Police Blotter

by Prescott Johanson

My dealings with the police over the years have been often, but luckily with minimal consequences. The following are all true stories of these encounters that I thought you may enjoy.

In high school I was lucky enough to have the combination of older friends, and a supportive mom that allowed partying in her house as long as we didn't drive, with the theory that it is better to do it there where we are safe then out in the depths of a depraved society. She never used those words, but you get the point. Between my Jr and Sr year my house was the spot, the place where all my friends, and others came to have fun and party. Over those two years the cops paid a visit to the house nearly 10 times for noise violations and a variety of other things, but no arrests were ever made. One of my older friends, all legal drinkers would always cut them off at the pass before they could interrogate the 15-20 underage drinkers that were hiding inside. Amazing but true, no arrests ever made, and that was the start of my dealings with the police.

The first time I ever got pulled over driving was Christmas break of my freshman year in college on the way back from a nearby city dropping my ex-girlfriend who was visiting from Florida off at her sisters house. It was new years day, and I saw the lights and sirens coming into my rearview on a 4 lane highway. I pulled over to the small bank on the left side and the officer had to prod me with his mega phone to go to the other, less dangerous side of the road. I was only 18 at the time and young looking at that but the cop was taken aback by the appearance of my car, a decrepit 15 year old Mustang. I had some trouble with one of the toughest, meanest guys in our town and 25 or so of his friends who surrounded me one day and threatened me and my mom with sure bodily harm and possibly death for a variety of small, but to him apparently important actions. You know how bullies are, one of his friends wanted to fight me, of which I would kill, but not these varies other thugs. Long story short I had an aluminum bat between the seat and the center council, after all I would go down fighting, but this is now what the cop was eyeballing and questioning me about. He seemed to believe me, but then also looked up at my steering column that had been completely removed some months ago when I lost my only set of keys and we tried to remove it to no avail to get a new set made. The stripped steering column and the ball bat were a bad combo, and the officer grilled me pretty good, asking me all kinds of questions that I answered calmly and accurately, after all it was the truth so I felt alright, not too scared. He did give me my first ticket but did not drag me out of the car, beat me with his flashlight and mace me, so I considered it a small victory.

A little over a month later, with freezing cold weather and a foot of snow on the ground, me and my friend Tom were roadying a joint driving around town. We turned into a neighborhood and a cop followed us with his lights on, oh fuck. I told Tom, who was driving, to just be calm and I slowly put the joint out and put it in my pocket. We rolled the windows down, which would draw attention due to the cold but we figured that's better then a hot boxed vehicle reeking of marijuana. When we first started smoking my core group of friends had turned a sports cards box into our "stash box" and named it the "classic set" for it's former contents. We had everything in there we could possibly need for our smoking pleasure including a pill bottle with 70 or so "roaches", 3 bowls, numerous packs of papers, a scale, a rolling machine, and a number of other things. To celebrate the start of all this we picked a side of the box and decorated it with numerous pictures, writings and our names. Well, this box full of all this potential jail time was between my legs on the floorboard so there was some cause for concern. Eventually the cop meandered up saying we had not used our turn signal, big fucking deal but we had bigger problems, his partner I could see on my side at the edge of our car apparently in response to my window being down. Tom answered what we were doing by naming some guy he had class with as our destination and the cop seemed to buy it after making Tom explain where it was. The cop then made a comment that nearly made my heart stop, that he smelled smoke and he asked what it was. I came back that I had smoked a cigarette earlier, because I was of age and Tom was not. He seemed pretty skeptical but let us go with only a warning. That was a close one, we would have been cooked, but we played it cool and were smoking another joint withing a half hr instead of me being in jail and Tom having his parents pick him up from the station.

My freshman year of college I lived in an all male dorm with a bunch of guys that I had become good friends with. I was a known pot smoker, and my friend Paul had recently took a couple tokes for the first time at a party he was at. I had to run back to my home town to pick up some bud for resale purposes and asked if he wanted to go with me. We went to another friend of mine named Aaron's house to pick up the package and visit for a little while. I used his scale as I didn't have one and weighed the 2 ounces out into quarters. I get fucked up bad when I hang with them as they love to smoke and we rolled up 2 each for the 4 of us total, and they were fat ones too. Paul got quieter and quieter the more we smoked but seemed alright so nobody was concerned or anything. I put the bags in my backpack and me and Paul left with it in the back seat. Paul instantly commented how fucked up he was as soon as we hit the road and I could tell because his eyes were red as an apple and nearly closed. Jesus I thought but tried to calm him down by telling him that it is a non toxic drug and he would come down off of it in a little while, to just relax and enjoy the ride. He was basically catatonic, passed out in the passenger seat not saying anything but mumbling periodically. About this time I passed a cop that slammed on his brakes and turned around lights blaring. He pulled me over and I told Paul to just be calm, don't say or do anything. This is it I thought, the one that gets me ass raped in prison, possession with intent to sell, I'm fucked. The cop took my info and asked me questions which I answered calmly and swiftly. Namely we were home to do some laundry and get a good meal, the laundry basket in the back a good cover, and we were heading back to school right now. He eventually let us ago with yet another warning and I drove off with my heart beating out of my chest. I was concentrating on the cop and not on Paul and was shocked that he had held it together, maybe the cop didn't even look at him. He was still completely wasted when we drove on, sorta in a daze not really even responding to what had just transpired. That was the closest yet, damn am I a lucky son of a bitch. You can't see but I'm knocking on wood as I'm typing this.

The following summer, yes all these happened in a 6 month period, we were all at a friends house drinking, swimming in the pool and partying. There were about 15 of us total and had literally hundreds of beer cans strewn throughout the house. This was a great summer as we had all spent it smoking, drinking, hacky sacking and having a general good time. A small group of us were in the basement smoking a couple joints when we heard a commotion upstairs. Someone snuck down and told us that the cops had come in the house and were grilling everyone and causing trouble. Apparently they were called for the noise but just came on in following someone from the pool who hadn't seen them coming. We kept quiet but eventually 2 of them came down and immediately smelled the smoke. They made us all empty our pockets and searched the downstairs but we had stashed it good, lied through our teeth and kept cool. They eventually left saying that they would be back, at which point we moved the party elsewhere but we never heard from them again. We were dead to rights as not one of us were old enough to buy or consume the nearly 200 beers and the probable cause of drugs didn't help either. The thing that stuck out in my mind is the belief that the cops knew they had entered illegally. Some of us mentioned that too them, and so I think they knew that none of the evidence would be able to be used and in fact they would be in trouble for entering like that. It was more trouble then it was worth to them and lucky for us.

Later that summer me and Aaron were heading up to the lakes to meet some other friends of ours when we got pulled over again, and yes the same classic set was on the truck seat in between us. We had not been smoking but Aaron had just had a birthday and had expired tags, fuck. The cop found out and followed us to a rest area to leave the truck and call our friends. The cop threatened us to leave the truck or he would arrest us both if they caught us driving again. Well, the cop left and we took off, making it safely up to our friends with a lot of luck and the precise following of all driving laws. We didn't even see another cop, phew.

Almost every time I've gotten pulled over I was in possession of illegal substances, and sometimes numerous illegal substances. You've also read about me getting kicked out of a Florida State Football game, and there was another time driving to Florida that I had expired tags and drugs. The cop made a mistake there to and I called him on it and he let me go with no trouble. My best advise, don't tempt the law, they are waiting to crush you. Leave the drugs at home and never drive under the influence of alcohol. If you do find yourself in any of these situations in this article you do have a chance, be calm and do everything the officer says. If you try to argue with them, they will win and you will be in jail. Also, If you plead with an officer you are all but admitting wrong, and they have no sympathy so don't do it. Simply do what they say, stay calm, deny everything and never, ever let them search your car without a warrant. If they mess up, mention it in a subtle, non threatening way so they know you noticed and understand that you do have something on them. Follow these simple rules, pray and promise yourself you'll never do it again and maybe you'll survive.

PJ

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