Monday, June 8, 2015

Don't Hit The Nice Lady's Car

My call load simply doesn't allow me to spend a ton of time investigating hit-and-run accidents, unless I have some solid information to go on. Besides, they're usually pretty minor, and I try to educate the victim that a full-blown report is probably a waste of time. The only thing I have to put on it is their own registration and insurance info, and insurance companies will usually pay out on such petty stuff without a report anyway.

But one day I got dispatched to a hit-and-run on a residential street. The car had been legally parked in front of the owner's house. When she went outside to drive to work, she found it damaged. "Damaged" is actually an understatement. It was demolished. Someone had hit the driver's side rear corner, and proceeded to plow through the entire driver's side. They made one mistake, however: they left the right front quarter panel at the scene.

I took the quarter panel to a body shop where I knew the manager. He did some research, and was able to tell me year, make, and model. Obviously, I knew the color. So, I put that out in a BOLO to all the neighboring agencies, never dreaming anything would come of it.

About 30 minutes later, I get a phone call from a cop in the next town over. He tells me about a car he had stopped the night before - same color, year, make, model as the one I'm looking for - and it had huge recent damage to the front and passenger side. He gave me the driver's name and address.

I pull into the guy's driveway, and there's the car. It's missing the right front quarter panel. Some of the other parts I had collected fit perfectly - like pieces of a puzzle - into the damaged car.

About that time, the driver comes out. He tells me he's not sure how the damage happened. He thinks he might have "bumped" a parked car, but he's not sure. The location he gives me is almost exactly where the lady's house is. Conveniently, he doesn't remember a whole lot about the incident. (Let me guess: BAC at least .20?).

I write the guy every ticket I can think of. He doesn't protest any of it. I go back to the lady's house and tell her I got the guy. She gives me a hug. I liked it.


cairesmum said...

Score one for the good guys!

Ms. Donna said...

YEA! Hope the idiot pays.

Something like this happened to my mom this weekend. Someone hit and badly damaged her mailbox.

The officer next door was going to work, stopped, alerted Mom to the damage and went off. We (Mom and I)figured he was going to work, and I started picking up the 1001+ pieces.

He pulled up while I was bent over double in the street(note: I will not see 50 again. BUT, that does not mean I want the nice-looking officer to see the, ahem, large target.)

Lo and behold, he found the damaged car and better yet, the culprit. She admitted to falling asleep and knew she'd hit something. The neighbor suspects ETOH involved, but she was not driving. We now have a police report and a note from Ms. Driver saying she's responsible.

Replacing the mailbox post is more than $300. That does not include installation. Mom's subdivision has standard boxes and posts that have to come from one source.

I need tips on what to give the officer, or if he won't take anything, his canine partner. What wuld they like?

Anonymous said...

We had a hit and run in our neighborhood one time where the culprit forgot the first rule of hit and run - make sure your front license plate didn't come off your car. Took the police no time at all to locate him.