Thanks Cass for the prompt.
I don’t drink anymore. Stories like this are part of the reason.
19 years old, junior at Western Michigan University.
Dating Nicole S., Italian super babe and the one responsible for my now life-long obsession with dancers due to their passion (sex).
Partying with Southern Comfort 100 proof (SoCo) with my roommate and dear pal Mike.
I didn’t think I had that much to drink. That’s because I never thought I had that much to drink. I could take down a 1/5 of rum and perform fuckin Mozart. No one ever knew I was drunk. Which was good because they never would’ve gotten in the car on the 50 or so occasions I drove when I shouldn’t have.
It was a block party of sorts. An entire apartment complex partying in and out of each other’s units and into the parking lot. I got a call from Megan L and this was a big deal because Nicole and I were fighting and Megan was Cinderella pretty and completely unattainable to the common man. She needed a ride. She called me. “I’ll be there in a few.”
I grabbed the keys to Mike’s car, an old Ford Taurus, and told him I’d be back in a couple minutes. “Alright, see ya.”
I didn’t take more than 700 feet on the road to have the lights flashing behind me. I didn’t realize that the Taurus was only operating with one headlight.
*Sidebar* — /// I studied quite a bit of law in college because at one point I wanted to be a lawyer so I could win court cases and wear nice suits (see Suits). I knew very well the requirements of probable cause, reasonable suspicion, and temporary detainment. I knew that the headlight was cause to pull me over. I knew once I rolled down the window the smell would be reasonable suspicion for drinking and driving. The ensuing field sobriety test and breathalyzer would be probable cause to arrest and detain me. All these thoughts ran through my drunk face as I watched the cop follow me through the rear view. Also keeping in mind that it’s not illegal to continue driving at a reasonable speed while a cop has their lights on behind you. You could simply be looking for a safe place to pull over. Only when you accelerate or begin maneuvering does it become fleeing and eluding.
Picked up my phone (while still driving).
“Mike,” I said.
“Yo, what’s up?”
“I’m getting pulled over.”
“Oh fuck. What are you gonna do?” He asked.
“Just listen to me. I’m going to circle back to the apartment complex. I’m going to pull the car into the back right corner of the lot. I’m going to get out of the car and run into the woods behind the house. I’ll resurface in a couple hours downtown. When they trace the car to you, tell them that the keys were on the table and you have no idea who took your car, that you were downstairs in your bedroom the whole time. Ok? See ya.”
“Are you su—-.”
I followed my plan perfectly.
*Sidebar 2* – At no point did a voice interject and say this was a bad idea. In fact, there were no other ideas to be considered.
I drove through crowds of people unaware of my predicament as they screamed “fuck yeah bro!” in each other’s faces while spilling beer on their Dave Matthew’s Band t-shirts.
I parked the car in the back right corner. I turned off the engine, left the keys in the ignition because that is what someone who really stole the keys would have done. I opened the door.
“Put your hands up!” He yelled as he shined the light in my face.
I turned to him so he could clearly see my lips. “No.”
And I was off. |||| Later in the hospital I would comment on how slow and out of shape the cop was. We had been through enough together at that point and he let out a corner of a smile before remembered that I was a degenerate fuck. ||||
I ran so fast my flip flops turned to dust. I think literally.
I was 10 paces shy of the forest, of freedom. I looked over my shoulder to see him hobbling behind me 100 meters back. Before I could turn back around I felt 10 years of Michigan lightning shoot through my foot.
I had kicked the curb in full sprint. The impact catapulted me 25 feet through the air and another 10 feet gliding across the asphalt. Perhaps someone would have given up here. Before that thought took a 4 week old fetal breath I was running, galloping, towards the tree line. Looking down I was a bit disturbed by the sight of my big toe flopping up and down like a lacrosse ball inside a sock. But fuck you cop. I dove into the bushes. I army crawled through the brush. I knocked through tree branches with my forearms. I came to a fence. A fence capped with barbed wire.
*Sidebizzle* – This was the era of Nextel and the chirping phones. I was beeping and calling friends asking for a pick up at a particular point because I was thinking I might have hurt my foot. “No fucking way dude. You should see this right now. There are cops everywhere. The whole block is watching. You’re fucked.” Admittedly, this was a point when defeat made its first appearance.
But I climbed that fucking fence. And it didn’t matter that it ripped through my shirt and the first layer of skin on my stomach. I landed on the other side and low-walked towards the street when I saw what looked like a search light. There were no club grand openings that weekend so it wasn’t that kind of spot light. They had shut the block down. 6 blocks actually. And set up oscillating search lights on every corner. Dead end. Back to the fence. Count the timing of the light. Wait for it to pass. Climb, cut, hoist, land. Army crawl, army crawl. Phone calls. Desperation. What will people think? My fucking parents. My girlfriend.
After a 45 minute pursuit I came out of the woods, not sure what to expect. 15 cop cars and a good 20 officers.
“Get the fuck down!” They were not so happy.
“Just give me a second please,” I asked.
“Get on the fucking ground.” They were closing in.
I put my hand in front of me, “I need a second. I realize I’m fucked. Let me think for a second.”
They weren’t in a position to negotiate with me.
Before I could sit down I felt them closing in. I felt them coming to take away my ability to run. A grab from behind.
* I had a choice here. I could have put my hands behind my back. I could have gone with it.
1 cop on his back. He grabbed me from behind, I reacted. Then me on my stomach. Two kicks from two different legs to my shins while two forearms from two different bodies came down on my shoulders. That’s what took me down. Knees and elbows in every joint. Face pressed into the concrete. Somehow, my right hand was free. And I used that little fucker to reach into my pocket and grab the Nextel. >Nicole>Chirp> “they are beating me. the cops are beating me. call a lawyer. i’m sorry i won’t see you tonight. i’m really sorry.”
“How much have you had to drink?”
“We’re going to have to take a breathalyzer.”
*Civil Rights 102*
“What the fuck do you mean, no?”
“My foot is broken. Take me to the hospital. You can draw blood when we get there.”
And just like that I was in the back of the car driving through crowds of people chanting for me.
Being in the hospital in handcuffs is mortifying. Being escorted to the bathroom to pee and to hold your dick in handcuffs while a cop watches over your shoulder should be mortifying but it was somehow cool.
When you’re charged with 3 felonies and a misdemeanor, one of the felonies being attempted assault of a police officer, you don’t go in the drunk tank. You get your clothes ripped off your body and you get placed in an 8×8 cement room with a camera. A voice comes through a speaker and tells you to step forward. The camera scans your eyeballs, your fingers, your toes. They tell you to step back and turn around 360 degrees. “Spread your butt cheeks,” they tell you in case you’re carrying something. So you spin around in circles and because your foot is broken and you’ve refused medical treatment you have one straight leg and one bent leg and your hands in your ass crack bending over in front of a camera.
In a cell with 6 felons. One with a fake leg that he takes off and says he could easily smash your skull in before the guards ever made it. All the bunks are taken. The toilet is in the cell. A man is shitting in front of me. Lay on the floor and cry and hope no one hears you.
Lesson – don’t drink 100 proof ANYTHING.
**Notes** Blood tests from the hospital take up to 4 weeks to process and an arraignment is usually held within 10 days of an arrest. I never had any intention of getting a cast for my foot. Without evidence that I was drinking the whole case was subject to technical examination. I made a plea deal to have all charges dropped if I agreed to undergo psychological therapy and pay a hefty fine.
I’ve never driven drunk since.