I recently had a completely new experience. I was offered a bribe. I’d like to think it was meant to be a joke given the circumstances, but in retrospect, I’m not so sure. I’ll tell you what happened…you tell me what you would have done. And when you comment, let me know if you’re an LEO or not. I’m curious about the differences, if any.
I stopped a car full of teenagers. The driver was speeding. Not terribly or anything, but still…above my threshold of tolerance. The driver had a definite, shall we say, “entitlement” attitude and acted like you’d expect of someone of that caliber.
MC: Do you have your driver’s license?
SLP (Smug Little Punk): You know…my wallet got stolen just last week.
MC: That right? How about a school ID?
*SLP digs around in the center console and extracts…gasp…a wallet.
MC: Didn’t you say your wallet was stolen?
SLP: This is my Dad’s.
MC: Fair enough.
SLP: Officer, can I ask why I was stopped?
MC: Do you know what the speed limit is back there?
MC: It is indeed. Do you know how fast you were going?
SLP: 39, 40.
SLP: C’mon, officer. The car in front of me wasn’t going that fast…
*There was no car in front of him…at least not after he made a lane change and accelerated. I should also add that there is a lot of subtext going on that is difficult to paint in a post.
MC: I got you on lidar. You were doing 48.
SLP: Don’t you mean radar?
MC: No, I’m pretty sure since I said lidar, I meant lidar.
SLP: Oh…I thought you were, you know, making a play on words. Like “liedar”…like I was lying.
I cited the kid for speed. He made some crack about knowing the judge and his son, but I chalked it up to him trying to be funny in front of his friends. I can dig it. I’m not a complete square. I try to ham it up in front of the guys, too.
Then, he thought it’d be a good idea to up the ante.
After he flipped a U-turn, he stopped across the street from me and made some comment. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it sounded like a joke of some kind. There happened to be another car behind him, so I jokingly said, “If you don’t move your car, I’m gonna have to cite you for impeding traffic.”
SLP looked back and said, “Oh, that’s my friend.” Then he said, “Actually, this is my friend.” In his hand he held a $100 bill. “Whadda ya say? Think my friend can take care of this ticket?” All with a shit-eating grin on his face. Mr. Cool to his buddies and the girl in the front seat.
I know what I did. I was there. And I’ll tell you all about in an upcoming post. But for now, what do you think? We’re dealing with a 17 year old kid with a car full of similarly aged kids. What are your options? What is your demeanor? How would you handle this situation?