Note: My next Off the Beaten Path segment will appear on the blog tomorrow. Can I blame tax preparation pressures for this week’s delay?
I have previously experienced a similar “wow, am I a turd” feeling like I am certain that this officer did:
STEVE THOMPSON, The Dallas Morning NewsThe man tried again a few minutes later and this time successfully committed a strong-arm robbery from a 62 year-old woman breaking her nose during the incident.
The man apparently looked innocent enough. An officer spotted his white Ford Mustang pulled partway onto the sidewalk with its flashers on, according to Dallas police reports.
"I need your help," the man said, out of breath. "I've run out of gas."
The officer agreed and helped push the Mustang to a nearby northwest Dallas gas station. Then the officer drove on.
Minutes passed before a dispatch sounded over his squad car's radio: Be on the lookout for a white Ford Mustang whose driver was a suspect in two aggravated robberies that had just occurred…
The chain of events, reconstructed from police reports, began about 9:20 a.m., as a 76-year-old woman pulled her black Lexus SUV into a parking space in front of a business at 6020 Sherry Lane in North Dallas.
A clean, white 2001 Mustang pulled in two spaces away. As the woman got out of her car, a man put his arms around her and forced her down into the driver's seat.
"Give me your purse," he demanded.
"No," the woman said.
"I've got a gun."
"No, you don't."
They began to struggle, and he tugged at her 2-carat, heart-shaped diamond ring.
She screamed for help, and witnesses started noticing. The man let her go, leaving her hand black and blue. He jumped back into the Mustang and fled as witnesses took down the license plate number.
The article continues:
It was about 9:47 a.m. when Officer Timothy Drummond spotted a white Mustang partially blocking the right turn lane at Forest Lane and Inwood Road.I am glad the officer was able to make the arrest himself.
Minutes later, as he heard dispatchers putting out a description of the getaway car -- a white Ford Mustang, very clean, driven by a black man wearing a ball cap -- Drummond realized he probably just helped get the robber back on the road.
The 18-year Dallas police veteran turned his squad car around and headed back toward the intersection. He spotted the Mustang at a red light just up Inwood Road at Willow Lane. After it turned south onto the Dallas North Tollway, Drummond pulled it over. He ordered (Timothy) Franklin to the ground at gunpoint.
Franklin was booked into the Dallas County Jail on $150,000 bail. He faces two aggravated robbery charges...
In a similar experience, I was not so fortunate.
I was working a busy weekend overnight shift and in between calls saw a guy walking on a lonely and lightly populated road early in the morning. I stopped and chatted with him and the guy told me that his Red Dodge Dakota truck had broken down a few miles back and he was walking to a pay phone. He was holding keys to a vehicle, showed me some identification, and the ID indicated that he was a resident of a nearby county.
I quickly patted him down and finding no weapons drove him two miles to a strip mall that had a pay phone. I was content with my citizen assist, said good–bye to the fellow, and went back to doing "real police" work.
Not more than an hour later the dispatcher read the following “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) announcement over the air: “Attention all units, be on the lookout for a red Dodge Dakota pickup stolen this morning from (insert a town in the neighboring county where my guy needing help was from). The keys were with the vehicle.”
After saying to myself “don’t let it be the same one” and practicing my limited knowledge of appropriate explicatives, I got back to the location where I helped my stranded driver and sure enough a mile or so back up the road was the parked and stolen Red Dodge Dakota. I had another unit check the strip mall area for the driver and put a description out on him, but my friend was long gone.
We were able to get the owner’s vehicle back to him undamaged-—which he was thrilled about. He also said the suspect that I encountered was a former employee who knew where the truck’s owner left an extra set of keys.
My final act of the shift was to let my supervisor know what had happened and to give him a heads-up as to why I knew so much about the suspect—-since I actually aided in his escape. My veteran sergeant being wise and good-humored had a good laugh.
After listening to my tale of screwing-up, he replied, “Well Officer, I guess this reinforces the notion that no good deed goes unpunished.”