Last night, I checked number 5 off my 30 Before 30 list: go on a police ride-along. A Davis police officer and I cruised our beat from seven in the evening until almost one in the morning, fighting crime.
Except, to be honest, there was very little crime fighting going on (we do live in Davis, after all, where the personal crime risk is less than half the national average, plus it was a Tuesday night). We pulled some folks over for bad driving, attended to some noise violations, talked to some suspicious-looking people.
Best of all, we recovered a stolen bike!
Here's my report:
Responded to a call at Ben and Jerry's* at 21:00. The reporting party says that he has located his stolen bicycle, but wants police back-up since the suspect is nearby. The suspect is, in fact, enjoying a beer on a bench; the bike is parked nearby.
We approach the suspect.
Officer: Hi, can I ask you a few questions?
Me: (I don't say anything, just stand nearby)
Officer: Is this your bike?
Officer: Where did you get it?
Suspect: Um, I bought it.
Officer: Who did you buy it from?
Officer: How much did you pay for it?
Officer: Okay, you see, this gentleman says the bike is his...
At this point the reporting party (RP) jumps in.
RP: I know it's mine because of the scratches and the bike light...
Suspect: It's cool, you can take it back.
RP: Huh? Really?
Suspect: Yeah. I figured it was stolen.
Suspect: Bike for $30 is too good to be true.
And then it gets even weirder. By this point the officer and I are basically bystanders as the reporting party and suspect carry on their conversation.
RP: Well, let me pay you $30 for it.
Suspect: Oh no. It's totally cool.
RP: No, I insist!
Suspect: No, I insist!
RP: I don't want you to be out a bike!
Suspect: No, it's no problem.
RP: Please, let me pay you your $30!
Suspect: No, it's really fine.
RP: How will you get home?
Suspect: Oh, I can walk. It's not far.
RP: But then you are out a bike.
Suspect: I have another at home.
RP: Are you sure?
Suspect: Absolutely! It is your bike after all.
RP: Well, thanks. I'm Dan, by the way.
Suspect: I'm Joe. Nice to meet you!
RP: So nice to meet you, too. Thanks again!
Suspect: No problem!
I knew Davis was one of the friendliest cities in America, but dudes, wtf?
* All names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent (and also so that I stay out of trouble with the PD).