Thursday, September 6, 2012

A rare moment

As I prepare to head out for my weekly ride-out with APD, a moment from last week.

We respond to an accident, a car crash during rush hour on a busy street running through east Austin. When we get there, both cars have pulled into a small parking lot. Both are damaged but driveable.

I see two men standing and talking. Ten feet away, a younger man is texting on his phone. My immediate assumptions:
  • no one was hurt
  • the two men were in one car, the young man in the other (probably caused it by texting...)
These assumptions are bolstered when one of the pair sits on the front of his vehicle to get some partial shade, and says to the other, "It's hot, man, you wanna sit?"

Remember what they say about assumptions?

The officer asks what happened and the second man stands up. He says he'd been trying to turn left across two lanes and thought some lady had gestured him through. He says, "I didn't look good enough, I just pulled out and hit this guy's car. My fault, man."


It gets better.

The "victim" tells the guy who hit him (the young man's father, by the way) that his cousin owns a body shop. "Give him my name, he'll give you a discount."

As the cop writes a ticket for the offender (who accepts it with an apology for taking up the officer's time), the two men chat and laugh in the baking heat.

We all go our separate ways but the officer realizes he forgot to give the guy who caused the crash some paperwork, so he calls him and we go to where he's waiting. The officer hops out of the car and hands it to him, then comes back.

"He apologized again, for wasting my time." He shakes his head and smiles. "Now that's how adults act."


  1. Being truthful and polite to a police officer can reap many benefits! Many years ago (~1980 I think) I was pulled over for speeding. When the officer asked me "how fast I thought I was going," I told him I was doing 90. After he picked his jaw up off the pavement, he said that because I had told him the truth, he would write me up for going 60 in a 55 (the max speed on freeways in CA then). He was incredibly nice and asked me why I had told him the truth. I said that if I didn't, my mom would magically show up and slap me upside the head. He left, and that was the first and, hopefully, last speeding ticket I've received.

  2. Lori, good for you! It was so refreshing for me to see that, and for the officer, too.

  3. I've heard of this happening a lot around my way but it is usually because the person who is at fault doesn't want to be sued! LOL.


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