July 21, 2005

All Hell Broke Loose

For the first time in a couple of days, I have a little bit of peace and time to explain what has kept me away. In short, Tuesday was a horrible place to be. Period.

It didn't start out all that bad. That morning a friend of mine also on vacation in LA borrowed his girlfriend's car and came up from downtown to visit. We had breakfast, took a little tour of town, bought his girlfriend's daughter a Care Bear, got the car washed, went to the Reagan Library...it was a relaxing day with someone I hadn't seen in years. We were just killing time together and having a good time.

And then...all hell broke loose...

On our way to see a movie we got our directions turned around and we never made it to the theater. While trying to turn around a truck traveling far too fast hit the front of the car we were using. The driver was a kid from the high school I went to that got out of the truck already screaming. His mom traveling in the opposite direction showed up just seconds later and joined him in screaming out orders of who to call and what he needed to do. My friend and I didn't talk to them. They had never heard of the words calm or rational.

A few seconds later a woman walks out of her house to tell us she called the police. Not a minute later they were on the scene...bringing with them fire trucks and an ambulance. For a non-injury accident there were 5 officers, 2 fire trucks, and an ambulance.

The front end of the truck was damaged and plastic pieces from it had flown everywhere. It had no crumpling and could easily still be driven. The point of impact on our car was almost directly the left front tire. The car was kneeling down with the wheel well so deformed the tire was unable to rotate. Both vehicles were towed before anyone asked us how we felt about it or where we wanted it taken.

I called my dad who couldn't help but he called my mom and Lil Bro who both left work to do what they could. I stood there not knowing what to do...I had never been in an accident before.

While I was trying to arrange a way for us to get back to my mom's house I had three people standing around me, closing me in, wanting my attention. I hung up the phone and they all started talking at once. When I tried to answer I couldn't help but start crying. My heart was racing, my friend was holding his neck, an officer was rudely questioning my friend, and I couldn't do anything. It was a massive test of my compulsive need to organize and direct a situation to resolution.

Most of what happened in the middle of things I missed because I was taken to the ambulance. Paramedics were concerned about what might happen as a result of my anxiety and they acted like I was in hysterics. They took my pulse, pressure, and then put me on a heart monitor before they would let me sign AMA papers.

By the time they let me out the kid's entire family was there watching. He was whining that his truck was no good, that it was done, and it had been totally ruined. The same officer that had been rudely questioning my friend was still harassing him. The registration was missing and he couldn't reach his girlfriend at work. The officer repeatedly questioned if he was on probation or on drugs. None of the officers wanted to talk to me. My family kept calling, sometimes at the same time. I stood on the side of the road trying to get my family to stop calling and just coordinate within themselves while my friend tried desperately to reach the owner of the car and the police kept running searches on him.

My brother showed up just as the car was being towed away and the rude officer was taking down my name and address. Within minutes of the officer obtaining that information (and nothing else from me) another officer came up behind my friend and asked him to put his hands behind his back. He was under arrest because there was a warrant for his arrest in a county 4 hrs away. He asked that the contents of his pockets be given to me, the officer complied, and then he was gone.

I stood there in shock. I knew where he was going and how much his bail would be but I had no idea why he was leaving. He had never been read his rights or the reason for the warrant explained. Suddenly he was gone, the officers talking to one another in the middle of the street, and the whole thing was over. Not once did an officer ask me if I had a place to go or a way to get there despite knowing I was from out of town.

I walked to my brother's car as the police looked on... the car's owner finally called back and I couldn't do anything but tell her that her only car had been disabled and that her boyfriend had been arrested ... a motorcycle cop tailed my brother most of the way down the freeway as he drove me to mom's house ... I had no idea the day could get worse...

He had been arrested around 2:30p - It took me the remainder of the day to get him out of jail. I had to wait 1.5 hours before there was a record of him in the system and it wasn't until then that he got his phone call to tell me again how much his bail would be. The officer in the background told him he could leave as soon as his fingerprints done, his pictures were taken, and I paid his bail. We left immediately and my credit card was run at 5:44p and I was told to wait for the other paperwork. It arrived 2 hours later. I signed it and was told it would be another 6-8 hours before he would be released.

Mom and I went to get dinner and kill a little time before calling to check on him. No one would answer the phone so we drove back to ask in person. The answer was "about another hour, if that." So we unsuccessfully went to look for coffee and came back 45 mins later. A party for a departing deputy was announced over some kind of intercom system...which aggravated both mom and me. An hour later my friend was finally released, at just before midnight.

The legitimacy of his warrant is still in question. It was issued because the computer claims he didn't pay a fine from 1998. He says he paid it but I don't know if he can prove it. His bail is subject to forfeiture because failure to pay the fine was considered violation of a court order. He has to get the court's permission to leave the state and return home to Brooklyn. And the way things stand, he has to come back again for a court date in the beginning of August...something nearly impossible to do in his career field.

The car owner got her registration from the DMV Wed morning but it took all day to get the car released from the towing company. It now sits at an auto place where my dad takes his vehicles. We don't know what it will cost to fix, if it is worth it, or how long the owner will be able to borrow other people's cars.

My friend and the owner went back to her place last night but damn near nothing is resolved and it feels like my body is coming up with new aches and pains by the hour.

Tuesday is my new least favorite day...

Posted by Princess Cat at July 21, 2005 01:34 PM @ 01:34 PM in All Things Evil // Permalink | TrackBack

see now will you please add my number to your phone and call me if you get in a jam

Posted by: nino at July 21, 2005 05:16 PM

Jesus, that's sounds like no fun at all. I am glad to hear that you weren't harmed or strip searched though.

Especially the strip-searching part. That would brek my heart.

Posted by: skippystalin at July 21, 2005 08:53 PM

Wow, what a lousy day. It could always be worse, though.

Also, I have an oustanding fine in Wisconsin that now I'm wondering if I should actually pay.

Posted by: betweenbars at July 21, 2005 09:38 PM

... what a day... glad you are safe, but damn...

Posted by: Eric at July 22, 2005 09:09 AM

Wow. Glad to hear you're at least physically safe!

I know the feeling of total confusion, as I was just in an accident about 700 miles from home -- and the car was totaled -- and it was Friday night and the wrecker yard wouldn't let me in to get my stuff until Monday -- and I had nowhere to stay and knew no one within 300 miles.

Posted by: Ogre at July 22, 2005 10:23 AM

Isn't there some kind of statute of limitations on collecting fines? What kind was it? I mean, ya know, due process and all that jazz. I'm sure any judge would throw out that nonsense.

Posted by: Dorothy at July 23, 2005 11:47 PM