Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rookie Mistake Part III

Continued from Rookie Mistake Part II
If someone were watching this disaster unfold, I’m sure the first words that would have sprung to mind when I turned and ran after the car, would have been “Barney Fife!” My legs couldn’t decide which direction to run…after the car…no, back to my truck…no, after the car. I may have looked like a moron, but at least I stopped short of firing off a warning shot. Approximately ten yards into my sprint I realized that my basketball coach was right when he not-so politely reminded me of just how slow I really was, by screaming “Pick up the piano!”
I finally made a decision and went for my truck. Thet tires kicked up gravel as I took off after the Pontiac. By this time there was a sheriff’s deputy close by, so I gave him an updated location and started praying that he might hurry up and HELP. We weaved through some more country roads.
Turns out Mrs. Knorr did have a destination in mind. Her-ex husband’s house was just down the road and she was making a beeline for it. Approximately 50 yards from the entrance to the driveway, the deputy screamed past my truck and squeezed past the Pontiac. He hit the brakes and brought his squad to a stop. Mrs. Knorr didn’t seem especially worried about making a timely stop, but managed it anyway with about one foot to spare behind the deputy’s car. Another deputy pulled up behind the first and all three of us approached the Pontiac.
We were all a bit worked up by now, and the deputy began screaming at Mrs. Knorr to “Get out of the car!” or something along those lines. But she didn’t really want to, so she stayed planted in the driver’s seat. Just as she started to lean over and reach beneath the driver’s seat, the second deputy opened the door and pulled her out. She thrashed and kicked and swore, all the while exhibiting super-human strength. Before it was all said and done, all four of us were on the ground and someone managed to get handcuffs on. I’m surprised in the melee that the handcuffs actually made it onto the right person.
We stood up and were brushing the gravel dust off our pants when we heard a young girl say, “Thank you for getting her.”
We looked up to see a dark haired girl, around sixteen years old, standing in the middle of the road.
“I’m her daughter. Can you take her to the hospital? She needs help. She’s gonna kill someone,” she said.
“How long has she been drinking like this?” one of the deputies asked.
“For as long as I can remember,” she said.
My heart dropped into my stomach. I wanted to give the girl a hug and tell her that everything would be ok, that her mother would be ok. But we both knew that it wouldn’t.
While the deputies searched Mrs. Knorr’s car I walked the girl back to the house. I explained what the procedure would be with her mother and she thanked me again.
“Guess we are lucky we didn’t get zapped,” the first deputy said as I arrived back at the squad. He pointed to a stun gun lying on the hood of the car. “She was reaching for that right before we yanked her out.”
I thought back to my attempted traffic stop with her and about how had the stun gun had been just a plain old gun, how easily she could have shot me as I walked back to my truck.
One of the deputies transported Mrs. Knorr to the law enforcement center and into the interview room where we would ask for a breath sample to determine her blood alcohol level. As soon  as I walked into the room which was wired for audio and video, she started began her rant. The following quotes are taken directly from my incident report…exactly how I typed it.
Knorr said, “Fucking DNR, fucking bitch. You know what? Somebody is going to shoot you. I know a whole lot of people that are out to get you, you dike. Dike fucking bitch, they are going to shoot your ass. Shoot you in the head. Shoot your head off.”
The deputy asked Mrs. Knorr who she was going to shoot, apparently wanting to get her threat against me on video.
Knorr replied, “I can’t stand her fucking ass, and neither can anyone in the neighborhood, they all want to fucking shoot her ass. Ask anyone. The Petersons don’t like you, they all want to shoot her ass. Shoot her in the head when she is not looking. She’s a dike fucking bitch. She’s a dike fucking bitch. Look at it.”
Oh, I could feel the love. Aside from making a mental note to lock my doors at night, the other important lesson I learned from this encounter is that spell-check does not correct you when you type ‘dike’ instead of ‘dyke’. According to the Pocket Oxford American Dictionary, ‘dike’ means: an embankment built to prevent flooding from the sea. And ‘dyke’ means: a lesbian. Believe it or not, this little error bothered me for weeks after the trial.
In my defense, I had never used this particular term before. I have friends that are lesbians, and I have the feeling that ‘dyke’ isn’t on the list of things I should casually call them. In fact, I’d never called anyone names at all to their face aside from the occasional, “What a moron, dumb-ass, or jerk”, that I yelled inside my head and which I caught before it could exit my mouth. But what did the county attorney think when he read my report? Or worse, the judge? Oh, they would surely think I was an idiom…I mean idiot.
At the end of a fiasco like this, some officers might have looked back at all the mistakes they had made and vow to change next time. But there were so many mistakes to choose from, where was I to begin? I chose the one easiest to never repeat: if someone calls me dyke again (which was and is well within the realm of possibility), I will never again misspell it.
Perhaps Mrs. Knorr said it best when, according to my report, right before we booked her into jail she said,
“There are four people who want to fucking kill her. It’s none of my business. It’s out of my hands now.”
Unfortunately the report containing all the mistakes I made were laid out for everyone to read--that too, is out of my hands now.


  1. I grew up in the south, and have never understood the "disrespect law officers to their face" mentality at all. I certainly don't enjoy spending time with game wardens (but I am still violation free!), but it seems like common sense and common courtesy to shut.the.hell.up , take the ticket, and show up to court. And if really necessary, file a complaint AT A LATER DATE against the game warden.

    On that exact note, you should google/youtube "Chris Rock: How NOT to get your ass kicked by the police." Classic quotes like, "If you see blue lights, stop immediately. If the police have to chase you down, they're bringin' an ass kickin' with them."

  2. 3 years as a Drug and Alcohol counselor has taught me a few things about people under the influence, they can say some terrible things while under the influence. Even though it might not be true it still stings. A Rookie mistake is still better than a pro mistake. Thanks for serving.