Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Police Chase

There was an interesting story in the Post-Dispatch on private cars that look like Police cars. I found this interesting on many levels. I have looked at many old cop cars and motorcycles from police auctions. I nearly bought a police Chips style KZ about ten years ago. I had purchased an 83 Impala with the police package back in high school. It was promptly stolen in front of my folk's house a few weeks later. I used to own the same leather jacket that the Chicago PD motorcycle cops wore. I own a silver and black half shell helmet that looks like a state trooper lid. I am sure you get the idea. I like the cop style.

About ten or so years ago I was on my 83 1100 super sport, a hot old Honda motorbike, riding home after fueling up at the gas station on Gravois and Grand. I was late at night, I was heading home to my crib on Humphrey and I was only traveling a few blocks home. I didn't even buckle my half shell helmet on for this short trip. I slowly cruised up Grand Ave and looked over on Utah and noticed a car stopped slowly rolling from the west. It stopped short and the passengers gave me the eye. I gave them the eye right back. I was slowly rolling with my right foot slung over my rear pegs and my left foot slung under my other peg. I was being way too leisurely about my riding.

I didn't think anything of it until the car swung behind me and got right on my tail. I was about a block from my alley by the old Vietnam Cafe gangster hangout and I took a right turn heading east. The car followed me into the alley. I hit the throttle. I didn't know what was going on, but this was not good. I didn't have my helmet on properly; my jacket was not zipped up. There was a high likelihood that I would get into a wreck trying to evade this clown. I spun out of the alley onto Arkansas and gunned it on each street zig zagging until I was over on Connecticut by Roosevelt. I had gotten far enough in front of the car that I was going to buckle my helmet. I was going to head over to Schnucks for it was the only public place open that time of night.

I looked behind me to see if the car was still in pursuit. I then noticed that this little Chevy had a small dashboard police light. I was relieved. I was short of breath from nerves. But I should have been skeptical in retrospect. I immediately put my hands up in the air as I straddled on the bike and waited for it to be over. A plainclothes told me to get off the bike and he did the pat down. I was apologizing repeatedly, but again, in retrospect I don't think I had enough proof it was a cop. It wound up being a cop, but I wanted to believe it was a cop too. A crappy little chevy celebrity with a dashboard light, a plainclothes guy with a shield on his belt chasing me through an alley is just not a good idea. It wasn't even a full size caprice with a teardrop or anything. The cop was cool about everything and assured me it was okay. He handled it professionally. I then was made to stand in front of the car to be identified. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I did as was instructed. He told me I matched the description. There was a woman in the car who had been raped and they were looking for the perp. I was just trying to absorb everything that had happened in the previous two minutes. There was a crowd of people forming around us. I was scared and then disgusted by what had happened to the woman. I instinctually apologized to the woman. Probably not a good thing to say if I had gotten really jammed up. I was apologizing not on anything that I had done, but out of consolation. I was not thinking clearly.

The cop cleared me. I asked him if I was in the wrong by running. He smiled and said no.

This whole incident could have gone very very wrong in many ways. I could have wrecked. I could have been locked up. It could have been not a cop quite easily.

There was an instance in the past couple of months where I guy was locked up for raping a woman back in the 80s and was recently released for the DNA did not match up. He was completely exonerated. He was fingered by the woman immediately after she reported the crime. It happened on the near north side. The cops had come over and were taking the report and she pointed at this man when he was walking by the house. That is all he did. He walked by the house. The woman fingered him. It was not him. His family was with him during the time of the alleged crime. He maintained his innocence all along. And now it is 20 years later.


Blogger Murphy said...

My youngest sister is learning to drive (finally) and I pressed her on this. I told her to not stop for an unmarked cop until you are someplace where there are other people around, especially at night. There are too many people out there up to no good. My sister is of the trusting sort too, it can be a good trait, but you can't be indiscriminate about who you trust.

12:26 AM  

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