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Thursday, February 03, 2011

I got pulled over this morning on my way to work

I was less then ten minutes from my office when a cop car that had been driving behind me for a while suddenly tweaked his siren a couple of times and announced over his loudspeaker "Vespa Adooma... Amode Batzad" ('Red Vespa, [pull over and] stand on the shoulder').

I must admit that I was completely stumped as to why I was being pulled over. I'd been alone on the road for most of the last hour, and maaaaay have been pushing the speed limit for some of that time [~ahem~]. But since entering the more heavily travelled outskirts of the largish city where I work, I had been keeping with the flow of traffic and riding like a good boy.

I put the scooter up on the stand and waited for the policeman, who I assumed would be getting out of his car and coming over. Apparently that's not how it's done here. He glared at me from inside his car and motioned impatiently for me to come over.

So I got out my license, registration and insurance info and walked back to where he had pulled over a few yards behind me.

I asked him what the problem was, and he responded "You know why I stopped you. You were driving recklessly." When I didn't respond, and simply stared at him in utter confusion, he took my documents from my hand and added contemptuously, "Wow, you're dangerous... you drive like a crazy person and don't even know it!".

He took my license and other stuff and began typing on the computer in his car.

While he was doing that, and pretty much ignoring me as I stood out in the cold, another cop pulled up... this one on a scooter. He parked and dismounted, and asked the cop inside the car what was going on. The cop inside the car jerked a thumb in my direction and said "This one couldn't ride in a straight line... I'm about to check if he's drunk".

The scooter cop looked me up and down. I was wearing an expensive armored jacket, gloves, clean pressed slacks, nice shoes... and holding a full face helmet.

He responded, "At 7:00 in the morning? I doubt it!". But just the same, he walked over, took off his own helmet, and stood extremely close to me before asking me where I was going. I told him I was on my way to my office, and mentioned the name of the well known defense company I work for... unzipping my jacket and flashing my ID badge by way of proof.

Having sniffed the air near my face while I was talking and taken a close look at my ID tag, he asked the cop inside the car if I had any moving violations in the system. The cop looked at his screen and answered 'no'. The scooter cop then asked when my license had been issued, and after a brief pause the answer from inside the car came back reluctantly; "1983".

With that, the scooter cop seemed to come completely over to my side. "Okay", he began... "if I understand this correctly, you 'caught' a citizen with no violations in almost 30 years of driving. What exactly did he do?".

From his tone of voice, as well as the fact that he seemed to be much older than the guy inside the car, it seemed to me that the scooter cop was the more senior man.

The cop inside the car answered, "He was swerving all over his lane like a drunk person and pumping his brakes... I thought he was going to run into someone or cause an accident". The scooter cop looked at me with a raised eyebrow, and when I nodded 'yes' and started to explain, he raised a gloved hand to cut me off.

He leaned into the car and asked "By any chance was he 'swerving all over his lane like a drunk person and pumping his brakes' right back there before the curve in the road?" The cop inside the car answered in the affirmative. So the scooter cop continued, "And did you notice that just before he started 'swerving all over his lane like a drunk person and pumping his brakes' that he'd gone through a deep pothole filled with water?".

The cop inside the car now seemed to sense a problem, and didn't answer.

"If you'd been driving behind me just now, you would have seen me 'swerving all over my lane like a drunk person and pumping my brakes' . You know why? Because that's how we dry off the sides of our tires and clean the water off our brakes!"

With that the scooter cop held out his hand to the other cop for my paperwork and license... gave them back to me without even looking up, and waved me back towards my scooter with a dismissive gesture.

As I was walking away I could hear the scooter cop now yelling into the open window;

"... bored in your nice warm car? Maybe you should take some lessons and get a motorcycle license before bothering citizens on their way to work!"

I smiled the rest of the way to the office.

Posted by David Bogner on February 3, 2011 | Permalink


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Nice one :)

Posted by: Robin | Feb 3, 2011 10:42:26 AM


Posted by: Ilana-Davitata | Feb 3, 2011 11:35:53 AM

You, sir, are one lucky man.


Posted by: Yehuda Berlinger | Feb 3, 2011 11:44:43 AM

Did you manage to get going before you started laughing out loud?

Posted by: AF | Feb 3, 2011 11:46:30 AM

G-d must really like you. either that or you made it up.

Posted by: faith/emuna | Feb 3, 2011 12:33:51 PM

Whatever did you blog about before you got this motorcycle?

Posted by: Baila | Feb 3, 2011 2:55:09 PM


Posted by: aparatchik | Feb 3, 2011 4:10:59 PM

That's amazing! I almost feel like you made it up, that's just too good of a story. :)

Posted by: Ezzie | Feb 3, 2011 4:25:11 PM

That's amazing! I almost feel like you made it up, that's just too good of a story. :)

Posted by: Ezzie | Feb 3, 2011 4:25:11 PM

Sheesh people, being a decent storyteller doesn't mean I make this stuff up!

Would you rather I did a bad job of telling the story so that it sounded more authentic?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 3, 2011 4:34:32 PM

You are sooooooo lucky that 2-wheeled-cop came a long right at that time!

Posted by: Mark | Feb 3, 2011 4:38:23 PM

That. Is. Awesome.

Posted by: Maya | Feb 3, 2011 5:55:42 PM

Over here in the US, they probably would have pumped a few bullets into you before citing you for assault and resisting arrest. That's what OUR "Law Enforcement" has become.

Posted by: Mark Matis | Feb 3, 2011 6:02:07 PM

You have the best stories :)

Posted by: SaraK | Feb 3, 2011 6:28:13 PM

A senior cop with common sense on a scooter! How cool is that?

Posted by: Yaron | Feb 3, 2011 7:04:50 PM

As Woody Allen said, "If only life were really like this."

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Feb 3, 2011 10:18:08 PM

You'd think this would be part of a cop's Basic Training, but... no. Great story, and a happy ending to boot!

Posted by: Elisson | Feb 4, 2011 12:32:01 AM

I heard of one person who got pulled over on his motorcycle for driving recklessly. When asked how he was driving recklessly, the police officer said "You were leaning your motorcycle over when you went through that curve." The person asked "You mean I should turn the corner, while staying straight up and down?" The answer, yes. *Facepalm* Sigh...

And from what I hear in Maryland it is (or at least was) required that when you come to a stop (red light, stop sign, etc.) BOTH feet must touch the ground. People have received warnings/tickets for only having one foot down. Sigh...

Posted by: JDMDad | Feb 4, 2011 2:27:14 AM

This blog is a source of much entertainment :)

Posted by: It's Full of Stars | Feb 4, 2011 5:14:30 AM

love it

Posted by: Batya | Feb 4, 2011 7:13:59 AM

Some people have all the luck.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 4, 2011 10:24:38 AM

It's nice when the "planets seem to align in your favor" like that...

Back in 1987, I went to a gig in a club on Manhattan's W. 24th St. with a girlfriend. We took her car, found a spot on the street. Checked the sign which indicated the spot was legal. Came out after to gig and voila! A parking ticket.

Noticed that her car- with Jersey tags- was the only one ticketed. An old NYC cop game- ticket the Jersey driver, they won't bother to come in to contest...

Not in this case. I came back the nezt day with a camera, and fortuitously the sign lined up perfectly with the complete address imprinted on the building front behind it (which was on the ticket).

Fast forward to the court date. The clerk calls the case number, I walked up to judge.

"You are contesting this ticket?" she asked. "Yes."

"Do you have evidence to present?" Wordlessly, I handed over the photograph. She looked at it, I could sense her stifling a smile...

"When you're right, you're right," she said. 'Bang' went the gavel. "Ticket dismissed..."

Okay Dave, not as good a story as yours, but a small triumph there as well...

Best to all.... Mike Spengler

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Feb 4, 2011 7:34:32 PM

Awesome. :)

Posted by: Tzipporah | Feb 7, 2011 6:43:18 PM

I have to say there are few cops that are considerate and cool. With that, you are indeed one lucky citizen.

Posted by: Jesse E. | Oct 4, 2011 3:25:36 AM

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