to protect and berate

Around 11 last night, just as I’d lied down on the sofa to go to sleep,(1) from outside there came the sound of…well, it was hard to qualify. It sort of sounded like a car hitting another car, but without that cataclysmic component of metal working against metal and glass losing its composure right there in front of everyone.

I sat up and looked out the living room window but didn’t see anything right away. This turned out to be because I hadn’t put my glasses back on.

After I put my glasses on I saw one of the neighbors walk out to the street and pick up a loose hubcap.

Someone, it seems, drove down our street and veered into a couple of parked cars. The damage was relatively minimal to both cars: some scratches, busted tail-lights, a partially mangled bumper. In fact, from the debris I found, I think the offending vehicle took more damage: busted glass, pieces of body-metal, and I think part of a headlight bezel.

It’s such a shitty thing to do, the hit-and-run. It’s selfish and just a mean thing to do to someone.(2) But worse in my opinion was the attitude of responding officer.

He took about ten minutes to show up. Obviously by that time whoever did it would have been long gone.(3) He got out of his car and just surveyed the damage, talking to one of the car-owners with some basic questions. He didn’t even bother to look at any of the scattered debris until I showed some of it to him to point out that it wasn’t a black car but a maroon one with a fair amount of rust. He did nothing that could be in the least bit construed at investigative.

Even worse, he got a little pissy at one point. The general assumption was that the offending driver’d been heading south, since the parked cars he’d hit were on the west side of the road. The officer said, “Well if he was going that way the damage would be on his passenger side. I was told it’d be on his driver’s side.”

One of the car-owners responded that the damage was on the driver’s side. The officer said, “No. His passenger side.” Apparently when the woman had initially called the po-po she’d not understood the question properly, which I feel was understandable given the circumstances. But the officer was very snippy about it: “That means we’ve been looking for the wrong vehicle.” His tone was derisive and sardonic as he called this new info in to the dispatcher.

When it was all over, someone tried to give the office a bag filled with the debris that we’d picked up. He didn’t even pretend to care. “That’s not going to do me any good. If we find the car, we’ll let you know.” Which we all knew basically meant that they were never going to find the car. Not that it matters greatly because insurance would cover the damages of both the parked cars, but it would have been nice of the officer to pretend he cared. After all, he’s there to protect and serve, right? Part of service is at affecting that you care, even when you don’t.

I hope they find the guy and I hope someone busts him for his hit-and-run.(4) More than that, though, I hope the officer finds a bit of compassion somewhere and stops treating the people he serves as though we’re all wasting his time.

  1. Ashley had some work to do yet before she could get to bed, and, as always, I used this time to indulge my love of sleeping on sofas.
  2. Or in this case multiple someones.
  3. Since it was so late at night, most of us were in various stages of preparing for sleep so no one got a really good look at the sideswiper.
  4. Thanks to an incident my brother got himself into as a teenager, I’m aware that a person has 24 hours to report a hit-and-run. So maybe the offender plans to report it today. Maybe.

2 comments on “to protect and berate

  1. I got ran into while crossing IN a sidewalk WITH a green light. After pulling myself up off the pavement, I hobbled down the street to get a license plate number. The car had to stop at a light, so I took a bunch of photos with my iPhone. I then went down to the police station and filed a report because somebody who’s running people down in the middle of the sidewalk shouldn’t be driving.

    Nothing was ever done. To my knowledge, they never even spoke with the woman. I guess that would have been too hard.

    • Hahaha. I feel like I’ve heard of this Pulaski Dog place somewhere before. Where might I have read about it a lot recently…?

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