22 June 2008

This stuff only happens to me

Going to work on Thursday, I was pulled over about 1/4 mile from the house. The weird thing was the vehicle was a new, big, Ford pickup with clear lights and red lights. (State Patrol, police & sheriff has red, blue & white lights. Fire Depts have green lights, unless it's an official vehicle. Blue lights are illegal to purchase...just some background)
Before I was pulled over, I rolled through the stop sign at the first intersection because it's a 90-degree turn and you can't see to the right very well. This is common...for me and also for everyone else in the neighborhood. The truck was toward the top of the hill, on the left side crossroad. I didn't put him in danger at all. He was probably cresting the hill when I turned.

The rest of the road is a straight-away for about a quarter mile. (everything in my life is measured by quarter-miles) Then it curves sharply to the left. (this is relevant)
All of a sudden, the truck sped up and was right on my bumper. He hit his lights so I pulled over, thinking perhaps it was fire department and needed by. He pulled in tight behind me. I started getting really nervous, which never happens. (I get pulled over every six months or so, I'm an old hand at this)

So, I left the truck running and didn't put my window down until the guy approached. Then I only rolled it down half-way. (Thank you Oprah and all those safety email pass-alongs)
The guy is not in uniform but is wearing a coat like deputies wear, sort of. It has a gold star on the lapel and stitching but I can't quite read the stitching. I think it said "warden". No badge, no visible gun, no nameplate.

He asks "Are you having a good day?" really sarcastically.
I kind of stammered that I was just going to work, I wasn't quite awake yet and that remained to be seen.
He then says "So, we're running stop signs and speeding today."

I told him that I didn't think I was speeding (I didn't) and he said that I was. He said that it was only 25 through there. HUGE RED FLAG. It's thirty-five. I said as much. He disagreed. Well, I noticed later that I was sitting right next to a caution sign that said "Curve 25 mph."
I wish I had seen it sooner! And for the record, the speed limit was recently changed from 35 to 30.
I started to get antsy and was thinking about dialing my cell when he said "You need to slow down", wished me a good day and walked away.

Now, to add to the creepiness, he waited until we were past all of the houses to pull me over. I was in the secluded part of the road. He could have pulled me into the PUD office about 500 feet back but didn't. He waited until I was beyond all houses and near a sharp curve. And there was no shoulder to park on. The freeway is about half-mile away.
So, I got on the freeway and I was unhappy. After a few minutes, I called the Sheriff's department and explained what happened. The officer whom answered the phone was sympathetic and felt it needed reporting. She put me over to the officer of the day...whatever the hell he's called. I got to leave a message.
I went to work and told my co-workers about it and they freaked out. Each of them thought of a different detail: he parked too close, he didn't have a ticket book, the sheriff didn't indicate that they had record of me being pulled over (meaning the guy didn't call in my license plate) and why didn't I get a license plate?

Easy: he parked too f*&ing close and I just wanted the hell out of there.
The Deputy calls back and I explain what happened. I was quite reasonable, I think. I told him "It's not about getting pulled over, it's the fact that he didn't seem like he had any right to. There was no badge, no gun, no name on his coat." (I left out the part that he was an ass.)

I explained that it was a big, brand new Ford pick-up that didn't have the right style lights. I explained that I nearly didn't stop because of that.

The deputy stated that perhaps it was Drug Task Force, as they are working in that area. (*great* she thinks with withering sarcasm. What's worse? Drug dealers in the neighborhood or me possibly being part of a camp fireside horror story?)
I went on a rant: "If it was an officer, then I would like to let him know that perhaps he could IDENTIFY HIMSELF as such and not pull over a woman, on a secluded road nonetheless and scare the shit out of her first thing in the morning." I took a breath and then said "And that's my rant for the day. I am done now." The deputy actually kind of laughed and said "That's reasonable rant."
The day passes and no word from the deputy. I waited until the morning and called. He wasn't on shift (fabulous!) and there wasn't a note regarding my case. (double fabulous)
I was instructed to call later. I called later and left another message. I waited a few more hours and called again. Finally at 9:35 PM, the deputy calls me back.
"Oh yeah, that was a BORDER GUARD."
W. T. F !?!?!?!
"A border guard?"
"Yeah, they can pull you over, they cannot ticket you and they DO NOT HAVE TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES."

"Yeah, I don't understand it either but that's how they work. I'm really sorry that happened to you."
I was dumbfounded. The border guard gets to scare the life out of me and no reprecussions. That's just not right. Oh, and I am 45 minutes away from the border! So, I am assuming that he must live around here.
I SO want to find his name, call his wife and say "Do you know what your husband did to me?" That would be better than any reprimand his commanding officer could give to him.
I may call the border patrol office tomorrow (because of course I find out on a Friday night) to see what can be done.

It's just not right. Like I said, it wasn't about me being pulled over, it was about the image of me being a headline in the newspaper the next day having been kidnapped, killed, whatever by this jerk.

The MG said "Perhaps you just got caught in the crossfire of someone having a bad day." Well, if that's the case then he's going to have another one when I complain.

And I'm still not stopping at that stop sign until they fix the intersection. Psycho border guard or not.


Swistle said...

Holy crap, that story really scared me! And then it made me mad!

Firegirl said...

It's been three days and I'm still alternating between mad and scared.


And how happy am I that I get to cross the border this weekend? I'm going to refrain from poking them in the eyes, if possible.