Friday, October 26, 2012

Crimes, both real and imaginary

I know, I know, it's about time I posted here, sorry.  Things have been crazy with the post-release of The Bookseller, and the edits for the next two books due (and which I should be doing now, thanks very much).

But from the imaginary crimes of Paris, to a heinous one I experienced last night.  Actually, two.

And, yes, you might argue that objectively they aren't as serious as murder or kidnapping, I suppose I'd go along with that but. . . well, here's what happened.

I was riding out with APD, as I do on a Thursday night, and we're in heavy but moving traffic.  Alongside us roars a dude on a motorcycle, chugging up the hard shoulder to avoid traffic.  You know, the kind of thing that makes your blood boil as you sit in your car and choke down the exhaust of the guy in front of you.

Except I'm in a police car now.

We put the lights on and off we go, bringing this terrorist to justice with a $160 ticket.  The motorcyclist shaking his head in disgust, no doubt thinking "Don't you cops have anything better to do?"

In fact, the officer I was with laughed and acknowledged that people do think that but he explained to me about the guy who'd pulled over onto the hard shoulder last week, so he could safely have his heart attack somewhere he wouldn't be a danger and somewhere the police and ambulance could get to him.

"That's what the shoulder is for," he said.  True that.

The second offense was even more cheeky.  With another officer, later at night.  Busy busy intersection, each direction having two lanes and a turn lane (I'd tell you which one, but I don't remember, sorry!).   Woman on a bicycle rides up next to us, inches forward, and when she spots a gap in the traffic she tootles across the intersection to the other side.

If nothing else, I was amazed because it was dark and there were a lot of cars out there.  My officer says, "No, she didn't just do that," and off we go.

This lady took her ticket with good grace, acknowledging how dangerous that maneuver had been. Afterwards, when I asked if he felt a little silly pulling over someone on a bike, the officer said, "No because I'd rather give her a ticket than scrape her body off the road."  Again, true that.

And as both officers pointed out, by pulling over those cheeky scofflaws they made every single motorist within sight smile.

On an unrelated topic, I wanted to bring together the real and imaginary crimes of the world by pointing you to an article I wrote for the Huffington Post, it just appeared on their website.

It's about some crimes and mysteries around the world that, if they'd been written in a novel, would have made fiction readers shake their heads with disbelief.  It's called:  8 True Crimes That Are Stranger Than Fiction


  1. Wish we had cops here in Seattle wlling to bust those nervy scofflaw tootlers. They're such a nuisance! Seriously.

  2. This reminded me of a time I was stopped for crossing a busy intersection against the lights. I was probably 13 or 14, and the officer actually followed the group I was in through a few turns. He explained why he was stopping us, and he did a very good job teaching us why the "right way" was the "safe way." Around 25 years later, and I will still wait until the lights "allow" me to cross. I can never be in such a hurry that I DON'T want to get to the other side.

  3. Nancy, I'll send a few up your way. :)

    Corin, that's pretty cool. I've found the cops I've ridden with to be great at explaining why they're doing what they're doing. Whether or not the ticketed/stopped person cares is another matter...!


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