He obviously didnít want a dead prisoner on his hands, and I hadnít acted surly or violent, so he acquiesced and cuffed my hands in front. While what I had told him had been true, I may have dramatized the facts somewhat. Though putting my hands behind my back did make breathing somewhat more difficult, the chances were fairly slim that I would die.
On the way to jail a call came over the radio from police headquarters. Evidently someone suspected of drunk driving had refused to pull over and was headed in our general direction. The police officer flipped on his lights and siren, and soon after we joined the pursuit of a white Plymouth station wagon which was running red lights, and screeching around corners in an effort to lose the police. At times the speed of the police car I was in, hovered around one hundred miles an hour as they chased the fugitive.
Finally the man decided to stop running, and he pulled over to the side, three police cars, including the one that I was in, pulled up around him- closing him in. The policeman jumped out with guns drawn and approached the car, quickly pulling the man from the car, several empty beer cans spilling out onto the road as they did.
A long conversation ensued between the driver and the police officers. I watched from the back seat of the police car. Finally, the man stepped back into his car and the three police officers returned to their respective vehicles and began to pull away.
"What?" I asked as the man who had arrested me stepped back into the car. "You guys are letting him go?"
"Yeah," he muttered.
"How is it that I can go to jail for having a headlight out and this guy is drinking and driving and going one hundred miles an hour, and you let him go?"
"Shut up and sit back," answered the police officer.
I did as he said. I didnít know if the guy they had stopped was a fellow police officer, a city councilman, or the president of the United States, but he certainly had a lot more clout than I did. He went home and I went to jail because my bumper fell off. This leads me to believe that the justice system of the United States of America isnít as fair or as blind as it would like people to believe.
When I got to the police station I happened to know several of the officers that were on duty. They immediately started giving me a bad time about being arrested. I was finger printed and had my mug shot taken. The best picture I have ever had taken, in my life, is my mug shot. I told them that I wanted a copy of it, but they didnít take me seriously.
I had to strip down and get into jail clothes and spend some time in the tank. Other than that, they treated me pretty good. They gave me some food to eat and let me take my medicine.
The first call I made was to my grandfather. I didnít have the cash to make the hundred dollar bail, and hoped that he would cover it. I explained to him that I was arrested because my bumper had fallen off, but he wasnít interested in explanations.
"Youíre going to have to wait until morning," he said. "Why donít you just wait?"
I suppose this was his way of trying to teach me a lesson, but I wasnít interested in being taught a lesson. I called up Scott Wentworth and he came down and fronted the hundred bucks to get me out. I thought that was damn nice of him. It turned out later that he had ulterior motives. At the time, though, it seemed damn nice of him.
The kicker to the whole thing was that I was arrested for the exact same thing that I had cleared up in court prior to my arrest. I was arrested due to a flaw in the system. A piece of paperwork either wasnít filed or wasnít pulled when I had been in court and paid my fines, and the warrant for my arrest was still in force. Finally, this was ironed out, and Scott got his hundred bucks back and I had a possible case for false arrest. I was angry and considered filing it, but in the end it would have been too much hassle and too much money out of my already barren pockets.