Cop Tales: Look under there

By Brian Smith
Special to the Sun

One day while working the freeway beat, I pulled behind a car parked on the dirt shoulder. Two men and a woman were outside the right side of the vehicle, throwing dirt on the smoke that was on the RF floorboard. It was quickly apparent they were not glad to see me. They told me they had it fixed and were going to be on their way. As they pulled away, I ran a vehicle check and dispatch advised the vehicle was wanted for armed robbery. I asked the dispatcher for a backup unit and proceeded after the vehicle. However, the vehicle quickly pulled back onto the shoulder, where the three of them jumped out and again threw dirt into the car.

I pulled up behind them again and offered help with water. They thanked me and got back in the car to leave. I told them to wait while I checked something. I got down, looked under their car and advised them they had a bad problem that would prevent them from going much farther. All three got out and bent down to see the problem. I advised them that in order to see what I was talking about, they would have to get lower. I was really surprised when they all got down on their stomachs to look under the car.
I stood up, took out my gun and advised them to look up at me. I told them not to move because I had been advised they were wanted for robbery, were armed and dangerous and that I was alone and worried about them having a weapon. Shortly thereafter, two highway patrol units arrived (including my shift Sgt.) and the three subjects were arrested and handcuffed. I had to laugh to myself when I heard one of the men say to the other two, “I can’t believe we were taken down by a bull sh*&#ing hillbilly cop in Bakersfield”. Even my Sgt laughed and shook his head when I told him what happened. It is still hard for me to believe they allowed me to put them in that position which allowed me to control the scene until assistance arrived. -JB