Behind the Badge

Thanks for not beating me

One evening while patrolling, I observed a car coming toward me very slowly. It was a small expensive foreign car. It was just beginning to get dark out, but the car did not have its headlights on, however, its emergency flashers were blinking as the car slowly passed me. I took a look at it, but could not see anything wrong. I made a U-turn behind the car then caught up with it.

It was still going very slowly and still had its emergency blinkers on. I turned my blue light on, more to warn oncoming traffic then anything else. The car pulled off the road ahead of me.

I exited my patrol car and approached the car, content with the thought of stopping to help this unfortunate motorist. As I came even with the driver's door, the driver rolled down his window. Smiling and thinking to myself, how thankful this man will be for my help, I asked, "Can I help? What's the problem?"

I was not ready for the answer I got. The man looked at me then at the dashboard of his car and said, "I can't get these damn lights to quit blinking." While he said this, he grabbed the headlight knob and pulled and pushed it several times.

My partner, who was 100% good ole country boy, looked over the top of the car, smiled and said, "I think he's pickled!" I told my partner that I agreed and I was going to get him out of the car.

I asked the driver to step out of the car but he had trouble getting the door open. I reached down and opened the door. The driver immediately started to get out, however, he forgot to stick his feet out first. Before I could grab him he fell face first onto the pavement at my feet. I got him to his feet and off the road so he would not get hit by a car. I attempted to give him a field sobriety test, consisting of touching his nose, standing on one foot, etc. I had to stop, because every time I let him go, he would start to fall.

I arrested him for driving under the influence. I put him into the back of my patrol car and called for a tow truck to come get his car. While we sat there waiting for the wrecker to show up, he told me, "Officer, I'm glad you got me off the road, a drunk like me could kill somebody."

We finally got his car taken care of and headed for the county jail which was about thirty miles away. Before we got very far, he was talking up a storm. "Ya know I've heard a lot about Southern cops but you guys are all right. I just want you to know that I think you are doing a great job. Thanks a lot for not beating me!"

By the time we got him to jail he had thanked us five or six times for being so nice and not beating him. It's kind of hard to lock up a person who keeps thanking you for doing your job, but being the fine officers that we were, we locked him up and went back out on patrol.

by R.L. Dettwiler


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