What Police Work is Really Like, Episode X: Off to See the Whiz



So there I was, minding my own business, on night shift patrol in a deserted, half-industrial half-residential area. This was around 2 a.m. on a boring weeknight. The area I was patrolling was full of illegal aliens, drunks, drug addicts, prostitutes (both voluntary and trafficked), gangsters and stolen cars. But this was a quiet night.

Because it was so quiet and had been for hours, I decided to check a reported trouble spot. Some residents said a group of rowdy gangster types were hanging out at a particular house, drinking, partying and making noise all hours of the night. I had checked that spot several times and seen nothing, but since I really had nothing else to do I headed that way again.

I turned my patrol car’s headlights off before I reached the street. When I turned the corner, I saw several young men in the street on the next block. Even from a distance I could see that they wore baggy t-shirts with sagging pants, the standard gangster uniform. They weren’t doing anything obviously wrong, but my gut reaction was that they were up to no good.

As I got closer I saw more of them in the problem house’s front yard. They weren’t doing anything either, just watching me. Beer cans and bottles were scattered around the yard, but nobody was making noise. In fact, everyone got real quiet, real fast.

Ahead of me several guys quietly slipped out of the street into the front yard. One man, however, didn’t move. He had his back to me, hands out of view in front of his torso, standing almost directly in the middle of the street. I watched the other men scoot away as I crept closer to their friend. Everybody but him was watching me intently.

The saggy-pants man in the street was almost but not quite in the way. I’d have to swerve just slightly so I wouldn’t hit him with my mirror. I kept coasting down the street, and figured he’d see me and move. But he kept standing with his back to me, hands in front, not budging. The bumper of my car slowly passed the man, but he still didn’t move. He was only about a foot away from my fender. When my side mirror was just about even with him, he suddenly realized I was there.

He spun violently toward me. Liquid splashed on my window. I recoiled and jammed on the brakes in surprise. A shocked look crossed his face as he realized I was a cop. And that he had just peed on a police car.


He spun back the way he had been facing, and kept peeing. I put the car in park. He shot quick sideways glances at me as I waited for him to finish. He had drunk a lot of beer, so it took some time. Or maybe having a cop car parked beside him gave him stage fright. Whatever the reason, it seemed like he peed for five minutes. At one point he casually gave a manly nod, as if we were two strangers passing on the sidewalk. Eventually he ran dry, fumbled around trying to put everything away and zipped his pants.

You might not believe this, but I actually thought this was funny. I didn’t think the guy meant to pee on my car, it was an honest accident. Sure, he shouldn’t have been peeing in the street, but no little old ladies were around to get offended. Fortunately my window had been almost all the way up, so I didn’t get sprinkled. I expected the guy to apologize like crazy, then we’d laugh it off and I’d leave him with a warning. No harm, no party foul, no jail.

I popped my door, made sure I wasn’t about to step in a yellow puddle, got out of my car and asked the guy, “Man, are you finally done?”

The guy glared at me like I had just fondled his mother. “What the f**k, man? Why you f**king with me?”

No harm. Major party foul. He went to jail.

And I still think the whole thing was funny as hell.

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12 Responses to “What Police Work is Really Like, Episode X: Off to See the Whiz”

  1. 1 SPEMack

    “No harm. Major party foul. He went to jail.”

    Can I just say that this caused an involuntary giggle snort which resonated across the cubicle farm and resulted in the bull pen secretary throwing me a very odd look?

    Good story, Chris.

    I once nearly got cited for public urination at a Fraternity party…

  2. Jacksonville, early eighties. Couple of buddies and I are out for a fun filled evening, pull behind a closed grocery store to take a leak. Headlights blind us, one of J-Ville’s finest approaches us and stops. “What are you doing?” “Uh, we had to go”. After realizing it was a female cop, we finish up and apologize profusely. “Next time, find somewhere else for a head call” she tells us. “Yes Mam!” And we all concur that she could have probably kicked our asses, Marines or not. Different world back then.

  3. so chris… on a whole, how often do perpetrators of such misdemeanors turn a non-issue (from the police officers point of view) into an issue due to lack of cooperation / respect?

  4. 5 Angela

    You have a strange sense of humor…….but, then again, you are a Hernandez.

  5. 6 xjrat

    what part of the PEE-nal code does that fall under? I have worked in Booking for almost 3 years and have experienced all the bodily fluid you can think of. It isn’t a weekend without urine or vomit. It is way to often that someone ends up in jail for something stupid because they give an attitude to the police. Granted it isn’t uncommon for the cop to have the bad attitude, or enough cops have in the past had the attitude so ALL cops must have the same one…

    • Actually, I originally hooked him up for Public Intoxication (Penal Code something or other) and Urinating in Public (City Ordinance Violation). He had chilled way out by the time we got to jail though, so he only got the lesser charge.

  6. 8 fortyfive9s

    Reblogged this on fortyfive9s and commented:
    I like your attitude. Didn’t make it a big deal until he did. Good work

  7. Great story – A big part of being a good cop with “street cred” is understanding that behavior is part of human nature. Sometimes it’s the dark, twisted side of human nature, but nevertheless… Good for you to realize that we’ve all had that “when you gotta go, you gotta go” moment, and by following my favorite cop training point – “Be nice, ’till its time to NOT be nice – they will dictate that moment for you.” (moments like that will ALWAYS be funny to us, no matter the outcome).

    • 25S16,

      Looking back, I wish the guy hadn’t bowed up. It was pretty damn funny until then, and it’s still funny to think about.

      I’m going to steal your “Be nice” quote, it’s a great piece of advice.

      • Feel free to use it – our business is all about learning from each other without having to reinvent the wheel!!

  1. 1 What Police Work is Really Like, Episode X: Off to See the Whiz LOL! | dujaa74

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