Cops, Cars, & Rotten Luck
I was following blogs from blog to blog, you see, and I saw this blog
. I don't think I know the author, but she seems to know people I know. Her October 20th entry is all about an auto mishap and the lame response of the police in her town.
I used to live there and I had three encounters with the police.
The first occurred when I had only lived there a month or two. I was pulled over for having a tail-light out. Back then I still had my super-cool 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Its seatbelts were simple lapbelts with funky clunky buckles that snapped onto a ring mounted on the frame tunnel between the front seats. When I unhooked my seatbelt to get my license out of my back pocket, the buckle clicked, and the cop went for his gun. I freaked out, he freaked out, and he insisted on searching my car to recover his dignity.
Incident two: I came home from work to discover that my apartment had been broken into. I only had a few things worth stealing: a ring and a watch (which I was wearing), an Onkyo stereo receiver (which was in a pawn shop), and a really cool, old 35-mm automatic camera, powered by a clockwork motor which was wound when you advanced the film. It was still in the original box. This was my only valuable possession which was actually in the apartment at the time of the robbery, so it was the only thing taken. In one way I was lucky. The police woman who showed up was nice and sympathetic, but absolutely nothing ever came out of it.
And finally, there was The Wreck. I was driving to an eye exam on a four-lane street. There was a Jerr-Dan tow truck in the right lane. I moved into the left lane to pass it. Suddenly, the fool driver made a left turn. From the right lane. He plowed into my car.
At first he was the exemplar of calm. He said he worked with junked cars, and he could get me parts to fix mine. He didn't see any reason to involve the police.
This made me want to call the police even more, so I did.
As soon as the officer stepped out of his squad car, the towtruck driver metamorphed into a frantic madman. He was literally waving his arms in the air, saying that he had seen me coming, that I had been speeding, and that he hadn't been able to avoid hitting me.
He successfully intimidated the policeman. The policeman said A.) he couldn't tell whose fault it was, and B.) that judging by the skid marks,it looked like I could have been speeding.
The skid marks were caused when the tow truck was dragging my car sideways.
So because the officer wouldn't say whose fault it was, I had to take the tow truck driver to small claims court to get an insurance settlement. I bought that Volkswagen when I was still in high school, so the title was in my father's name. I had to get my dad's signature on the paperwork to take the other driver to court.
I hate to say it, but to end the story honestly - My dad really let me down. In a big way.