Stupid Is As Stupid Is

Stupid Is As Stupid Is

There’s an adage in law enforcement; “We don’t catch the smart ones.”

On Friday night I had a front row seat to that saying on display as though it were “International Be A Moron Day”. The people I encountered were so stupid I felt like I was taking calls on our show.

I did a ride-along with Officer Pat who works for a division of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. This was not my first ride-along. I believe it was #14, but who’s counting? Having been out on the streets with the men and adorable women of law enforcement more than most, I learned long ago that what we all see on TV shows like COPS or Live PD is exactly what it’s like in any city, USA. I know that the majority of people the Police in America encounter, by definition, are not the brightest bulbs in the lamp. But dear Jesus, I’ve never seen such a concentrated amount of stupid in such a relatively short period of time.

Over the next few days (or all-day Monday depending on how and/or if I can control myself) I will share many of the stories on the air with my usual flair. But at the risk of show-bizzing myself, here are some highlights, many of which you’ll say “hey, wait a minute, I’ve seen that on COPS!” Yup, it was that night. A greatest-hits collection of the absolute dumbest people amongst the rest of us as follows:

  • An underage meth and marijuana user who, upon being found to have a roach in her pocket during the preliminary search uttered the famous phrase “this isn’t my jacket.” After finding both marijuana and Meth in her purse we jokingly asked if it was her purse to which she said, “yeah but I didn’t put that stuff in there.” One of the officers on the call said, “so random people are just, unbeknownst to you, putting drug paraphernalia in your purse?” and she replied “I guess.”

  • An African American male who was pulled over for an expired registration and turned out to be a parolee on probation for being a sex offender and drug offender who accused Officer Pat (also an African American) of being a racist for “hassling him.”

  • A 19-year-old in his car in a parking lot with a duffle bag of half-drunk liquor bottles at 1:30AM whom, when asked what he was doing said “I was just giving my car a rest.”

  • A dude with an open bottle of vodka which was ¾ consumed when he was pulled over who argued he wasn’t “drinking and driving,” because he had drunk the bottle 30 minutes BEFORE driving. (That one actually elicited from me an audible “Oh for Fuck’s sake,” which is wrong on my part, but I, apparently, couldn’t help myself.)

  • A female subject who was straight out of a Seinfeld episode that almost got Pat to wear a puffy shirt on the Today show. This bitch was incapable of forming sentences at an audible level to the point where I was almost making out with her just to hear the mumbles emitting from her Meth hole. I swear I don’t know where cops get their patience.

  • A guy living in his car because “all of the bitches in my life be crazy,” who, when asked if he’d ever been arrested before said “yes, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” It took everything I had to remain silent this time and not say “REALLY? Is that what they charged you? Being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Was it the misdemeanor or felony version of Wrong place, wrong time?”

  • A guy found in his car less than a mile from his home with plenty of alcohol in his car who, when asked why he stopped in the parking lot rather than going home said, “I don’t know.” And then, amazingly passed the field test and blew a .00 on the breathalyzer! Weirdo.

  • Remember the 19-year-old with the half-drunk liquor bottles in his car in a parking lot at 1:30AM? When asked why, as a minor, he was in possession with 3 bottles of hard alcohol and one bottle of wine said, “I was going to dump the alcohol and recycle the bottles.”

  • A guy illegally parked on the side of the road, three miles from the river (that’s important to the story), chowing down on a massive burrito while in the driver’s seat, looking like he’d been awake for all of October. When asked where he was heading, he said “to the river.” So why is he on the side of the road? “My stomach was growling and I couldn’t wait.” At this point, the female half his age asleep in the passenger seat emerged from the dead to reveal herself as an occupant in the car, almost getting shot in the process.

  • A girl who gave three false names as her ID and phony birthdates before Pat verbally lost it on her. Bitch went from being 17 to 18 to 16 years old in the course of 5 minutes. Lived with her parents, then lived with her Aunt. Then it was her Great Aunt. Then we found an ice pick on her which she claims to carry for protection. Then we found shaved keys to steal cars with. Then a meth pipe. Then baggies with drug residue. Then Pot. I stopped counting felonies at number 5.

  • Even the non-suspects were dummies. While getting coffee, the court jester who took our order (it was one of these drive-through places that sends out an employee to take your order when the line is really long, which I still don’t understand WHY a coffee place has 14 cars in line at MIDNIGHT, but I digress), and asked, as I sat in the passenger seat, if I was the District Attorney. Pat told him I was an FBI agent doing a ride-along and Captain Coffee Stupid asked if I was a special agent. I said, “I can’t answer that,” and he had his story of the night. Idiot. By the way, after that, when it was appropriate, I was for the rest of the evening, the local Director of Homeland Security observing. The 16- year-old’s Great Aunt who was called to the scene was quite impressed. Sidebar; when a fellow officer (Officer Casey) showed up to assist on a call and heard Officer Pat identify me as the local Director of Homeland Security, Officer Casey, (a listener) looked at me and said “dude, you don’t want that job, you can’t take the pay cut.”

These written descriptions do NO justice to what it’s really like to ride with the men and adorable women in blue. I still maintain that in Rob’s America, every citizen would be required to do at least one ride-along. Once you’re out there, and you see, hear, and feel it happen in real time, it’s amazing how your perspective changes. One minute you’re on patrol, and the next you’re getting called to a domestic violence seen. As you head there, updates come in like “she just punched him with a knife,” (An actual example from Friday night), and before you arrive she’s on the run and, oh by the way, she’s put her 4- week-old baby into a box of clothes and texted the picture to her mother on the East Coast. And that was the most boring call of the night.

I’ve never shied away from my support for the Thin Blue Line while also holding the small percentage of bad cops to account. Nights like Friday remind me that I’m right because I don’t want these scumbags interacting with me rather than them. When the night ended Pat said “lemme know when you want to go out again.” I said “I will and I do…a lot.”

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