An Arresting Development

The other day I got a phone call from my cousin’s son telling me that he has been reading my stories blog and thought he had a good one to tell. You see, Jake lives in New York and had a recent run-in with the cops.

Jake, his wife and the two youngsters were out for a joyous ride to visit family in New Jersey. (That’s where he went wrong in the first place.) A half hour into the trek, they approached the toll booth in the Midtown Tunnel and gave the attendant the necessary coinage. Immediately, an officer who was hanging out with the toll taker took a hard look at the windshield of Jake’s car and with his Superman eye strength noticed that the registration paper indicated that it was now expired. He rushed out of the booth and made them pull over.

Jake’s wife was driving the car so the officer asked for her driver’s license. She pulled out a learner’s permit. The policeman then asked Jake to show his license. He had one, but it was from out of state and suspended. He then asked for a registration card which they could not find and for his insurance card, which turned out to be… you guessed it- expired.

The officer went back to his car to run tests on them to see if they had priors. In the meantime, all poor Jake could think of was that he had two screaming infants in the back seat and that the officer was going to arrest them, tow away the car and hand the kids over to a juvenile authority until a relative could claim them.

When the officer returned, he reviewed the situation in detail explaining that he had every right to do what Jake feared but instead exhibited a soft side. He told them that they were quite lucky because if it had happened in Manhattan, they surely would have been arrested. Instead, he issued Jake’s wife three tickets and told her that she better show up in court on the scheduled date. He then made them do a U-turn to go back where they came from.

I told Jake that he was indeed lucky and that in Chicago they would have been taken to jail, strip searched and the kids brought to DCFS. He said, “wait, that ain’t the end of it.”

He continued, “about two months later our doorbell rings at 7am. My wife gets up to answer it. Through the buzzer she asks, ‘who’s there?’ and the response is, ‘Its the police.’

I come out of bed about 10 minutes later to see five large NYPD officers standing around my wife. I stroll by and walk straight to the fridge to make my morning coffee. I turn around and ask them, ‘can I interest you in a drink, officers?’

They respectfully declined my offer and explained that they were going around for a sweep of the neighborhood to bring all those who missed their court dates to justice. Apparently we had forgotten (or just ignored) our court appearance for the traffic violations. They said that really they should put my wife in the police van with the rest of the scofflaws but told her she could just meet them at the courthouse at 10am that day to see the judge. One of the officers proceeded to give my wife his cell number.

My wife went to the courthouse and met the officer outside. He told her to walk with her hands behind her back because she was supposed to be placed in handcuffs. My wife was pregnant at the time and the officer instructed her to explain to the judge that she was uncomfortable because of the pregnancy if asked by the judge why she wasn’t cuffed.

She walks into the courtroom and is appointed an attorney. Together they walk up to the judge. The judge quickly glances at the file. She immediately dismisses two of the tickets, and the fine on the third one is reduced. My wife promptly pays the clerk, walks out of the courthouse, and drives home by herself- still with only a learners permit.”

I told him that it was truly an amazing story. I asked him if he had learned a lesson out of all this. He said, “yeah- we decided that from now on whenever we go out for a drive, my wife is going to stuff a small pillow under her blouse so she will look pregnant.”

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