Running code to yet another family fight, I heard a call come over the radio. A dispatcher off duty was following a car with 3 men wearing bandanas over their faces. Not strange if you are riding a horse in a dusty storm...or in 1870 robbing a bank. Or even normal attire on Halloween. But this was in the middle of the week on a hot August night.
The backseat passenger was holding his hand over a girl's mouth and she was screaming. Several calls started streaming into the 911 center as other citizens reported the strange group. Naturally,
Thinking I was missing out on of the local high school's theatre group pranks (complacency and doubt giving me preconcieved notions), I skeedaddled to my family fight and dealt with it as fast as I could wrap up a domestic argument. Afterwards, the bandidos were still on the loose but the popo finally pulled in behind them and had pulled them over without incident.
Rookie training opportunity.
Lepreshawn thought this would be great training for a felony stop for Lunch Money, my rookie. Although the heat of the stop was over, there was still an investigation to be done.
I wandered their direction and with a glance and some inside knowledge, I observed the yahoos in the car were 3 young men, currently on probation, that had become frequent flyers in the course of their childhood. They were familiar. I recognized them. They were gangsta wannabes with no real ghetto experience. After the fake guns were put away, we identified the "brilliant mob boss", Max.
MAX: Hi, officers. Just joking! We thought it would be funny to ride around with bandanas and pretend we kidnapped someone.
ME: Where did you figure that was a good idea? Out of a Cracker Jacks box?
Scha-wing! You just landed yourself the attention of the entire city. And we have all day. Idiots.
Strangely enough, the car smelled like weed. The kids smelled like weed. Must be weed. Sure enough. Lepreshawn found weed. And so...gangsta wannabes became gangsta wannabes with weed tickets.
ME: You might just want to tie those bandanas around your neck next time. Use them as a necklace or as a tourniquet. Just an idea.
MAX: What's a tourniquet?
ME: A really tight necklace. You can't be a gangsta if you don't know what that is. Just sayin'.
MAX: We are. There are gangs. You don't know what we are capable of.
ME: I know you are capable of being the only people in the city dumb enough to ride around looking for the popo to pull you over with guns and to turn yourselves in for weed.
MAX: We didn't do that.
ME: Really? Aren't those weed tickets in your hand? And don't I have your weed? And didn't you do some crazy shit to flag us down?
ME: Oh, and tell your probation officer hello. I expect that revocation warrant to be out next week.