoring public that there are consequences for their inappropriate actions...

10 comments:

ScotchDave said...

The gene pool needs chlorine...

Dave

Scott Pantall said...

I really wish there was some way to keep stats on how many people talk themselves into getting a ticket or getting arrested. So many times I've heard from my cops, "I was just planning on giving them a warning, but then..."

Carteach said...

Thank you :-)

Civility is a species survival trait, and you just helped adjust it upward a tiny notch.

Moose said...

How childish -- of both of you.

As childish it is to yell curse words at a police officer, the Supremes have declared doing things like that protected by the First Amendment (iirc the actual case I'm thinking of involved giving a cop "the finger").

Retaliating and giving the citations just because you can is kind of bullying, don't you think? By doing this, you say, "I have power and you don't, and I need to prove it to you." All for a measley $100, which is probably more than your court system will spend to churn through the paperwork.

I'm sure you think you taught the driver a lesson. I suspect that all he's learned is to reinforce his belief that cops are jerks. He's not going to grow up just from being handed citations.

Next time - and you know there WILL be a next time, I encourage you to be the grown up and let it go. You want to really piss him off? Smile your sweetest smile and wave. NOTHING pisses off someone full of stupid rage than a friendly face.



Suz said...

Too bad for him, that he called himself to your attention. Bet it still won't teach him not to make everything a personal grudge match.

LSBeene said...

Good for you.

As to the original ticket : IMO, he earned it, but you could have let it go - but that's a toss up. Letting him off is a FAVOR / KINDNESS.

You gave him a ticket because he "rolled the dice" on the odds a cop would roll by during his time in the vet clinic - he lost. Such is life when you gamble.

His NEXT action "F*** you, b*tch" was STUPID and INVITED your follow up traffic stop.

Rick Street said...

This twit should have just sucked it up and went his way.And Most of all kepp his big stupid mouth shut.

Officer "Smith" said...

Moose,

I don't think it was childish at all. On either part.

If my child yelled the things the driver yelled I would wash his mouth out. The things the driver yelled were specifically intended to elicit a reaction, and they did. Just not the reaction he wanted.

As for my response, I do not do such things simply because I can. If that were the case I would have simply waited for him to start driving and issued him the moving citation INSTEAD of issuing him the parker. I did what I did simply BECAUSE he felt the need to make an ass of himself.

Perhaps he will think twice next time before he decides to speak to ANYONE in that manner. If not, hopefully it will cost him even more next time.

As for his right to free speech, the First Amendment does have limitations. It is not a carte blanche allowance to speak whatever hateful or inciteful speech you feel like. If you think it is, try making a threatening statement or spewing words intended to provoke a confrontation and see how far claiming it's your First Amendment right gets you.

Officer "Smith" said...

Also, Moose,

If you consider my issuing him a citation "retaliation", then I suppose his taking it to court would be "retaliation in kind"?

It's not retaliation. It's what I am allowed by law to do. Just he is allowed by law to contest it in court.

Retaliation is vengeful. I hold no ill will toward this man for his actions. I took the actions I did in an effort to make him take responsibility for his actions.

HonkingAntelope said...

There are three kinds of crimes in America:

-Misdemeanor bad attitude
-Felony bad attitude
-Contempt of cop