Thursday, April 9, 2015

Seeing What You Want To See

I once came across a van, occupied by about 5 males, off by itself in the corner of a parking lot. The whole thing looked suspicious as hell - this van full of guys just sitting there in the middle of nowhere, engine running, and everybody sort of groping around inside.

As I approached on foot, I could see that several occupants were nodding off as though they were stoned out of their minds. I'm thinking that this is going to be a good drug bust. When I knocked on the window, a couple of them even turned away from me like they didn't want me to see their faces.

I got an ID from the driver, and tried to get IDs from the rest of them, but only a few were alert enough to be able to produce them. I was about to call for back-up, an ambulance, and a drug dog, when the driver says, "You know, these guys are all residents at Big Group Home for the Handicapped - we're just out for a drive. Did we do something wrong?"

I gave everybody their IDs back, apologized, and got the hell out of there. Sometimes, I can be really stupid.


Anonymous said...

No, you weren't being stupid. You were doing your job. Your experience and instincts as a LEO made you suspicious, and it was your duty to follow up on them.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - No, he wasn't doing his job. That was the whole point of the post. His job is to be the good guy, not to be the asshole in a uniform who makes stroke victims produce their papers just to go on a drive from the group home.

(Officer Cynical, you're still cool and awesome. Everyone makes mistakes. It's just ok to say they made a mistake.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think he was being an asshole 1155. Just checking out a suspicious looking situation.

clairesmum said...

I dint think you were being a jerk. I do think the van driver ought to have explained the situation to you sooner...and I have a strong suspicion that the passengers were supposed to be at a destination other than " the corner of a parking lot." If none of the passengers would be able to credibly report events, the opportunity/ temptation is for a driver to get lost/ stuck in traffic/ have car trouble that spontaneously resolves in a half hour/ some other vague story so that driver can do personal errands, go visit girlfriend, etc. while on the clock. Then deliver residents back to group home at approximately the time they were due back, and gamble that no one will check out your story too carefully. I'm cynical, too!