Monday, December 1, 2014

Video Doesn't Lie

I went to traffic court for a STOP sign violation. The driver, a 16-year-old girl, hadn't even slowed down at a 4-way STOP, and I wrote her a ticket for it.

She shows up in court with her father. They sit together at the defense table, her holding onto some big rolled-up cardboard poster, which I assume has a diagram of some kind on it showing how I wrote her a ticket for absolutely nothing.

I get called to testify, and after I do the City Attorney asks that my squad car video be played. The judge actually has it played twice - probably because he can't believe this kid is contesting such a blatant violation, which is clearly shown in the video.

I look down at the defense table, and the girl's father is death-staring his daughter with an expression that, had my father given me the same expression, would have caused me to run away from home and join a traveling circus.

Judge (to the girl and her father): "Do you have any questions for the Officer?"

Father: (still glaring at daughter and with venom nearly visible in his voice) "No, Your Honor."

Judge: "Do you have any testimony that you want to give?"

Father: (still glaring, more venom)  "No, Your Honor."

Judge" Do you have anything at all that you want to say in your defense?"

Father: (continued glaring, yet more venom) "No, Your Honor."

The judge dismisses me, finds the girl guilty, and fines her. She and her father exit the courtroom, with him still giving her the I'm-going-to-murder-you stare.

I never did get to see what was on the poster.


Heidi said...

Ouch. Welcome to reality, little girl.

Jay said...

Somehow I think she will face two judgements that day. If she was wise she should have asked the court to lock her up somewhere safe.
Cruiser camera verses poster. Camera wins. You have gotta love cameras.

Anonymous said...

I got hit as a pedestrian by an idiot teenager with no insurance. Given that it was car vs pedestrian (on a sidewalk, no less) there was no way the kid was going to win. The judge tried to convince him not to go to trial, telling him he would not win because of the law, which basically was anytime a car hits a pedestrian, it's the car driver's fault. Then he tried to use a heavy snow as an excuse to not get to the trial, but my mother made it from 45 min. away, my interpreter (I'm deaf) made it from an hour and a half away and I made it. I at that point the judge was irritated enough to find him guilty in absentia.

Teenagers are so stupid sometimes.

Moose said...

A couple million years ago a friend of mine was riding her bicycle across an intersection, with the light, when a teenage driver ran right into her. Said driver stopped the car, jumped out, saw my friend struggling to get herself and the bicycle upright, jumped back in his car, and drove off. My friend had presence of mind to get the license place info and called the cops. Unfortunately, due to the local laws at the time, they couldn't do more than give the jerk a ticket, but the nice cops suggested she a) get herself checked out by a doctor asap, b) get an estimate to fix the bike, and c) save all the receipts and file a civil lawsuit. Due to the amount she took the kid to small claims court.

She had me go with her to court, so I got to witness the end of things. The kid shows up with his daddy, both in nice suits. My friend tells the magistrate what happened from her POV, and gives the magistrate the bill for the doctor (nothing more serious than soft tissue injury, which still hurts like hell), the repair estimate for the bike (the frame and one wheel were bent), and the name of the cop who came when she called 911.

The magistrate then asks the kid for his tale. The kid says something like, "I didn't see her! She rode out right in front of me! Besides, she was fine! I got out and saw her get up. There was nothing wrong with her, so I left!"

The magistrate asks, "So, you're saying that you did hit her, but since she looked ok you felt it was fine to drive away?" The kid replies, "Sure. She was fine!"

The magistrate gave my friend the maximum amount allowed in a small claims court which covered her bills and then some, and gave the kid a scathing lecture about how lucky he was that nobody was more seriously injured. The kid's father looked like he was going to strangle his kid and practically dragged the kid out the door by his ear.

Anonymous said...

glad to see the dad was respectful to the judge