Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Easter - Part 1

(Written in Vancouver, the Monday after Easter)

Yesterday was one bite in the ass after another...
Need to get from San Jose to Vancouver- the most expedient is a flight via LAX. Early.
With a 2 hour layover in LA.
But... (There's always a but, eh?)
I need to leave some equipment at the arena in SJ before I go.
It was a late night at the Kings/Sharks, I get back to hotel and pack for OMG:30 departure, get a pitiful amount of sleep, then go to the arena and wake up the security guard and drop off the package.
I head back to the curb to my rental and one of local SJ cops is there, checking out my rental Chrysler.

Office Motherfucker: "This your car?"
Not 'hello'... not 'good morning'.

Yours Truly: "Yes sir. Just dropping off a package."

OMF: "I didn't ask what you were doing. License and registration."
I don't know what put this guy on edge, but I don't need a Rodney King moment...

YT: "License is in my wallet-" turning my right side to him and slowly pulling out my wallet. I gave it to him.
"...and the rental agreement is in the car."

OMF: "Rental agreement? You said this was your car."
He clears his right hand and unsnaps his holster.
You've gotta be shitting me.

OMF: "Where is this rental agreement?" - eyes narrowed, very Eastwood-esque.

YT: "Over the visor- drivers side."

OMF: "You just stand over there; as a matter of fact- hands on the hood, feet apart."
Really? Why don't you just prone me out and cuff me?

YT assumes "The Position"

OMF retrieves the RA looks at it, my license & insurance card.

OMF: "Don't move. You stay right there."
He goes back to his car, presumably to radio in a check on my license and the car.

I do my absolute best to be perfectly still... Not giving this guy a reason to do anything. I don't know what has set him off but he's got a bee in his bonnet and the last time I was in a predicament like this I spent the weekend in jail in Daytona Beach with the (very drunk) California Raisins.

He returns to the car, clipboard in hand.
Splendid. A ticket is in the offing, no doubt.

OMF: "Sir, are there any contraband, drugs, weapons, or other illegal items in your vehicle?"

YT: "Not to my knowledge, sir."
(Accurate, but vague, I know, but it is really the only appropriate answer, given that it is a rental and was valet parked at the hotel the night before.)

OMF: "You being funny? 'Not to my knowledge'"?

YT: "No sir. This is a rental car, and it was valet parked last night. I had no control over it for the last 6 hours..." I explained.

OMF: "Well then, why don't we search your car?"

Normally I try not to poke the dragon with 4th Amendment issues, and as irritating as this was, and as dangerous a position I was possibly putting myself, I really didn't feel like rolling over on this. After all, it's the TSA's job to make me feel violated and criminal-like.

YT: "Mind sharing your 'reasonable suspicion' with me?"

OMF: "Well, Mr. Not To My Knowledge, your suspicious answers to my routine questions are all I need. Now, do you consent to a search? Or do I need to detain you here while I get a court order, and call in all the drug dogs and forensics teams?"

Wow. This is getting out of hand.

YT: "Keys are in my pocket- search away."

He finds my bags in the trunk-
OMF: "You going somewhere?"

YT: "Yep. I have a flight to LA later this morning."

OMF: "Yeah, well, we'll see about that."

35 minutes later my tool bag is emptied out, all contents scattered over the inside trunk of the car- my clothes bag is open and most of the clothes pulled out, and the contents of my computer bag are strewn all over the hood of the car.

He has questioned me regarding why I have 30 or so single mode fiber jumpers in various lengths in my tool bag,  what a Multidyne 1500 transceiver is, why I have a commercial-grade green laser in my computer bag, and the pièce de résistance, my S&W lockblade.

When he pulled it out of my tool kit and eyed it like he'd found a small rattlesnake hiding in there, I knew we'd be having a chat.

OMF: "We're going to have to have to talk about this... You said there were no weapons in your vehicle."

YT: "Not a weapon, it's a tool."

OMF: "I have to disagree. It's a weapon."

YT: "Where did you find it? In my TOOLKIT?"

OMF looks at me like one would appraise an offending cheese...

Now, the last thing I want to do is give him a reason to continue to fuck with me, but after the first 3 minutes of interaction I knew the deal here- OMF is pissed that he's working Easter Morning and he wants to take it out on someone.
And knowing the mentality of a large majority of police offices, they tend to be controlmongers... Any opportunity to exercise control and power over someone gives them a stiffy.
And this guy would just probably just love to make me miss my flight.
He meanders back to his car and sits in the air conditioning and fills out some paperwork.

He returns several minutes later- 

OMF: "I have some presents for you."
Gives me the clipboard.
 OMF: "The first one is a ticket for improper parking and second is for violating a traffic control device."

What. The. Fuck.

OMF: "The traffic control device is that sign over there that says 'No Stopping or Standing', in case you were wondering."

He flips through my tickets.

OMF: "This is a receipt for your WEAPON. I'm confiscating it in the interest of public safety. You can file a petition to get it back at the San Jose County Courthouse.
You can schedule a hearing with the clerk of the courts."

I keep my mouth shut tight because I have a feeling OMF is just itching for a confrontation. I read the the tickets...
Nothing inflammatory, just a nice $150 bite in the ass because this asshat is pissed off to be working on a holiday.
I sign where indicated, quietly, and continue reading the citations and ignore Officer Motherfucker.
OMF: "Any questions?"
YT: "No sir."
No eye contact, reading the fine print.
OMF: "Well, then. You have a nice day."
YT: "Yes sir."

Officer Motherfucker gets back in his cruiser and I assume, starts doing paperwork.
I give it a full 30 seconds before doing anything, then I start putting my computer bag back together, followed by my toolkit, then my clothes/dirty laundry go back into my suitcase...
I notice Ofcr MF watching me as I work.

Not gonna give this guy the pleasure of screwing with me any more than he already has, but I have a feeling that when I drive off, he's going to follow me...
Which he does. Quelle Surprise.

Fortunately, it's a very short drive over surface streets to SJC. I stop to gas the rental and OMF drives on by.

Hell, I figured he'd pull in and make sure I didn't put standard unleaded fuel in my E85 FlexFuel car.

I hear that's a felony in California.

(The saga continues - see next post)

1 comment:

DaddyBear said...

What a jerk. You're probably right. He was pissed and looking for a target. You handled it as best you could, and I'm guessing you never saw that knife again.