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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Tags: police, police work, veteran writers