I never thought I would be posting in this section, but figured this humorous take on a "kill" belongs here for a good long read...
The header of this subforum tells me this is the most appropriate place to post this: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”
Dropped my coworker off last night from the airport, and was headed home. Some jerk was on my tail as I approached the highway, headlights looked like an Audi of some sort. A nice downhill sweeping right-turn on-ramp onto the highway was coming up. No matter the speed I was going, even driving slow to get him to go around (as I was going to stay in the right lane to hit the on-ramp in a few hundred feet), or speeding up, this guy was cruisin' for a bruisin' and I haven't aired out this dusty dirty ol' G8 in a while and the freeway is dead black, wide open...
So I hit this ramp with 3rd gear selected at approx 70+ and pushing hard as I exit the turn and heading straight. As I'm getting close to merging, another vehicle in the right lane (over my left shoulder) is booking it pretty hard too, probably 80+. I have the choice of backing off and hitting the brakes (forcing the Audi jerk following to slam on the brakes or be a dick and pass on the right), just to try to get behind this other speeder in the right lane.
I chose the other option, to keep the hammer down in 3rd then 4th gears as I merge at a significant rate of speed...that's all I am comfortable with posting publicly...nuff said!
I merge successfully and am already backing off to a more reasonable rate of speed, when I notice this Audi that was following me is suddenly nowhere to be found, and this other vehicle in the right lane is right on my tail somehow but the road is wide open at this time of night so this person should be able to go around. They do not, and continue gaining even closer, so I change lanes to the middle lane and am letting off entirely to establish a speed of about 70. To my surprise this vehicle does not choose to pass me on the right but instead merges to the middle lane now too, quite literally a few feet from my rear bumper just as I am about to set my cruise at 70mph...
Only when this vehicle was fully in the lane behind me and his lights lit me up did I realize why.
So I proceed to turn on my signal to get back in the right lane to take the next off-ramp to avoid a dangerous traffic stop on the shoulder at night, but by then we are at the next on-ramp and another vehicle is trying to merge into that lane so I can't pull off there, thus I miss the off-ramp because I don't want to make an illegal lane change (cross a solid white line) with an officer right behind me to witness it, now the sirens come on so I figure now I'm pissing him off, I'm not gonna be able to pull off the freeway where it's safer, so I pull over immediately at this point and luckily the shoulder is nice and wide due to an upcoming interchange.
Turn on the dome lights and roll down all 4 windows. Rear windows are black which is legal, front windows are tinted less, but nonetheless in CA no tint is allowed in the front. I rolled down all 4, not because the front is illegal, but for the reason that this helps an officer approach the vehicle being able to see inside, along with the dome light.
Shut off, key removed and now sitting front and center on the dashboard. Officer comes on the PA horn telling me "put your vehicle in park, not reverse" but it is in park, the key is removed so I reach out and give him a thumbs up. He was confused because the damn fancy egress lighting on this car turns them on when the key is removed. Oops (my oh my how cars used to be simpler).
Am fumbling with my wallet in my lap as he approaches and then tells me to put my hands on the wheel which I immediately do so (my mistake, did not realize he had exited vehicle already and wanted documents ready when requested).
He asked why I did not immediately pull over, I explained there was a black pickup merging from the right into that same lane too that I didn't want to hit, then the lane was already closed for the next offramp by the time I passed this truck and I didn't want to make an illegal lane change by crossing a solid white line and make my situation any worse.
He asked if I own this vehicle and I answered yes sir.
He asked if I have my driver's license and I responded with my hands still on the wheel, yes sir, may I reach for it here in my lap, then provided it.
He asked if the vehicle is currently registered and I responded yes sir, may I reach for it here in my lap too (all vehicle documents are kept in my wallet on my person, never stored in the vehicle unattended), then provided it with the insurance card just because they were together.
He asked if my license he was holding in his own hand was valid (yes sir), are there any outstanding warrants against me (no sir), do I have any criminal record (no sir), have I ever been arrested (no sir); then leaves back to his patrol vehicle. Tells me to sit tight and walks away.
I sit there with my hands staying on the wheel, just kinda shaking my head looking down for about 1-2 minutes and he is already back.
He hands me my information and tells me OK, here you go, I am not going to write this up, BUT - 2 things:
1 - slow the hell down.
2 - pull over sooner.
His reasoning: looking me straight in the eye, stated very clearly "you have no criminal history, have no arrests, and you don't even have a speeding ticket. You're completely clean. So I'm not going to be your first speeding ticket." He said he was booking it at 80+ when I passed him getting on the freeway, so I must have been doing at least *censored*MPH before I changed lanes and slowed down for him to pass.
Also, due to the distance which it took me to pull over, it is not quite felony evading since I was already slowing down, but would still be a misdemeanor arrest. In his words, if he's not willing to be my first speeding ticket, he's surely not going to be my first arrest; and he would much rather arrest a wanted felon and gang member that's a threat to society, than impose a hefty fine on a regular guy like me who's clearly led a life living within the lines and not causing trouble for the rest of us.
This then evolved into a fairly casual two-way discussion (all the while I am still ****ting my pants and maintaining the highest level of respect).
Why I didn't pull over sooner, I explained the truck merging on the right, then not wanting to make an illegal lane change over a solid line, pulling over on the freeway shoulder is extremely dangerous for both of us so I was trying to get off the freeway altogether until I heard the sirens come on next.
He said he figured I was looking for a place to safely pull over, he noticed I had already dropped speed before he lit me up and he was already explaining this to dispatch as he was pulling me over, I was just cruising along and slowing down a lot while trying to pull over.
Then a chuckle about the backup lights being on as I explained why they came on. He said "tinted windows, I can't see inside, all of a sudden the backup lights come on as I'm getting out of my vehicle, I've got a lot of things running through my mind as I approach a vehicle because 2 gangs around here have a green-light on us and the Sheriff has put us on high alert."
At this point I looked over at his uniform for the first time and realized this was a Sheriff's Deputy of the County and not state Highway Patrol who I thought had made the stop. Around here, it seems you have to screw up pretty badly for the Sheriff to make a traffic stop! I was visibly surprised at this and expressed it so, said I thought it was HP and yepyep it's a really crazy world right now, you guys are always in my thoughts as I have acquaintances in several local agencies (one that works with him actually) that put their life on the line every day, you have my sincerest respect.
This stop ended with him telling me to slow down and have a good night, I extended my hand and shook his while telling him "you too, stay safe out there."
So I guess there are 4 morals to this story:
1. Slow the hell down.
2. Pull over sooner.
3. It helps to live within the lines. My only prior stops were a high-school age speeding ticket (much lower speeds, in a Jeep with a bad speedometer) that never shows up due to an admission of guilt as a juvenile and 6 hours of traffic school purging it from any records, and a more recent stop with a warning to put the license plates on my new truck (a clean record then probably had a lot to do with that warning too).
4. Most importantly: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.”
LEOs are people just like all of us, doing a job, and quite frankly dealing with idiots like me doing stupid crap like merging on the freeway at stupid speeds when they would much rather be focusing their efforts on the real dangerous scumbags in society that are a threat to all of us collectively. They truly put their lives on the line every day they put on a uniform.
This Deputy was the definition of class and was there "to protect and to serve" and managed to let me off easy while still effectively scaring some sense into me.
As of late, I have been considering selling the beloved G8. It would be the most stupid decision to make as I will probably never have a better-built vehicle in its entirety, I own it 100%, it gets reasonable economy for what it is, and is plenty powerful for having fun once in a while. I'm unsure whether to chalk this up to experience and a moment of wanting to let off some steam, or consider this warning a sign of things to come if I keep it any longer. Luckily it's stock and quiet still which probably keeps me out of trouble the most, but I have been planning to change that which could change my luck for the worst.
This isn't helping:
Ford Mustang rental car