It’s Friday Morning and I am driving my son to school on Skillman, like we do everyday. But, today I notice something that really concerns me in the southbound lane, just after Mockingbird, near my favorite donut shop. Scattered all over both lanes are dozens of shotgun shells, which look brand new and ready to shoot. Brain dead commuters heading down Skillman don’t seem to be giving them any thought, driving over them like large chunks of gravel. Being the concerned citizen I am, I decide to call 311, but after being on hold for 5 minutes, I opt to call 911. Maybe I’m a tad paranoid but I don’t want to read in the news about some tragic shooting as a result of shotgun shell rounds going off under oblivious commuters tires and I don’t want my precious donut shop destroyed either. So I call 911, which puts me on hold and dumps me back over to 311, where I sit on hold for 25 minutes.
After I drop my son off at school, I decide that if I happen upon a cop I will ask him what he thinks. Luck is with me because I spot one a few minutes later sitting in a parking lot, in front of a donut shop (go figure). I pull up and tell him my story, all the while still on hold with 311. He makes a call into Central and they tell him they will send a car to check it out. About this time 311 picks up and proceeds to tell me they don’t have the intersection of Skillman and Mockingbird in their system. Then they ask me if it is in University Park? Are the city’s GIS systems so bad that they can’t find a major 90 year old intersection to fix a problem, or can’t this operator spell her way out of a wet paper bag? If I robbed stores this would be a great intersection to hit, the system wouldn’t know what to do with the request. Anyway, I digress, 5 minutes later and apparently requiring a MAPSCO, the operator tells me the street crew will respond in 1-24 hours. Realizing the whole neighborhood could be swiss cheese by then, I hang up and expressed my frustration to this cop. He proceeds to tell me how stupid people can be and imparts this funny story on me, which I will try to regurgitate below.
Last night while patrolling around White Rock Lake (which is his beat), he spots a car sitting in one of the open park areas. As he moves in to check it out a suspect runs off and disappears, leaving behind a t-shirt and one puma tennis shoe. The officer uses his detective skills and decides to pull back a block and watch and wait for the suspect knowing he will return for his shirt, shoe, and car. He parks in front of a house and while waiting notices someone coming up the street to his car from behind. The man asks the officer what he is doing there and if there is a problem. The officer responds that he is just observing a situation and that there is no problem. The man starts to walk off, but the astute officer notices that the man has no shirt on and is missing a puma tennis shoe. A light bulb goes off in his head and he decides to get out of his patrol car and ask the man where his shirt and shoe are. The suspect responds that they were in his parents house, which happens to be the house the patrol car is parked out in front of. The officer knowing he is lying decides to play along.
It is also obvious to the cop at this point that the man is intoxicated and tells him that he needs to go home and sleep it off. The drunk man tells the cop that he really doesn’t want to disturb his parents and would sleep in their backyard. The officer responds to him that it is not safe and insists on knocking on the door to speak with his parents. So the officer goes to the front door, knocks, and after several minutes an elderly woman answers the door. When the officer tells her that her son is drunk and needs to come in, she responds ” son? what son?” At that moment an elderly man comes to the door and the officer asks him about his “son” and shines his flashlight at the suspect’s face. The old man curtly responds, ” he isn’t our son, and he isn’t from around here!” At which point the cop goes back to the suspect and decides he is going to arrest him for public intoxication. The suspect knowing what is coming preemptively faces the cop car and puts his hands behind his back and says ” I really wish you hadn’t bothered them.”
The officer finishes this story to me with, ” people really are dumb, this guy practically arrests himself, and then is upset that I knocked on these people’s door to check out his story.”