Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.


One night while working as a sergeant on the graveyard shift for the highway patrol, dispatch advised of a naked female who was being harassed by a bunch of men. I immediately responded to the area with another patrol car. When we arrived, we saw a woman who was only wearing underwear running down the street. There were guys yelling at her and making fun of her.

When we pulled up, the guys stopped ridiculing her and ran off. As I approached her, I realized she was a trans-woman. She was crying profusely. I told her everything was going to be alright. I then grabbed a blanket out of the trunk of my patrol car and gave it to her to cover up.

She told us that she was just walking home, when the guys started to harass her, yelled at her and ripped her clothes off. She felt helpless. She was not able to identify any of the suspects. We asked if she needed anything else. The officers then gave her a ride home. It broke my heart that anyone could treat another human being that way.

— B.S.


While patrolling a rural community on the night shift as a highway patrol officer, my partner and I pulled up behind a vehicle that was stopping at a stop sign. We noticed that the brake lights on the vehicle were not working, so we stopped the vehicle.

The woman driver was not aware the lights were not working and she was issued a "fix-it warning." Later in the shift, we noticed a vehicle that was weaving and speeding in a residential zone and made a stop to check it out. The driver had been drinking and did not pass the roadside sobriety tests. He was arrested and his vehicle was turned over to his passenger.

After the booking was completed and we were en route to a café for a coffee stop, we witnessed a vehicle drive through a stop sign and speed away. We gave chase and stopped the vehicle. We noticed that it was the same vehicle that our drunken driver had been driving earlier. The driver turned out to be our earlier drunken driver's sister and she had also been drinking. She was on her way to bail her brother out of jail. She too did not pass the sobriety test and was arrested for DUI. Since the vehicle was parked legally on a safe street just blocks from the jail, we did not tow the vehicle. We requested our dispatcher to call the driver's mother to pick it up.

After the booking, we went to the cafe to get something to eat. During our meal, dispatch advised us by telephone to respond to a non-injury accident. When we arrived at the scene, we were surprised to see that the overturned vehicle, which was the only vehicle involved, was the same one we had left parked at the scene of our latest arrest. When we located the driver, it turned out to be the driver of the car with no brake lights that we had stopped in the beginning of our shift. It turned out that she was the mother of both the man and woman we had arrested for DUI. I guess the family that drinks together ...

— R.S.


Working for a small police department in a town of only 14,500 people can be very slow on the graveyard shifts. One night, I covered half the town and my beat partner covered the other half. I was very bored one night when my partner broke the silence over the radio.

He advised he had a runner headed westbound on the highway. I headed in that direction and caught up to them before they got very far. On the west side of town, the driver took a fork in the road to the right, which was headed toward a dead end. The road eventually went to a cul-de-sac at the local airport terminal. The vehicle never slowed down. He drove straight ahead, hit the sidewalk, went through a six-foot cyclone fence, past the terminal, and went right out onto the runway.

I knew the runway would eventually end in a steep drop-off. Apparently, he thought he was an airplane because he continued to drive at high speeds as he neared the end of the runway. He drove right off the end of it, went airborne and made a four point landing quite a distance below. My partner didn’t slow down either and he also went through the air. The landings definitely did some damage to their vehicles. I was right behind them, but I was able to stop in time.

As it turned out, the 17 year old was from an adjoining state. He had a family argument, went to our state, got a motel room in a nearby town, ripped a leg off the table in his room, went to the room next to his, clubbed a man in that room, took his car keys and car and drove into our little town. The night didn’t work out too well for him, but it sure made my shift go by faster.

— D.C.

Brian Smith served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and retired as an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Smith at

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(3) comments

Mac Daddy

Ya, well...the really good ones can't be told here.


Love reading these stories. Police need to be appreciated more...….

Boogerface Nutter

Man...I can only imagine how many bizarre stories the authorities can tell.

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