My First Police Station
Last night at around 11:00 i got a call from bellend telling me there was a late night poker game at the fratastic house in half an hour. usually i would not attend a midnight-2am poker game on a wednesday, but i was feeling spicy so i went. i was playing Godfather and lost track of time, so around 11:45 i got dressed and went downstairs. i opened the door and slammed it behind me. upon hearing the door slam, the sketchy dude who was hanging out in the bushes by our front gate took off in the direction of north avenue. i saw the guy but was more freaked out that a dude was clearly doing something he shouldnt have been like 20 feet away. also, paranoia started to set in and i hung around the front door until the coast was clear and made my way back to the driveway.
jonnys driver side door was open and his dome light was on. i looked inside and it was the same messy car and the stereo face was still there (the #1 thing i look for, due to past thefts). i locked the door and closed it, thinking jonny was an idiot for leaving it open. but then i realized that the two events couldnt have been a coincidence and decided to put in a call to jonny.
i told him how i found his car and obviously he didnt leave it open, so i told him to check it out when he got back from his lady friend. then i left and played poker. at around 1 am, i got a call from yan asking me details of what happened. his car had been broken into and his work laptop, ipod, and digi cam (all in the same bag) were MIA. a police officer was on the scene and he and yan had checked out the car and the surrounding area for any clues like CSI... unfortunately, unlike tv, there was nothing there. so i told him what i saw:
- 6'0 black dude
- older, maybe 30-35 because he had graying hair (peppered, is what cops call it)
- purple and turquoise jumpsuit like your florida grandpa wore in the 80s
- carrying a blue duffel bag
- heading towards north ave.
when i got home at 2 am jonny was shell shocked. i know the feeling... some bastard has broken into your car, gone through all your shit, taken the most valuable piece, and is absolutely nowhere to be found. its like an empty angry swirl of emotion that you cannot do shit about, even if you want to find the guy and fuck him up in the worst way. he was thinking of all the shit he had to do in the morning and obviously the files IN the computer were gone forever. also, his tax shit and accounts and worth were all in the case. if this dude was an identity thief, jonny was basically fucked. proper fucked.
so this morning, jonny misses 2 calls and when he calls the number back, its our neighbor about 5 houses down and he found the laptop case in his yard... no sign of the computer. this idiot had broken the ipod and left that and the digicam in the case, along with the papers. anyway around 9 am i am looking out my window and see two cops roll up to our front door. jonny goes down there and then he calls me down there. the white cop asks me what i saw, and i tell him those details and the time and all the shit i just told you all.
the white cop looks at the black dude and he's like, i think weve got the guy... IN THE CAR OUTSIDE! what the fuck man... he's outside right now?? how in the hell did you find him. anyway they pulled the guy out and had him turn away from me (since thats how i saw him anyway) and it was straight up the exact same dude. 6'0, older, peppered hair, and of course the clutch detail: purple/turqoise jumpsuit. apparently he was a homeless dude and had been going to get some breakfast when this witty white cop recognized the matching description and hauled him to our place.
at this point they asked both me and jonny to come down to the station (despite work) and fill out a report. now this is where the story gets kind of shady... i mean i hate cops, but if they are doing shit that benefits me instead of hassling me, i obviously reverse my feelings and think what theyre doing is awesome. its a love hate relationship im sure most of you are familiar with. i will insert here that i think ATL cops are really not as bad as the overall population of cops. i mean there is so much crazy shit going on in this city that they dont have time to write traffic tickets unless you really fuck up badly. to date i have never gotten a speeding ticket in ATL and i am a fast fucking driver. they have bigger fish to fry and in this case, i was right in the thick of it.
so since this guy was squatting outside our house, and the car was on the other side, and there were two break ins on our street the same night, and this guy matched the description, but wasnt seen in the act of breaking and entering, the cops really didnt have too much on the guy. i mean he may have had some outstanding warrants in cali, and obviously there arent too many black older dudes with purple and turquoise jumpsuits, it was 99% him... but since he wasnt near the car or witnessed breaking in, who knows whats going to happen. the missing laptop with his fingerprints all over it would be the nut.
the cops in this precinct were overall very cool and liked that we came down to cooperate. the problem was they wanted to be all coppy and honestly they didnt have much stone cold evidence to corroborate the misdemeanor of prowling with the break in 50 feet away. so one cop pulled me aside after they got my statement and was like "Listen, we dont have enough on this guy to book him on the felony... now is there any way that you may have left out a few details, maybe he was by the car when you saw him not in front of the house, or maybe you saw him just touch the car? even his shadow by the car... anything you can stretch your mind to think of would help us... its obviously him, we just dont have enough with your statement. this guy will be back if we dont get him now, and how often do you find the guy 8 hours after the crime wearing the same clothes? so just think about it...."
i hope you all read that-- it was a cop asking me to lie to put this guy away for the shit we all knew he did. and of course did i alter my statement to make it so? unfortunately somehow my scruples interfered and i could not lie to help everyone out. if these cops were good enough to find this dude down the street having breakfast in the same clothes he committed the crime in, they could find a way to pin the shit without me having to lie my ass off and abandon my morals (that could normally be sold to the highest bidder).
on the way out, the white cop who had originally come to our house walked us out and told me he agreed that i shouldnt have lied and it was an honorable thing to do. they would work on the case and try and make it happen, i might have to go to court to testify (eep!) and jonny of course still doesnt have his laptop.
scary shit right? plot twists, secret whispering, breaking and entering. anyway, here are some things i learned after being in the police station for 2 hours this morning:
- there really is a good cop, bad cop in every pair of cops.
- the Zone 6 precinct was the shittiest bureacratic building i had ever been in... it was like a hollowed out shell of the police stations you see on tv. i mean even taggert and bogomel had a better setup, and that was back in 1988.
- cops on CSI have all the top quality technology. cops in real life are still using WindowsNT platform and gateway computers loaned from pre-Y2K. their databases are all old, their forms are all still paper-based, and they were crowding around one monitor to do detective work.
- these guys must see a lot of worse shit... so i understand that they have a gray area for obeying the law vs. enforcing it, but to ask a witness to lie without directly calling it a lie is still bullshit.
So anyway, that was the 1st time ive ever seen the inside of a police station, minus that one time that 50 little 8 year old jewish kids got lost by their counselors in downtown indianapolis for the Pacers vs Bulls + Micheal Jordan game and went to the police station to wait it out. but overall, pretty crazy story. comments?
ps-- i was a kid, not a counselor, when that shit went down.