On a Saturday afternoon, I headed to Austin to sit in on an overnight shift with APD, riding with my friend N. The shift started out very slowly, and continued on just as slowly. We made traffic stops and traffic stops and traffic stops (tip: don’t drive around with expired tags on a slow crime night). N must have been feeling especially charitable, as none of the stops merited a ticket written. Of course, nobody was being a dick, either, so that helped (more tip: friendliness will get you EVERYWHERE with some cops… ladies, do not mistake that for sluttiness — sluttiness will get you nowhere except for slightly embarrassed once you realize how whore-y you were being).
Finally, after stopping for dinner where I ate my body weight in Chinese food, we started to get calls. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, calls are bad, because people are generally getting hurt, but at least it’s mildly entertaining for me, right? Anyway, the call that took up a main portion of our evening was a robbery/mugging. A guy was walking down an alley in his apartment complex when he was jumped by a group of guys who beat him up and took his wallet. N was called to the scene because, while it was outside the area we were covering, he is one of the few fluent Spanish speakers on his shift, and the guy who had been crimed upon spoke only en español. I stood nearby, trying to remember which of the words they were saying rang any bells from my high school Spanish days, or really any days since then since I live in South Texas. I picked up from the conversation that the guys had no sleeves on their shirts, and was very impressed that I remembered the word for sleeves… which I can’t remember anymore.
When the guys were all fighting in the alley whist mugging and being mugged, two of the muggers’ shirts came off. Also, two cans of beer that belonged to the attackers were left in the alley. You know what THAT means… HELLO, SOMEBODY CALL THE CRIME SCENE UNIT!
You might have read that I have had experience with my own version of CSI, in which the officer in charge of my report was just not too pleased with my (accurate, incidentally) crime analytics. So, I was pumped when CSU showed up, ready to see what kind of chops they had. I was slightly unimpressed with the one guy who got out of the CSU van. He was not 6’4″ and ripped. He did not have a gun. He didn’t even have cool wrap-around sunglasses. He looked like a regular, slightly nerdy person. Ugh. Regardless, I was totally enthralled. SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t nearly as exciting in real life as it is on tv. The whole process was pretty slow and fairly boring, and lasted far more than the 4 minutes that tv led me to believe that a good CSI’ing took. While standing and staring, I tried to make conversation with the CSU man.
Me: So, do you feel added pressure in your job to be witty and biting, what with all the CSI tv shows these days, and their special brand of science-wit?
CSU: um… well… uh… yeah.
When he got out his paper bags to start collecting the evidence, he told N and I a story about how he had been doing the same at some woman’s house, and the lady’s cat decided it was time to play and jumped right into the bag, getting cat fur all over the delicately collected evidence.
Me: OH! So you definitely looked up at her and were like “Well, looks like the cat’s in the bag now, huh? YEAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!”
Him: Ha. Yeah, I guess I could have said that, huh?
Anyway, in the end he bagged and tagged and swabbed… then we all left. CLIFFHANGER! I’ll have to tune in next week to see how it all turned out, I guess.
After a few other small calls, we were called to a flipped truck (it was raining that night in Austin and some people don’t realize that their MarioKart-style of driving does not translate well to slick roads). As the officers and fire department (hello, boys) were checking out the situation, a crying girl drove up and walked up to us, holding the side of her face. She and her boyfriend had apparently gotten in a fight on the way home from the bar, and so he punched her in the face repeatedly. Not great, especially since she was driving when he decided she needed to be disciplined or punished or whatever. He got out of the car and was walking back to their apartment when she found us. We spent the rest of the shift with her, clearing her apartment, filing reports, and making sure she was ok. Back to usual — there was the domestic abuse that I’ve been so used to on my other #BrePD calls. Can’t everyone just stop beating up on everyone else?
So, I suppose I’d call this episode of #BrePD a success. Though we were busy and subsequently missed the two big newsworthy calls of the night, and the first half of the night could have been better spent working on my sudoku skills, I still think I did a pretty sweet job of copping: standing around looking semi-official (you cross your arms, furrow your brow, and nod slowly at something… anything) and not getting shot at even once time.
Winner all around!