Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Officer Matt, CPD
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(Long entry, best stuff in second half, but all interesting at least to me.)

After dropping the dogs at their sitter's place yesterday morning, our drive up to Clovis for the weekend passed uneventfully, which is good. Almost immediately upon arrival, Shelley headed out with Shay for her ride-along, but I waited until after dinner to go out with Officer Matt.

Our first call took us to an apartment complex where a lady reported a burglary of some rings from her bedroom. A wide fence plank had been pushed in, apparently, and someone came through her unlocked patio door. We asked the neighbors whether anyone had seen anything, but no luck. The case was left in the hands of an auxiliary investigator.

We provided back-up for a domestic disturbance next, where a guy with a restraining order was having a yelling match with his wife. Matt thought he heard the other officer say a weapon was involved, so he told me to stay put in the car when we arrived. It turned out the other cop said "no weapon" but no harm done. We transported the guy to the station and booked him, because of the restraining order. He knew of the restraint, but his wife had she was going to have it cancelled, but hadn't gotten around to it, and had invited him to the house. Domestic mess.

We then spent an hour or so patrolling, going back and forth between cancelled calls, or calls taken by others. Checked out a report of someone going around asking if he "could come in to watch TV" at a housing development. Weird. Didn't find him. Patrolled some more, and pulled over a guy making a blatant rolling stop right in front of us.

It turns out that guy had a wallet full of traffic tickets and an outstanding arrest warrant for a weapon violation. We searched his car for a 9mm gun, but never found it, so Matt was disappointed. We took the guy in for booking, because of the warrant, and ended up spending about two hours in the station this time because the situation developed in an interesting way.

While patting the guy down in the station, Matt found a credit card in his back pocket. The name on the card was that of a Hispanic woman, but the guy was Asian and had different name. The guy claimed (after various story enhancements and backtracking) that his kids found the card at playground and stuck in his pocket. He claimed to have looked at it quickly, and was going to turn it in. His story was complete cockamamey, and Matt was barely hiding his true feelings on that one during the interrogation.

After a couple of hours of using phones, faxes, and the Internet to find the woman, Matt finally spoke with her to learn that her car had been broken into ten days earlier and her card stolen from it. We had to deal with the credit card company (not at all helpful) and then the nearby Fresno PD to bring the whole story out. They hauled the guy down to county jail because of the original warrant and the new credit-card charges.

Got to see the new Clovis police station. Quite spiffy -- all modern and shiny and brightly lit. Matt has a sideline of computer forensics, so I got the low-down on how he and others there cracked an international ring of child porn bad guys through very technical low-level computer hacking. He said the deparment was able to buy all his equipment with money obtained captured in a big drug bust at some prior time. Nice to see the funds going right back into crime fighting.

And almost last, but not least, the most exciting item of the night: car crash.

We got the call and arrived on scene first, after putting on all the lights and siren (not something that happened on my first ride-along). We found a sports truck upside-down in a field, with cab completely crushed. No way to survive that, we figured. Matt grabbed a bag from the trunk and ran out, while I waited near the car as directed.

Not a bad ending to the story, though, because the guy somehow got pinned between the bucket seats and so not crushed. Barely even injured, although perhaps he will have spinal problems later. The firemen used the jaws of life to pry off one of the doors, and the EMS people hauled him onto a backboard and took him away.

During the process, the guy repeatedly said quite loudly that he was totally drunk, and had stolen the truck from a pub down the road. It was really amusing actually, and the various rescue people seemed to enjoy the situation, in as much as they could show it -- being somewhat relieved of having no fatalities helped, I'm sure.

Matt called me close to watch all the rescuing once the situation's details became clear. It amazed me that the jaws of life made no noise, and just popped off the truck's door at the hinges.

The driver came out with scraped-up arms, but otherwise looked fine. He must have been REALLY flying down the road, because he jumped the curb on this raw freshly turned dirt field and left a debris field of road signs and the truck's contents AT LEAST 300 feet long (as measured by people there -- not just my estimate). The last half of that distance had no tire tracks, just impact marks from the truck rolling.

The CHP took over the scene, so we had no paperwork for the accident, much to Matt's liking. We did wait there until the truck's owner arrived. Let's just say he did not have a friendly look on his face. His almost-new truck totalled! A bunch of tools and powertools and music CDs scattered all over the field! Not a good night for him.

Just one more call after that, to help with a drunk / doped guy (possibly) having problems finding his apartment. Got home around 3 am.

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