Question for Crystal
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006:
Question for Crystal
Well, anybody could respond to this, actually.
I remember your post about the incident on the highway with the guy with the gun. Now I have one for you.
I live on a street that runs North/South, and there is a 2way stop up the street a ways where the East/West cross street does not have to stop.
I was on my way to pick up ds from school (running a bit late) and as I drove North on my street and came up to the 2way stop and I noticed a teenage boy standing at the Stop sign on my side of the street next to a stack of newspapers (this is the drop-off spot for the delivery people.) I have seen him deliver newspapers with another boy and I think he was waiting for him.
As I came to a full stop this other car traveling East on the cross street races up to the corner right near to my car (but not blocking my way)and stops near the kid with a screech of the tires. I see that there are a few other teens in the car (at least 4.) The next thing I see is the kid in the back seat on the passenger's side pulls out a gun and points it at the kid standing next to the Stop sign. MY HEART STOPS until I see that THE GUN IS A TOY and has an orange tip on the end of the barrel. I noticed that the kid at the Stop sign wasn't at all scared, so I figured it was a stupid prank (faking a drive-by shooting) by a bunch of smart a$$ teen boys. As I pulled through the intersection I got the license plate of the car, just in case I decided to call the police, which I couldn't do at that moment b/c I don't have a cell phone.
So, as I continue North on my street, heart still pounding, I pass by 2 cars heading South and waiting at the Southbound Stop sign. THE 2ND CAR WAS A COP. "COOL" I thought. I looked at the officer and I saw that he was watching the teens. Then I looked in my rear view mirror and he turned his car East in their direction. "COOL" I thought again.
But as I drove on I thought, "Okay, that could have been a real gun and I could have been in real danger, and those kids have no right to F with me like that." I decided to see if the officer had actually made a traffic stop, so I went around the block and drove down another street and saw the lights flashing and yes, he pulled them over. So either the kids tried to run, or the officer waited to pull them over, but it was about 2 blocks away from the original intersection. "COOL" I thought again.
But then I realized that the officer probably didn't see the gun since it was on the other side of the car from where he was looking when he first saw them. So I made the decision that as soon as I got back home I would call the police station and give the info about the gun.
On the way home I drove down the street where the officer had the kids pulled over, and the police car was JUST pulling away. When I got home, I called dispatch directly (not 911) and left my info with the officer who took the call. She said that she would leave a message for the officer who made the stop. I haven't heard back tonight, since it was around shift change time, so maybe tomorrow.
So, my question to you is, what would you have done? Would you make a big stink about this, too?
For what it's worth I think you did the right thing, I'd done the same exact thing.
I would be inclined to do the same thing you did. It was a safe decision to call the incident in instead of pulling up to where the teens were with the officer. Of course, this is all with the knowledge that it was a fake gun. Had it been a real one, I don't know what I would have done. I'm sure that if it were an incident in which the teen newspaper delivery boy had been hurt, there would have been no question but to get help in the safest way possible.
Absolutely I would hve done the same thing. That was an incredibly stupid thing for those boys to do - "playing" at a drive-by shooting is not playing. I hope the police follow up.
I typed up a statement right after I posted this, and clarified a few more of the details. I had to do it while the details were still fresh in my mind. I will give it to the police, and I won't even bother waiting for the officer to call me back.
Even a toy gun used in a threatening manner is considered criminal. It's like strong arm robbery, the threat of harm is the important factor. I would have made a report as well, because toy guns often look very real, and are often used in crimes.
BTW, we recieved a letter about the gun incident, asking for our input on whether charges should be filed or not. All 3 of us filled out victim statements requesting they file charges with maximum penalties, considering we felt our lives and the lives of our children were in danger. I'll keep everyone up to date on the case.
I agree you need to let the police know. You could have freaked out at the site of the gun and caused a major accident. What if they are pulling this on other people.. Something needs to be done for sure.
Bump!! Anything happen with this??
OH! I spoke with the officer who made the stop, and he and another officer had a talk with all four teens at the time they had them pulled over. There was no mention of the gun, but the officers believe that they got their attention regarding their general reckless behavior. They were all "only 16" and we all know that 16 year old boys do stupid things. They ticketed the driver for reckless driving (a $100 fine and possible loss of his license, which he had only had for one month) and gave them a good talking to, etc. He said that he thinks they got their attention.
I guess we'll see.