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COP TALES: We told him that not everyone hates

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

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.

Not all haters

I was on patrol in a mountain substation. It was winter and very cold. I observed an elderly gentleman pushing a bike going to the mountains. I stopped and called out to him. He threw the bike down, grabbed a large rock and tried to hit me. I took him to the ground and held him until he calmed down. As I talked with him, he kept saying everyone hated him. I placed him in my patrol car with the bike in the trunk and went down to a store by the freeway.

I went in and started picking up food. A friend, who was a highway patrolman, asked what was going on with the guy in my car. I explained that I was going to buy him some food and take him down to the valley, where it was warmer. The officer told me he would help out, then the owner of the store said he would also donate. The officer followed me as I drove the man into the valley and unloaded all the sacks of food. We helped him out of the car and explained that the food was for him. We told him that not everyone hates. He began to cry and we teared up as well. We both felt good. I know a lot of cops and firemen have performed the same acts as we performed that day.

- DJ

More than a car fire

While on a traffic stop, my partner and I saw a ball of fire a couple of blocks away. We cleared the stop and found a parked pickup truck fully engulfed in flames. The tires were gone and the cab was destroyed. Simultaneously, dispatch advised of a pursuit that was going right past us. We called the fire department and jumped on the freeway to assist with the pursuit.

The pursuit ended after a few miles so we headed back to the car fire. When we got there, a fireman approached us and asked us if we called it in and where did we go. I replied, “We went for hot dogs and marshmallows. Are you guys hungry?” He said, “No, but maybe the dead guy in the bed of the truck is.” Apparently, a murder victim had been dumped in the truck and a can of gasoline was tossed on him just three three blocks away from us as we were writing a citation. We didn’t originally see the body when we were there due to the intense flames.

- TS

I believe you — not

I was working a rural interstate beat for the highway patrol when I received a call of a solo vehicle crash. I arrived on scene where a car had left the roadway, crossed the shoulder, went through a barbed wire fence and into an open field. There was no sign of the driver and it was pitch black. That stretch of freeway had no lighting and there was no moon. Witnesses said that the vehicle was being driven recklessly prior to the collision. I was convinced the driver had to still be in the area as there was nowhere for him to go.

I noticed a person about a hundred yards ahead of me on the shoulder, silhouetted by the headlights of opposing traffic. I drove up to him and noticed that he was trying to hitch a ride. I identified him as the owner of the wrecked car and determined he was under the influence. He, however, explained that he hadn’t been driving and that a friend had just left him on the side of the freeway. Yeah, right. He was only a few hundred feet away from a crashed car that he owned. He must have thought I was a complete idiot.

- LL

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 bmsmith778@gmail.com.