This post is going out at ~2am on a day that was a long one for me, as you will see, should you choose to read on. So forgive my typos, or how the story is disjointed – I just wanted to get it out while the events were fresh in my mind.
One of my younger brothers (Eric, younger than me by two years) was in town tonight for a bowling tournament. Of course I asked him to stay with me, and I drove him and his two kids to the bowling alley (bowling centers, I think they prefer) dropped them off, and went to dinner at one of my friend’s house.
I knew bowling would take longer than I cared to spend watching – I thought it would be excessively boring. So I missed the first 90 minutes of it. But I came back from my friends house in time to watch my brother play a few games, and actually win a bit of money. I was just sitting with my niece and nephew and enjoying a cold beer and their conversation.
And it turned out to be anything but boring.
Eventually I felt the need for a smoke, so I went outside (yes, even bowling alleys are off limits to smokers now – even though 90% of the bowlers smoked).
So I am outside and I see a group of people (who happened to be mostly black)surrounding one very drunk woman and similarly drunk guy (both white) and asked someone what was going on.
It appears the drunk white dude had rammed his truck into the sober black guys brand new dealer-loaned Audi. He hit it hard enough to move it 6 feet (the Audi was parked and unoccupied at the time). And he tried to run. And he almost ran over a half dozen people in the parking lot before he was pulled from the truck and detained. His "girlfriend" was also removed from the truck. She was too drunk to even stand. Someone went to take the keys from the truck, and guess what? There were no keys. The ignition had been ripped out. The truck was obviously (probably) stolen.
Now I didn’t see any of this – I came out right after they were pulled from the truck. But I did come out right after they were pulled from the truck in time to see that they were treated quite well – they were held, asked to sit down, and then the calls to 911 started. There were probably 15-20 people out front now – most of them black. And they were detaining two white people.
So when the two drunk white people got up and got back into the truck, about 20 minutes later, nobody knew quite what to do – and by the time they figured it out, the drunk white people had driven off. Nobody struck them, harmed them, or were even overly rude to them. But the drunks were ready for a fight and the crowd wasn’t interested in one. Certainly the police would be along any moment.
About this time I go back in and tell my brother and my niece and nephew what happened, and of course the kids (not so much kids anymore!) wanted to see. So we went back outside.
This is now 45 minutes after the San Antonio Police received the first 911 call. The young black man who had his Audi hit was back on the phone with the police, begging for them to dispatch someone.
Me, being me, yelled out to him, and into his cell phone, "Tell the cops there are white people here too – maybe they will show up".
Almost exactly one hour after the initial call a lone female officer arrived and started to get the Audi owners information.
During the near hour of no police response the drunken fool had driven back past the bowling alley twice! We can only guess that the drunk white chick with him still had her car at the bowling alley, and that they were trying to recover it. Or they were so drunk they just thought cruising past the ever-growing crowd was just cool.
But they had several things working against them. By this time there were about 50 people in the parking lot – black, white, Asian, Indian. And they were all mad. Mad at the cops for taking an unforgivable amount of time to arrive – especially since it was made clear to them that a citizen arrest (for lack of a accurate legal description for it) had been made – against a drunk driver who hit another vehicle, tried to run, and in doing so almost ran over innocent people – including children.
Finally as the Audi owner was talking to the officer the drunk drove by a third time!
Everyone started pointing and yelling, and the officer took off in pursuit. But she must have lost the guy because we didn’t see her or him for another ten minutes.. Until he drove back by for the fourth time! And just to be clear – at this point the guy had done a lot more damage to his truck – it was apparent that he had hit something else (again and again!). He saw the now probably 50 person crowd and started to take off down a side street. He clipped some other vehicles/trees/whatever and spun out and headed back in the general direction of the bowling alley – he was about a half block away, but it was an open field and we all had an open view.
I had my niece and nephew with me (both older teens), but I still closed in on the truck as the female officer pulled up behind him, hit her lights and finally dragged the driver out of the truck and struggled with him – in the middle of Austin Highway – a very busy five lane highway. She quickly subdued him (Mace, brute force, her will to win, and his drunkenness all worked against the idiot).
At this point I was across two lanes of traffic, but I noticed 3-4 of the other witnesses were rushing the truck – which was still moving, I think we all expected the drunk woman to be in the truck. She wasn’t. But the truck was in gear and rolling down a very busy highway (and the truck was not in good shape – it had fenders rubbing on tires, etc)`- and I ran over and noticed that there was another occupant in the vehicle. A very nervous looking dog.
A half dozen of us got the truck under control and pushed it off the main highway (I had the steering wheel and the poor dog was looking at me with such a confused look on her face) – even as the female officer was cuffing the man and calling for assistance. Amazing how quickly other cops showed up when an officer asked for help.
When a citizen called for police it took an hour – and caused the situation to escalate to a near riot. There were at least 60-80 people on the street when the arrest was finally made – and many of them were quite angry – with cause, I might add. The police took way to long to respond. Their poor response time put a lot more people at risk – the other drivers that were facing this drunk on the road, the people trying to restrain the drunk, etc. People were actually talking out loud about the fact that police were not responding to an urgent request from a black citizen.
Then, and now, a couple hours later, I cannot fault them for their perceptions – the reality is that the response time was pathetic. For whatever reason.
But at the end of the evening, I saw an amazing group of dissimilar citizens band together to watch the drunk, keep track of when he went where, and finally point him out to the lone officer who took the man down.
And I helped stop the runaway truck, in the middle of busy traffic, and I helped save the poor dog with the idiot for an "owner".
And my niece and nephew saw it.
And somehow, I think they respect me a bit for not just standing back and watching – the situation was definitely not in control when I got involved – the cop was still wrestling with the drunk in the middle of the highway, and I was helping stop an unmanned, yet still moving, pickup truck. Which was stolen, by the way.
I have no idea where the drunk girl was. She could have been let out (or fallen out) anywhere. At this point it was getting late, and we needed to head back to my house before anything else interesting happened.
And now I am going to sleep – wishing I could have taken the poor dog. It deserved better. But the cops called animal control. I guess if you are a dog with a stupid ass drunk for an "owner" you still belong to the stupid-ass drunk. Even if they go to jail.
And yes – this shit really happens to me. And I have witnesses!