A female resident of our town called police headquarters and I was lucky enough to take the call. Her request was somewhat strange. She told me that she and her husband were going on a trip to Europe. The resident then asked if “once in a while” someone from my department could “LOOK IN” on her sixteen year old son. She thought that we could prevent or stop him from hosting a drinking party at their residence. Of course, we could also check to see if he was OK.
My response was a little too stark for her when I asked her “So you want us to raise your son for you?” She immediately asked to speak to the chief of police. Without hesitation, I transferred her to his line. After she explained her request to the chief, he responded the same way I had — and he hadn’t heard what I had said to her!
Well, the couple left for Europe late one Saturday night. Almost immediately, a few of their neighbors complained of a loud, VERY LOUD party going on at the residence. I happened to be on duty and dispatch sent me and two state troopers as back-up.
Knocking on the door, I was greeted by four teenagers, each with a can of beer in their hand. The homeowner’s son was one of those who answered the door and he, in a very disrespectful and annoyed manner, asked us what we wanted.
I asked all in the doorway “How old are you?” The responses were 16, 18, 15 and 17. Obviously, a law had been broken because all were under 21 years of age. We walked in the residence. The homeowner’s (the ones on the European vacation) son exclaimed “You can’t come in here. You need a warrant!” I asked if he was in law school. He simply offered a blank stare ahead in response. I explained to him that the underage drinking law had been broken. That was a crime and therefore, I didn’t need a warrant to enter.
Some of those attending chose to exit the residence using the windows, the sliding glass door in the kitchen and other portals rather than being arrested. The ones who remained were taken into custody and were taken back to my headquarters. At the ungodly hour of 2:00 A.M., they had their parents come down to the station and take them home. Each had an appearance ticket in hand.
The really funny thing is that when they started to drink, they also started to get really loud: yelling, screaming and really whooping it up. That, of course, caused the neighbors to call us. Had they remained quiet, we would not have known ANYTHING was going on.
Those that made their get-away did not suffer a dangerous fate. However, it was still quite punishing because the residence was surrounded by rose bushes, wild patches of land chock full of prickly tree limbs, other bushes and nasty plants. The vegetation certainly gave all of them cuts, bruises and abrasions. An appearance ticket would have been less painful. However, they chose not to stay and face the music.
Sometimes nature “takes a hand” in providing a punishment which is far more uncomfortable than showing up for court in front of a magistrate.
At the bottom line, we are here to save just ONE life.
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