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The Guy Who Put Himself in Jail
Round Lens and The Little Smoking Man
Got Warrants? Call a Lawyer, not your Friends.
I don't write these stories very often since I changed careers but I was sitting in a hotel room with nothing to do and remembered a funny story about a high kid and his dumb friends who came to visit us at the police station one fateful night. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. Transient is the female, Warrant is in jail and Round Lens is the interrogated.
One night, while on duty, a fellow Officer was patrolling an apartment complex located in our jurisdiction. The night was a humid, warm, southeastern summer night, people were milling about outside. While he was driving through the complex he noticed a man. At the precise moment he noticed the man, the man noticed him. The man's eyes got big as he did the emergency I have a warrant for my arrest and there's the police, high step. While his foot was in mid air, he turned on the pivot foot 180 degrees to walk the opposite direction, finishing his patent pending dodge the police maneuver.
The move attracted the Officer's attention which gave him a reasonable suspicion something was afoot in the complex. The Officer followed up on his suspicion by identifying the man and finding our department held warrants for his arrest. The warrants were in reference to charges of failing to appear in court to answer the charges of marijuana possession. He was taken to our jail without incident.
Before the story progresses I should introduce my fellow Officer. He has been around longer than Andy Griffith. I have worked with him throughout my short stint as an Officer. Somehow he hasn't made it into my stories until now.
While he may be small in stature, he is huge in presence and character, and will stomp a mud hole in your ass and walk it dry. We call him "The Little Smoking Man" which is fairly easy to decipher. I will spare you the details of the back story into the nickname. I will say the woman who dubbed him "The Little Smoking Man" is literally as crazy and ugly (Fugly) as they come.
The Guy Arrested.
Back to the man in jail. Upon his arrest, as everyone is, he was allowed a phone call to set up a bond to be released. He called his friends to help him out, there aren't many of those when you are in jail. Like him, the friends he called enjoy natural herbs and such. Those type folks are not known for the brilliant decisions they make throughout life. A day passes and our man is still in jail.
The next night his friends made an appearance to help him get out of jail. One of them is a female and the other is a male. I will have to give a brief back story on these two.
The girl is a transient living wherever she can roll out a sleeping bag. Yes, she has been found in a sleeping bag in the bushes. Savory, I know.
The other boy was a scrawny little guy with round lens glasses and zero intellect. His skin pallid and sunk in cheeks. Long stringy, oily hair and he had an enormous amount of cheap jewelry that appeared to be made of tin. His shirt was hanging down to his knees along with the crotch of his dirty, old, way too big jeans. He was four feet and twelve inches tall, and high as a kite.
His car was the epitome of a junker. A Ford Taurus which was somewhat silver, I think. There is substantial doubt as to the make and color due to the condition the car was in. One of the tires was a spare donut tire, another tire was flat and the other two were slick as a peeled onion. One headlight was out, the other headlight bulb was literally dangling from the housing, somehow still glowing. There were no body parts without a dent or a scratch. The bumpers were full of grass and mud clods from running into ditches. This car was such a piece of crap it would not have qualified for a demolition derby with the Malachi Brothers on Happy Days.
The Little Smoking Man and I had just finished up a very serious call on a domestic assault where the woman was hospitalized with serious head injuries. This was minutes prior to the encounter with the friends of the man in jail. We needed a little laugh to get us motivated past the horrible stuff we have seen. As it turned out Smoking Man, the Chief of Police and I were at the scene of the assault. The Chief was first responder which makes the scene his. While he was inside finishing the report and getting information from the family after the victim had been transported to safety, I noticed his patrol car was running. I being the watchful type, know the veteran Chief of Police would not leave his car unlocked. I walked over to check. Only as a precaution. We didn't need the husband, who was at large and on a rampage, getting control of a patrol car.
The car was unlocked, I secured it for the boss. Somehow, the heat got turned on full blast. Sure was humid and hot that night. Twenty minutes later the Chief emerges from the home and says, " I hate to leave good company guys, but I'm going home. It's been a long one."
Smoking Man says to me in a near whisper, "We better clear out, I think his steering wheel melted." With that said, we began to scamper away yelling back at him, "OK, take is easy we are going to the station for a minute."
At about the same time we reached our patrol cars, we heard him screaming, "Ahhhhhhhhhh, payback is rough!" We laughed until our faces hurt and headed to the P.D. Just a bit of information, I did get paid back, but it has nothing to do with this story.
The Police "Talk"
When I arrived at the P.D, I noticed the junk car I described earlier. The scrawny guy with round lens glasses was trying to park parallel in a space that didn't exist. Luckily no other vehicles were around with the exception of my patrol car.
I observed for a minute, then I noticed one of the tires was flat. I also noticed the headlight bulb dangling out of its home on the bumper. All this combined with a poor attempt at stopping the car, I began to think a drunk had came to turn himself into the police for being dumb. Looking back through my fuzzy hindsight, I was correct, in a way.
When round lens noticed me he quit trying to park and cut the car off where it was. I continued to watch him a little longer then I walked over to his window to introduce myself using my friendly salutation," How's it going?"
Round Lens was almost as coherent as a tested lab rat. I could tell by the hollow look in his eyes. The level and tone of his speech which was just above a whisper which is another indication of being not exactly sober. I asked him what he was doing. He told me he was waiting in his friend, the transient girl, to get her boyfriend out of jail.
At that time I realized how wasted this guy was. The Little Smoking Man was pulling into the parking lot as I stood talking to Round Lens. I told Smoking Man via the police radio that he may want to join me on this one. He came over and we began "The Talk".
The Truth Revealed
I doubt, if you are a responsible citizen that you have ever been exposed to "The Talk". It isn't a verbal assault, it is a mental assault. The Talk is only used when the police know by looking at you that you will be going to jail in the next few minutes. The Talk is designed to let you hang yourself by handing you the proverbial length of rope.
We began The Talk. Smoking Man is the master of messing with your mind and often picks these type of individuals to practice on. After I asked Round Lens what he was doing driving the car around with a flat tire and the headlight dangling he began to explain in a language only he could decipher. He wasn't being loud at all, he was rather reserved and very nervous.
Smoking man held up his hand signaling Round lens to stop talking. When he stopped, Smoking Man leaned in close to him, looked him in the eyes and said, "Shh, people are trying to sleep around here, you need to whisper." There aren't any houses within 200 yards of where we were standing.
Round Lens began to look around with an embarrassed look upon his face. He lowered his voice to a whisper. He began to explain the extensive damage to his car which I will not go into because it has no bearing on the story other than how much of a junker he was driving.
Smoking Man asked him if he was high. Round lens face flushed with embarrassment but he denied by answering no. Knowing he was telling fibs Smoking man really began to play with him. He asked him who the girl was. Round Lens began to explain that she was Warrant's girlfriend.
Smoking Man asked a few more questions and drew the conclusion that something just wasn't right about Round Lens answers about Transient. Smoking Man just asked him bluntly, "Have you two been f---ing?" Round Lens turned red and got a grin on his face that only a high kid could have.
All three of us began to giggle and laugh at the thought of Round Lens screwing the Transient who came to get Warrant out of jail. What an awesome love triangle.
Smoking Man has Round Lens talking to us frankly and has gained his trust a little by telling him that we won't tell on him for being a player. I am trying not to laugh and have to walk away often to smile.
Smoking Man finally asked him what he was on. He began to explain in the low whisper, that we were all continuing to use, about some pills he took earlier in the evening. Now that we had verbal confession of being high and all the other obvious clues, we were left with no alternative other than to make sure that he was safe. We didn't want him to harm himself or others so we took action as any police officer would do in this situation.
Smoking Man began to explain to him that he has managed to get himself to the police department while being high and he would be arresting himself and putting himself in jail.
Smoking Man and I watched him walk off to follow the directions he received. We stood there laughing and talking for a few minutes to give Round Lens time to do what he was born to do.
The Justice System at Work, It Works.
Round Lens walked slowly to the glass door, the fluorescent light casting its light into the dark humid night air. He opened the door, walked in and sat down. The dispatcher, not knowing what was going on, asked him if she could help him. Round Lens, looking at the doormat on the floor, began to explain that he had arrested himself for public intoxication and needed to book himself into the jail with his friend Warrant.
She was confused and called us to find out what was going on. We went inside and explained the situation. Round Lens was handed an arrest report and told to begin filling it out block by block.
When he finished he had to sign some papers for booking and was ready to go to jail. Smoking Man told him to search himself because there were several inmates in the jail and we did not need any weapons or drugs getting in there. He searched himself and found nothing.
Meanwhile, the guys in jail had been listening to us and were laughing at the preposterous fact that this numb nut was putting himself in jail.
Round Lens looked around confused, as we were sitting in our chairs waiting on him to go to jail. He said, " What do I do now?" "Well you've arrested yourself, searched yourself and wrote your arrest report, I suppose you need to get that key hanging up right there and go put yourself in the jail. Leave the key on the food tray on the door and we'll pick up the key when we get time." said the Smoking Man.
Round Lens picked up the key and walked to the jail door, opened it and went in, closed the door behind him and set the key where he was instructed.
By this time, even Transient is laughing at Round Lens as is Warrant and all the other inmates. That was all that transpired for the night.
The next day, Round Lens had sobered up and was bonding out of jail. I was there so I continued the self booking process. I handed him the jail key through the bars and told him his bondsman was here and that he needed to get started on his release and court appearance paper work.
Round lens began the tasks of bonding out of jail and he had done the whole process on his own.
I didn't see Round Lens again until 2 or 3 months later at his court date. The Smoking man and I worked as door security at court until we were needed to appear in court for our cases. We recognized Round Lens when he came in to stand in line.
In order to get in our court you are visually checked and scanned with a hand held metal detector. Round Lens stood and watched as we scanned and checked 30 or more people until it was his turn.
When he walked up he held his arms out to his side waiting to be scanned. Smoking man said, "What are you doing? You've done everything yourself so far, here scan and check yourself before you go into the courtroom."
Round Lens took the detector and scanned himself and checked himself then handed the detector back to Smoking Man and went in the courtroom.
I don't know how the case went, I am assuming he pleaded guilty. The Magistrate called me in to deliver his folder to the probation people and escort him to them. I smiled took the folder and handed it to Round Lens telling him to do what she said. He took the folder and went to the probation people without an issue.
That is the only person, other than Otis from Andy Griffith, that I know of who has arrested, booked, jailed, released, prosecuted and set up his own probation. I still laugh when I think back to that night a few years ago.