THE CRAB DIARIES: LATE PUNISHMENT

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND (UMPD)

You know? We are all human beings in this world, and we all make mistakes here and there throughout life.  However, learning from you mistakes is the key to not repeating it over and over again.  At the same time, if you are not aware of what your mistake is, and you keep repeating it over and over again, then that would probably make you ignorant to your situation.  As you grow up from a child into adulthood, you are taught right and wrong, and it is up to you as you get to a certain age to follow what you were taught without assistance from your parents or role models.  Throughout those years you are living, you also become, or should become, aware of how society is and what rules are followed by the society you are a part of.  We have laws and rules for a reason, and those laws and rules are to avoid situations that would allow anarchy to reign, and to maintain a civilization.

Well, one person that I dealt with years ago, I suppose, decided not to follow the rules and laws that have been set forth. During the early morning hours, the day of the Maryland Terrapins football teams last home game of the year, I was on campus this time watching for vehicle traffic at a certain spot.  This spot that I was stationary at had two stop signs, approximately 100 feet or more from each other, and we were having issues with people not stopping at them.  So, I decided to pick a time of the morning, when vehicle traffic is very low, and watch these two stop signs to see if anyone would blatantly run them.  I didn’t have to wait too much longer for this to come true, but it was someone who absolutely knew better.  As I was sitting on the side, in a graded driveway, I witnessed this dark green Cadillac, with dark as shit tinted windows, come blowing through one of the stop signs at a very high rate of speed.  Of course, the running of a stop sign wasn’t exactly the surprise, but at the speed this driver was going was the shocker sort of speak.

After witnessing this blatant disregard of basic traffic rules, I pulled out of the driveway and pursued up the hill after the car. In doing so, the car blew through at least one or two more stop signs before pulling over after seeing my emergency lights.  The first thing that happened was that the driver, who I now see is a female and an employee of the university transportation department, jumps out of the car screaming, “I’m late!  I work for DOTS!  I’m late for my assignment!”  Maybe she thought screaming that at me would spell good things for her, and for me to cut her a HUGE brake.  NOT!!  I didn’t budge at her request to let her go and join her fellow employees, who were waiting for her to take up her traffic post.  So, I went through my entire traffic stop like I normally did, and even made the pre-conceive notion that her punishment would be at least two traffic citations for her behavior.  However, things would quickly generate downhill when my dispatcher came back with information that the vehicle registration was stolen.  Well, this news, obviously, didn’t bow well for her and at this time more officers arrived when the stolen tag information came out.

Her reaction was denial, and that she had no idea that the tags were stolen. Further investigation, discovered that the vehicle was not registered and, of course, no insurance.  Although I made the arrest, she did resist a little bit and ran off at the mouth, but quickly realized her reality was not changing.  While interviewing her after the arrest, she basically told me that she ran the stop sign because she was late for her assignments, and also finally admitted that her boyfriend was the one that stole the tags from another vehicle.  Apparently, from her verbal statements, her and her boyfriend, who live in D.C., stole a D.C. tag from another car, a close by neighbor no less, and used it for their car.  In addition, her boyfriend also got the car from someone else, legally, but decided not to be bothered with being a responsible citizen and register the damn car.  Of course, at this point she is pointing everything at her boyfriend, but she also wouldn’t give up his name, which I knew would be a tall order.  So, in the end, she was charged criminally and also given numerous tickets.  Through the following months, after the our initial contact with each other, she only appeared in court once for her traffic violations, but decided to not show up for her criminal court case.

HAHAHA! This ended up not working well for her either.  Once I knew the judge placed a warrant on her head, I knew where she worked and was going to wait for a long while before I arrested her again.  I knew where she worked at so rushing to that disposition wasn’t my main goal.  However, once again fate allowed things to happen, and this time, once again, I ended up in the same place where she was.  The day that I ran into her again, was created by one of our officers being involved in a vehicle pursued, and one of the witnesses of the crime worked at the transportation department.  Our suspect was finally caught after he crashed the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.  Without any hesitation I went to the transportation department, at the request of the arresting officer, to see if I could gather witness statements for the case.  In doing so, I arrived at the transportation headquarters and, low and behold, I saw my warrant suspect sitting on a bench, outside with other employees, during a bar-b-que they were having.  She and I made eye contact, and I thought she would remember me from months ago and would know she has an open warrant for her arrest.

Needless to say, after I received all the written statements, I inquired to other employees about my “warrant suspect”, and I was told that she went back to the main office. Other employees, at least from me, never knew about her having a warrant, and never understood the reasons of me asking for her whereabouts.  I gave all the written statements to the arresting officer of the vehicle pursuit, and went back to my dispatcher to have her check my “warrant suspect’s” name in the national database.  I would have to say I was pretty pleased to know that her warrant was still alive and valid, which made me recruit another officer to meet me at the main office, in case she decided to act a damn fool.  Several minutes later, I arrived at the main office and asked for her whereabouts, which she was in her office working on whatever.  When I advised her that I was there to arrest her again for an open warrant, she broke down and started crying uncontrollably where another employee had to console her.  This arrest went a little better than the first one, but once again I called for a female officer to search her persons.  During the search of my “warrant suspect” by a female officer, it got a little rough and some words were exchanged pretty aggressively between them.  After that, I took her to the regional correctional facility, where she was processed.

I never saw her again, but I did hear that about two or three weeks after my second arrest with her, she ran into our officers a third time. Apparently, when her mother was pulled over, she came out of the main office causing a disturbing scene and was arrested a third time.  I suppose this drove her superior’s nuts and caused them to terminate her from the job, which was sadly overdue.  People do deserve chances to prove themselves, and to show that they are the right people for the job, but to continuously getting in trouble with the law will not keep those chances coming.  I felt kind of bad for her, but at the same learning more and more of how she was outside of our contact, it was bound to happen.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last transportation employee we would run into over and over again throughout my remaining years there.  You would be amazed of how many employees were dirty, which made you believe that no background and/or reference checks were done; at least properly.  Sometimes people fall through the cracks, and those individuals sometimes allow themselves to seep through to only be wiped back up and tossed away.

Henry Scott

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LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH

MYSTERIOUS DIAGNOSIS & LUPUS LIFE

For those that are not familiar with this disease called lupus, it is an inflammatory of the immune system that attacks itself.  Many people live with this disease, and might be someone you know or have known, but the frustrating part is that it affects everyone differently.  My wife was diagnosed with lupus in July 2011, and everyday, six years later, we still are learning about this unpredictable ailment.  Just so you can better understand what it is like for a lupus warrior, think of your worse flu or cold days and think about living with that everyday with no relief in sight.  Although I don’t have the disease, I live with someone who has to get up and fight every single day, find the strength and courage, to live on a normal life as possible.  Then again, what is exactly a normal life for you?

When someone says, ‘I just want to live a normal life’ what does that mean exactly? Is having a normal life subjective?  Who determines if your life is normal or not? Most, people would ultimately say you, yourself, has the final determination.  Well, with lupus it practically tells you how you will live your life and what you will do to make sure you don’t make it angry.  Of course, if you choose to be hardheaded and not listen to your doctor, your body and not listen to those that live with it daily, you will surely regret it and see your life quality decline too soon.  Lupus warriors and cancer survivors or people living with cancer can have a similar lifestyle with chemotherapy, daily medicine to take, loss of hair, skin rashes, skin paleness, weakness, swelling and potentially getting worse with treatment.  However, as I stated before the disease effects every person differently and not all lupus warriors have to deal with those symptoms.  Not all at once.

For my wife, dealing with the worse pain and flare ups come during the summer time, especially when the humidity is harsh.  One of many reasons we moved up north because the humidity is not has harsh to her body, I don’t get migraines as much and the lifestyle up here fits our personality better.  Even though we are introverts, we still like to get out amongst the people and have fun and just live life to the best of our ability.  Some might be thinking that since we are introverts, how do we deal with our career choice being amongst the people, working closely with people and dealing with different personalities that could rub us the wrong way?  The answer is that our hearts are the biggest part of our personality and that we love to help people, if we can be a blessing, and see others around us happy with their life.  Sure, we have family and friends that are much different than us, have different beliefs, different views on life and politics, but that doesn’t matter too much.  Regardless, of what your life is about or how you live it, you deserve to be happy and content.

Other lupus warriors hurt during the winter with the crisp cold striking and attacking their joints.  Sometimes with all lupus warriors you can see their swollen joints and just touching them ever so gently is very painful.  Not so much of needing to have the right touch, but you have to know how to touch them and where to touch them.  Hearing from alot of lupus warriors, taking showers feels like little needles coming out of the shower head, eating and drinking can be extremely difficult and can potentially choke if their muscles in the swallowing process is not functioning properly.  Other issues that lupus can create or bring on is gastrointestinal problems, depression, thyroid issues, extreme fatigue, edema, weight loss, weight gain, fever, joint stiffness, seizures in some, anemia and chest pain.  Sadly, I have seen my wife experience all these symptoms and the worse part about it is that there is nothing I can do; except make her as comfortable as I can and get what she needs.

So if you know someone who has lupus, trying to figure out if they have lupus or is curious about the disease I suggest you do some research so you can be aware what it does and how it affects others.  It took my wife about two and a half months to get diagnosed and even then I was able to figure it out before she was officially diagnosed and put in her records.  Still to this day we come across doctors who either don’t believe this exist or don’t understand it, not educated about the disease.  With doctors carrying this kind of mindset it can become very frustrating and make you want to give up trying to figure out what is ailing you.  If this has happened to you, don’t feel like you are alone in this fight to make the medical world understand and be better educated about this disease.  Some have gone years and years before diagnosed, and the trick behind the delayed prognosis is that lupus has no specific test.  It takes numerous factors and symptoms to determine if you have lupus.

Do you know or understand how much this cost with numerous doctor, urgent care and hospital visits? Daily? Weekly?  We spent over $3000 just in co-pays, medicine that didn’t work and equipment.  Others have surely spent more and just telling someone that it is all in their mind, doesn’t exist and practically making them feel like a mental patient doesn’t help the credibility.  Also, having a doctor just throwing you pain medicine just because he or she can, even though you may need them, doesn’t show the sensitivity and care the patient needs.  Not only does the medical field need to be more aware and educated on this disease, but your employers and organizations alike.  This disease can be so bad for some that they have gone on disability, but even that is a fight in itself and lead to more frustrations and flare ups dealing with that stress.  Most employers don’t understand and will quickly get rid of an employee who they think is a liability and trying to play the system instead of actually showing support.

All in all this disease is very unpredictable and can strike at anyone at anytime.  Anything can set off a flare up, such as stress, anger, too much excitement and just sometimes life can be a hindrance.  More awareness needs to be spread around about this disease and get the medical world on board to learn more and do more.  A cure for this disease needs to be found just like cancer and other severe and deadly ailments.  Spread the word and get yourself educated.  The more you know, the more you can do to help!

Thank you,

Henry Scott