Last night was an exciting time here at Chez Smartass. David woke up around 2:30 to take the dogs out for a bathroom break, came back inside and… spotted a dude with a flashlight peeping in to our kitchen windows.
Now, I would have screamed bloody murder at the sight of this, but David kept his calm. He walked back to the bedroom to grab his phone to call the cops… and met the same flashlight guy at the bedroom window, shining the flashlight in and looking around.
At this point, David yelled and woke me up. “Hey, what the f*ck are you doing?” was met with a sort of lilting, rambling response about how he didn’t want to wake up his friend who lived nearby, and he really just wanted a glass of water. As David kept telling the guy to GO AWAY, I finally called 911 when he just wouldn’t be on his merry way.
Now, here’s a bit of backstory: I have gone 28 years– 11 of them living exclusively in urban environments– and did not call 911 or the cops EVER until a few weeks ago. We were at the grocery store and ready to leave when a guy in the car across from us started roughing up the woman with him. I called 911 to get them to come down and get this guy to stop beating up his wife/companion, and the resulting conversation was just about the most depressing thing I’ve ever experienced.
“I’m at the Von’s on 3rd Street and there’s a man beating up his wife!”
“Is he black or Hispanic?”
Ten minutes or so on the phone with 911 giving them his description (“No, he’s white, about 5’8” or less, stocky, wearing this and this is the make, model and license plate of his car.”) and we never saw a cop or squad car of any kind.
Last night when I called the police, I was asked similar questions. “Is he black or Hispanic?” I responded with “I don’t know,” as that was the truth. “Does he have a gun or weapon?” “I don’t know.” Which (once again) was the truth.
In recounting the tale, a lot of people whom I’ve spoken to today have said, “The cops would have shown up faster if you said he had a gun!”
LET ME SET ONE THING STRAIGHT.
That is a lie. I did not know if he had a gun or weapon. And there is a 0– ZERO– percent chance that I am telling the trigger-happy LAPD that someone is armed when he may not be, regardless of the infraction he is committing against me.
Did he freak us the fuck out at 3am? Yes. Did I want him stealing my stuff or coming in the house? No. Did I want him to leave my property? You bet.
BUT. Nothing that we own was worth having this man arrested, mistreated, beaten or shot at because he scared us at 3 o’clock in the morning.
He was, probably, drunk or high or mentally ill. Or all of the above. He wasn’t angry or enraged in any way, just kind of… confused as to why we had a problem with him lurking in our windows. A few weeks ago on the way to the movies, we saw that the police had shut down Sunset Boulevard near a 99c store. The next day, we saw that the police had shot and killed a homeless man because he was caught breaking stuff, and got angry when the police came to stop him. In Fullerton, police beat to death a mentally challenged homeless man as well– and got off scott free.
You better fucking believe I’m not telling the cops a person is armed if I am not 100% sure that he is.
The incredulity I’m met with when expressing my sentiments is strange.
Tell me– what would you have done?