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oh strange little man

Poll #1099130 Phone Call Question

When you see something obviously wrong, do you call the authorities?

Yes, who else will?
No, someone else will
I've always been the one to call the Sheriff's office when I see something wrong. People seem to believe that someone else will do it. If I'm around, I can be that someone.

There was a dude in a car with a totalled front end, flat tire and brown plumes of smoke coming out of his tail pipe trying to drive down the busy road in front of my apartment. I don't know how long he had been there, but I was apparently the first (possibly only) person to call the police (I know because they asked for a whole shitload of details they wouldn't have needed if others had called - I was all, damn straight I have the license plate, make, model and color! That's how I roll). 

It took ten minutes, but then every official official came to the rescue. Eight cop cars. One fire engine. One ambulance. Go Vacaville.

When the first officer on the scene asked the guy what he hit, the guy said, "Nothing." Well, buddy, that nothing sure kicked your car's ass! There was puke in the car and the guy was clearly out of it. Drunk much? They were debating whether to take him to the hospital or straight to jail. I kinda voted for the latter because drunk drivers ARE NOT love, but they didn't ask me. He went to the hospital. He can be arrested later.

Here's my message: If you see something suspicious, please be the one to call police. Never assume someone else will. Most people won't.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I've never seen anything quite like that - though I'd like to think that if I were home, or if I were out AND had my cell phone AND it was charged, I would. For me, those are two big 'and's, especially of late. The worst thing I've ever seen is a fender-bender, but both people got out of their cars with their phones, so I figured they had it covered. Oh, I would've called the police on the kids across the street - a few of them got into a fistfight in the street, but it only lasted two swings and everyone got in their cars and left.

There was a story about this kind of thing not long ago... Surveillance camera captures shoppers bypassing Kansas stabbing victim. Probably the best example of this I've ever heard.
Dec. 2nd, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
The worst example I've ever read was a rape case in NYC in the 80's (I think) where several people in an apartment building watched a woman get raped repeatedly on the sidewalk and then stabbed a bunch of times. They all heard her cry for help. No one called the police.
Dec. 4th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
Egad, that's an awful, awful story. Awful. :(
Dec. 2nd, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
I am a fan of calling the cops when I smell danger...or law breaking that annoys me. I have no problem calling the cops on teens/youngsters partying in front of Walgreen's (the local hot spot) because I know some of them are probably drinking and/or stoned. So in addition to bugging the hell out of me, they're also a danger on the road. Boo on that.

If my dad saw someone drinking in their car he would follow them while he had the police on the phone so that he could tell them their exact location until they could get there. This happened a lot because he worked next door to a liquor store.
Dec. 4th, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
Kitty Genovese or something like that. Another horrible, horrible example of "group think".

That's pretty cool of your dad - I wish more people would at least report erratic drivers. I tried the follow method once, but the guy was going about a 100 down the highway...so I just called with a partial license, make and model and hoped for the best.
Dec. 2nd, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
depends on where it hits on my moral compass.

i've called the cops many times to aide other people or report suspicious circumstances. but i've also turned a blind eye on things like underage drinking, friends or acquaintances selling or doing drugs, and my own drunk driving retardedness.

but i especially remember the stranger in the courtyard who called the cops for me when i grabbed my friends baby and ran out of their apartment after her husband set the baby down to chase her. he was beating her up for trying to call 911. he had swung his son by the arm into a wall because he was drunk and incoherent. he caught up to me in the courtyard and knocked me and the baby to the ground. i had to roll to keep the baby from hitting the ground. then he grabbed the baby by the foot and started yanking on him like a rag doll. i let go because i didnt want the baby hurt any more than he already was. man did the cops ever show up fast. i was so relieved. my friend got her baby back and we went to the hospital while he went to jail. i dont know what would have happened if that stranger hadnt called 911.
Dec. 4th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
Egad, that's a scary story. I'm so glad the stranger did call authorities - it's frightening to think of what might have happened. Glad you and your friend were (are) safe and sound!

It probably would depend on the situation for me too.
Dec. 3rd, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
I always call. Especially since living in the Phillip's Neighborhood in Minneapolis. I learned that the best way to improve a neighborhood is to make sure the police know when there's a problem. The squeaky wheel gets oiled and all that...
Dec. 4th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
I think that's smart, and a good way to keep authorities involved with those most affected.
Dec. 4th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
I've called the police 4 times in my life. The first time was for a fender bender (but my car wasn't involved). I called because the guy that got hit chased the other guy with a wrench!

The second time was for my close friend - she's like a little sister to me and lives 7 houses away. Her BF was attempting to hurt/chased her with a knife while she was home alone. (And 3 years later.. they're back together).

The 3rd time, a drunk driver drove into our backyard and escaped by foot. His car lit on fire and almost caught onto the electricity wires right above the car.

The 4th time, it was during the SoCal fires and the Santa Ana winds were blowing like crazy. A drunk driver ran his van into the satellite pole, snapped it in half, and our electricity was temporarily down.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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