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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adventures In Commuting

Wednesday morning about 4:30, I'm making coffee when I hear a car race up the street. Even though the speed limit is 25 mph, most people speed through the area, uncaring of small children, pets, elderly people, but because of the construction on the street and the bright orange cones, most people were going a little slower. Not this guy. A few minutes later as I'm stirring my coffee, another car comes up the street more slowly. I remember thinking, man, this is a lot of traffic for 4:30 in the morning. I didn't think any more about it until....

I left for the Evil Day Job around 5:30 and I didn't go much more than a block before I saw the police car stopped on the wrong side of the street with his search light on. There was enough room to get by him, so I slowed down and did that. I thought it was strange, but no more than that until I came to the 4 way stop.

There was another squad there with his spotlight on and when I stopped, he shone that light in my face! Ugh! When he moved it away, I went through the intersection and around the curve there's a road to the left. Another squad car is down there with his search light on, then I look ahead and there's yet another squad near the T intersection with his light on. I might not be a ball of fire at this time of the morning, but I was able to figure out that something was going on.

I got to the T and directly in front of me was a flatbed tow truck and to the left were another 3 or 4 squad cars with their search lights on. I reached the street that takes me to the highway, and when I near the frontage road that runs alongside it, I see another squad car. This one had his red and blue lights going and he's parked across the opening of the frontage road, blocking it. I merge onto the highway and as I near the freeway exit, I saw yet another squad car parked on the bridge over the freeway with his red and blue lights on.

By this point, I'm dying to know what's happened. My little neighborhood area is usually pretty quiet and to see 8 or 9 squad cars there at 5:30 in the morning is a shock. I've checked the police department website--no luck. I've checked the local paper--today's edition is reporting police reports through Sept 6. Argh! I've searched Google News--nothing. How can something involving 3/4 of my city's police force happen without my being able to find out what was going on?

My guess about what had occurred (and remember, I have a writer's imagination) is that the first car speeding through my neighborhood was the suspect and that the second was a police car. At the T intersection, going to the right takes you to a main road and that leads to the highway, but if you turn left, it dead ends. I'm surmising that the suspect didn't know the area and turned to the left, realized he'd hit a dead end with a squad car coming up behind him, and decided to abandon the car and flee on foot. I happened to hit the area as they continued their search for their bad guy.

But I don't know for sure this is what happened. Seriously, am I going to have to drive to the police department and comb through the public records? Obviously the weekly newspaper is not right on top of breaking crime news, so it might be up to me.