Thursday, May 17, 2007

Police call

I was staging across the street from a bar at 1 a.m., an hour before bars close in California. The door to the bar was open. It has been a very quiet night, with little traffic or street noise.

I heard what sounded like a bartender yelling. "Stop or I'll call the cops!"

Within three minutes a police car arrived with its lights on and stopped on the street in front of the bar. Two officers got out and went inside. A second car circled the block, looking for someone.

I heard one of our drivers call in a ride on the radio, and I knew he'd be driving past me and the bar. So I got on the radio and told him to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious, as the police are searching for someone in the area. Our HQ often gets calls from the police asking for us to be watching for suspects or missing persons. This time, I decided to pre-empt them. People running from the law often take cabs.

A few minutes later I was belled: "95, police call." It was to the bar. I pulled up alongside the police cars and the officers came out. I asked if they had requested me, and they said it was another officer a block away.

I went to the location and found a cop letting a mid-20s guy out of the back of his police car. "Tell it to the judge," the cop said to the guy.

The guy got in the cab asking to go to IB (Imperial Beach). I asked him what happened, and he said his two friends got in a fight with another guy, and when the bartender threatened to call the cops, everyone ran out the back door and down the alley.

He said he wasn't involved in the fight, but since he ran, he was chased down and handcuffed. The police determined he wasn't involved in the fight, so they sent him home. The guy said his friends hadn't been caught yet.

En route to IB, one of our drivers was speaking with dispatch on the cab radio.

Guy: Is that a police scanner?

Me: No, it's the cab radio.

Guy: You can't hear the cops on that?"

Me: No.

The guy was really nervous. I'm sure the cops had tried to get him to tell where his friends might be going. He probably wanted to hear whether they had been apprehended, too.

He got a phone call, and in hushed tones, said, "I can't talk right now. I'll call you back in a few minutes." It had to be one of the fighters.

I got him to IB without incident. The meter was $28, and that's what I got.


John said...

Tips! Americans over here are the WORST tippers!
Go to then to the discussion board.
Keep it up.

Ted Martin said...

I'm really embarrassed that Americans don't tip well. It's bad enough we're so fat, but to be cheap on top of it...

Here's what I've noticed: All people from English-speaking countries tip me well, including Americans. The French never tip, Mexicans are 50-50, and I'd guess 90% of Japanese tip. Canadians are good, too.

Anybody over 60 (from America), will tip about a quarter. I get retirees (pensioners?) from the UK quite often, and they always tip well. With the pound at 2:1, they should be tipping well.