Speed

I guess all cops are(n’t) bad – Part 2

california-highway-patrol

So, for the next stage of this ongoing and disagreeable saga the stage was set by a visit to Oregon House with Brandon and Amanda. Since night life in Oregon House consists of seeing how fast you can drive with your lights off, going to The Palace and looking at Bailey or going to the Willow Glen Saloon, we opted for the Willow Glen Saloon on this particular night…

So, on our way, I pulled out onto Frenchtown Road from the driveway of the Ames estate and almost immediately the headlights of another vehicle appeared in my rearview mirror. Well, I am the reigning champion of Frenchtown Road and like to dispose of challengers rapidly. So, I immediately began to accelerate until I started putting some distance between the other driver and me. Well, the other driver was persistent and continued to accelerate in an effort to keep up with me. I was telling a story to Brandon and Amanda and so did not devote all of my attention to the challenger, but did make sure to maintain a healthy lead.

When we got to Marysville Road, I decided that the gauntlet had indeed been thrown down as the challenger was still trying to keep up and so I decided to take this to the next level of driving. I treated the stop sign at Frenchtown Road as a yield sign and so was able to make an excellent entry onto Marysville Road where I continued my positive momentum up to about 90 mph. At this point, I simply decided to maintain the 90 mph cruising speed because I had left the challenger far behind.

The Willow Glen is a only a couple of miles away from Frenchtown Road and so I was soon near the point where one turns into the Willow Glen parking lot. Glancing back to see if any sign of the challenger could be observed, I spotted a distinctive red and blue flash reflecting off of the cliffs by Collins Lake.

“Son of a bitch”, I exclaimed, “Was I racing another cop?”

We couldn’t see the challenger’s vehicle yet, just the lights bouncing off of the cliff, but so intent were we on deciphering the light pattern that I blew the first (and easy) entrance to the Willow Glen and instead coasted up to the stop sign. This error cost me dearly as it gave my opponent a chance to come within visual range of me. However, this visual acquisition did allow us to answer that nagging question about my challenger’s identity – lights and sirens aren’t very ambiguous…

Yes, dear reader, I’m afraid I was racing another cop. I’ve established something of a habit of doing this recently I regret to say…

The cop in question was a sheriff’s deputy and he pulled up to me right in front of the Willow Glen with full lights and siren still on (this provoked quite a stir amongst the locals and made me the celebrity of the night when I strode into the bar). The sheriff’s deputy and his partner hastened up to my car at which point the following conversation ensued:

Deputy) How you doin’ this evening? Where are you going so fast?

I simply pointed to the Willow Glen

Deputy) Oh, you’re in a hurry to get drunk? You been drinking already?

Justin) No, I haven’t (Which was the truth).

Deputy) So who’s been drinking?

Amanda and Justin) None of us have.

At this point the deputy took a pen out of his pocket and started conducting a field sobriety test by having me track the pen with my eyes. I apparently failed because I was soon hit with:

Deputy) Step out of the car please.

I followed him back to the 4×4 they were driving at which point he again conducted the field sobriety test with his pen. This time I was facing directly into the flashing lights which made it damned hard to keep my eyes locked in on the pen. So, I failed the field sobriety test again. He again asked me if I’d been drinking which I again denied (truthfully). The deputy then had me blow onto his hand and then he smelled his hand. This did the trick to convince him that I wasn’t drunk as he immediately relaxed and declared, “Man, I couldn’t keep up with you.” I don’t remember how I responded, but inside I was glowing. Sure it was going to cost me, but I’d taken the best of the sheriff’s department on Frenchtown Road and Marysville Road and he was driving a much more powerful vehicle.

As they started to run my tags and information, I started bullshitting and swapping stories with the two deputies. I’ll spare you a detailed account of the conversation, dear reader, but I will share a couple of the good stories the deputies had as well as a couple of interesting tidbits of information.

Story 1

A California Highway Patrolman was chasing a speeder in the Foothills and traveling at 95 mph. A deer ran out in front of the Highway Patrolman and he was unable to avoid hitting the deer. The car just annihilated the deer – no body was left, nothing… The deer was essentially liquefied. The force of the impact activated the air bag in the vehicle and it blew up in the cop’s face, breaking his nose. Nevertheless, he continued driving in an effort to catch the speeder. However, the airbag dust in the car was so thick that it soon blinded him and he was forced to abandon the pursuit. The speeder got away…

Just as the deputy finished his story, he gushed, “You’re a cool guy – not like all of the other traffic stops I get. You’re refreshing.” Tough to have any hard feelings during a love session like that, dear reader…

I asked the deputy what the highest speed he’d ever written a ticket for was and he launched into:

Story 2

Apparently, he was chasing a speeder on Loma Rica Road (in the section with all of the straight stretches) and was unable to keep up. So, he radioed the California Highway Patrol which just happened to have a helicopter in the area. The helicopter joined the pursuit and after a brief time decided to end the chase by landing in the middle of the road, almost on top of the car being pursued. The driver got the message and stopped.

Two interesting tidbits

* The sheriff’s department carries Glock 22s (.40 caliber)

* The vehicles issued to the sheriff’s department are all equipped with a 100 mph governor. I was rather surprised by this as I envisioned pursuits exceeding 100 mph in which the deputies would find themselves at a distinct disadvantage. I expressed my surprise and the response I received was that with the twisty roads in Yuba County, one has no need to go faster because except in extreme circumstances, it isn’t possible to go faster. I decided not to share my extensive evidence to the contrary and filed that little fact away for possible future use. So, seriously, anyone with a motorcycle or a decent car, well, you have options…

Almost apologetically, the deputy explained that they had to give me some sort of ticket given the extent of my violations – failing to stop at the stop sign, speeds in excess of 90 mph, crossing double yellow lines, etc. This is clearly reckless driving territory, but Johnny Law cut me a break by simply issuing me a speeding ticket for 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.

I think it’s funny that the ticket reads “75+”…

speeding-ticket

If it’s any indication of how long I was bullshitting with/talking to the deputies, after I returned to my car to drive away, I had a dead battery. You see, I’d left my lights on when I was pulled over and had turned my engine off. We had to push start my car because no one had any jumper cables. And, I have a Honda which makes quality everything. So, I was hanging out with the deputies for quite a while…

“Wow”, you must be thinking, “Justin has entered a new era of relations with the law enforcement community.” Well, not so fast, kids… There is an addendum to this story: The next ticket (and by my estimation somewhere around ticket #35 for my lifetime total)…

A mere several days later, I again found myself traveling to Oregon House. I was on Marysville Road and was last in a line of six cars that was stuck behind a construction truck doing 40 mph. I am not exaggerating for the sake of entertainment – They really were driving 40 mph. We came across a straight section of road and all six cars passed in a line.

As we were pulling back into our lane, I noticed a California Highway Patrolman tucked into a driveway along the road. Of course, he pulled me over…

As soon as he got to my car, he started hassling me for pulling over on the left side of the road instead of the right. Well, the right side of the road in this area has no shoulder to speak of and runs right along a cliff. So, the Patrolman would have had to walk out in the middle of the road to get to my car. The left side of the road had a large turnout that allowed him to approach my car safely and comfortably. I explained my reasoning and he responded in a sarcastic tone, “How considerate of you.” This annoyed me, but I didn’t press it any further. The dear officer then advised me that I’d been pulled over for driving 73 mph and made an offhand comment that some of the other drivers that had been passing were going a lot faster. Noting my raised eyebrows, he added, “Well, it’s a pain in the ass to pull over more than one car at a time.” Apparently still feeling a little defensive, he informed me that I couldn’t possibly have seen any oncoming traffic when I was passing because of the cars in front of me. I politely pointed out that I was able to see the road was clear in front of me as we rounded the corner that immediately preceded the straight stretch of road (This was a true statement by the way). I didn’t add that if there was oncoming traffic, the cars in front of me would have borne the impact instead of me, but I think it is a valid point. The response I received? “I’m not going to stand here and argue with you,” he snapped. So, I got a ticket simply because I was last in the line…

I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation, but suffice it to say, things did not improve. So, this guy was an asshole and I found the rationale behind me being the only one to receive a ticket rather dubious…

speeding-ticket

So, it isn’t quite time yet to declare a new era in Justin Ames/Law Enforcement relations…

Yep… Caught ridin’ dirty…

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2 thoughts on “I guess all cops are(n’t) bad – Part 2

  1. it seems like the sheriff guys are cool, but the highway patrol are just like state troopers and are usually immature assholes

  2. Pingback: Visiting The Sovereign Military Order Of Malta | The Velvet Rocket

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