Monday, 4 April 2016

Jail

I've never been to jail.  I've never been arrested.  I've never been detained or questioned by the police.  The closest I've ever been was a citation for speeding nearly 20 years ago, and that's the closest I ever intend to getting incarcerated.  It just doesn't sound like much fun.  My perception of prison is limited to how it is portrayed on television and in movies, but despite the fact that Andy Dufresne came out clean on the other side, I can't imagine having a good time there.

Despite that, the threat of prison time isn't the main reason why I live my life the way I do.  Mainly it's because I think being a good person is better than being an asshole.  But I suppose if I were an asshole, I wouldn't think that way and wouldn't really care.  It's a bit of a Catch-22.

After my recent experience with Terrence (not his real name™), I have to assume (or at least hope) that assholes who don't give a shit about being good citizens have some fear of prison, though it obviously isn't enough to keep them in line.

I don't really consider myself a judgmental person, but sometimes I just get a feeling on people.  When Terrence first rolled through the door just after midnight, my first (admittedly judgmental) thought was "This is not a good guy."  I can't say exactly why I thought this - perhaps it was the look of utter nonchalance in his eyes, perhaps it was the way he refused to make eye contact with anyone.  Perhaps it was the way that he was cursing at the medics and nurses who were trying to take care of him.  But maybe it was his shiny new stainless steel bracelets attaching his wrist to the stretcher.

Yeah, it was probably that last one.

The police officer to whom the handcuffs belonged trailed closely behind, and the medics looked almost as displeased as he was as they gave their report.

Medic: Hey there Doc, this is Terrence, 21 years old, healthy.  He and his 4 friends were involved in a car accident.  They hit another car, and then they all got out and ran.
Police (scowling): Yeah, 7 blocks,
Medic (annoyed): Anyway, no loss of consciousness . . .
Police: Obviously.
Medic: (really annoyed): ANYWAY, he has no complaints other than some pain in his lip where he has a laceration.
Police (eyes shifting): That was, uh, from the accident.

According to the officer, the accident was relatively low speed, not enough to cause major damage to either car.  Then the 5 guys inside all got out and ran in different directions.  Terrence was reportedly the driver, and he was definitely (obviously) the slowest of the group.  He was surprisingly unwilling to give us any details of the accident.

Shocking.

Regardless, I examined him from head to toe, and the only thing that hurt was a 1.5 cm laceration of his lower lip.  No other bruises, lacerations, abrasions, or deformities.  Nothing hurt when I examined it.  I turned to the officer, who was still huffing and puffing a bit, and asked him if Terrence would be leaving with him tonight.

"You're damned right!  This asshole made me run 7 blocks!"

The ability to run 7 blocks rules out the vast majority of serious injuries, so luckily Terrence had done a lot of my job for me.  A few X-rays and sutures later and Terrence was ready to leave.  Or so I thought.

All of a sudden his chest hurt.  Supposedly.

This is a classic move that prisoners often use to get out, at least temporarily.  They know that chest pain is not something that will be taken lightly, and they use this knowledge to their full advantage.

Now at this point I had two options - 1) assume that Terrence was acting like the asshole that he obviously is and was faking his symptoms because he knew exactly what was about to happen to him, or 2) act like a professional trauma surgeon and make sure he didn't have any injuries.  I reluctantly chose option 2.  A CT scan of his chest, abdomen, and pelvis was . . . ready?  Completely normal.  The nurse automatically did an EKG (despite Terrence referring to female dogs repeatedly) which was, shockingly, also normal. 

Twenty minutes later Terrence was remarkably pain free, able to walk, and was out the door with his new best friend and a free ride to jail. 

I like to think that the lip laceration actually was from the car accident.  But after witnessing Terrence's behaviour, I somehow doubt it, nor would I be disappointed by it.  Even I have to look the other way every now and then. 

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like he was lucky to get off with a cut lip. (I'm not approving of the cop's behavior by the way. Or of Terrence's either.) Everyone was lucky that no one was seriously hurt.

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  2. Chances are the cut lip qas from taking him to the ground. He did after all run from the cops i doubt he would have stopped unless tackled.

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  3. Ahem. Kind of don't approve of doc bastard's opinion this time. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    (1) Is it completely normal and acceptable for Canadian cops to be calling their 'custumers' 'assholes'? Like, really?! What about being a role model? Unacceptable behavior IMO. Who's the bad guy here?

    (2) You're not supposed to be a cop if running 7 blocks is unfeasible or a major pain in the ass. Doesn't have to be pure joy either, but certainly not a reason to hate the suspect. If so, you'd better not be a cop out in the streets, but safely behind a desk.

    (3) Is a 21y-old male, who hit another car at low speed, didn't cause any damage, panicked and ran away, and now fears imprisonment, your incarnation of evil? Sure he was neither bright nor brave, but I'd say these qualities are rare anyway.

    (4) I've done plenty of minor stupid teenage stuff in my youth, and still I grew into a responsible and honest adult. The fact that I wasn't draconically punished and used as a warning, but kindly and firmly confronted, has taught me a lot more about responsibility, generosity, and empathy than punishment ever could have.

    Don't you think your standards are a bit too stringent? (Or maybe this is just narrative freedom?)

    No offense doc, but I kind of cringed at this post.

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    1. None taken. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

      However...

      Obviously there is more to the story, but I kept it to a minimum for the sake of brevity and clarity. I tried to convey his "asshole-ness" with the cursing at the nurses, but there was much more to it. There was more to the police officer's story as well, but he didn't divulge the entire story to me (so I couldn't tell it here).

      I never said he was the incarnation of evil, just an asshole. He stole a car from an 80ish-year-old woman (according to the officer), beat her, dragged her from the car, and then he and his buddies jumped in. I think that qualifies as more than mere "minor stupid teenage stuff".

      I could have included this information, but I since didn't get the whole story from the officer, I didn't feel it added anything to mine. Perhaps I was wrong.

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    2. the whole "he's in trouble, because he made me run" thing is a meme. same as the "if we don't send you in the ambulance, and you die, we'll have to do paperwork" is a meme in the fire/rescue side.

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    3. Perhaps, but that's what he said.

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    4. 1. People say a lot of things when they're angry or frustrated, and it sounds like the officer was both. I fancy myself a nice person and I remember yelling at a guy that simply bumped into my car in a drive-thru, despite the fact that he caused no damage.

      2. Seven blocks isn't nothing. Depending on the city, seven blocks can be upwards of several hundred yards/meters. When you're wearing full gear (vest, weapon, camera, etc), that is no small feat. Especially if you're sprinting that distance.

      I think the Doc covered 3. and 4. pretty well.

      You obviously sympathize with the perp, which is fine. I have an uncle that is rabidly anti-police and thinks that every cop is a murderer/liar/rapist/thug. The fact remains though that a normal, law-abiding citizen doesn't flee the police in a car and then on foot for seven blocks. A good person doesn't curse out medical staff that are there to help them.

      Perhaps I'm a little too judgmental.

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    5. That was in response to Kara's criticism.

      though to be entirely fair - seven blocks is a long way to run. even without the gear most police officers carry. 7 city blocks is about a third of a mile - or 5.8 football fields (US - metric would be 4.5-5.8 depending on which particular football pitch you measured)

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    6. Grandma Skeptic6 April 2016 at 02:20

      Kara, you're assuming Doc is in Canada. I live in the United States, and I've heard plenty of cops call their "customers" much worse than "asshole."

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    7. Shelby;

      Blue is the new black.

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    8. Do you need a safe space Kara? Are your feelings hurt?
      Terence sounded like a douche. Anyone who calls people who are trying to help him (nurses) while knowing they can't talk back or do anything is a cowardly piece of shit, and got exactly what he deserved. My only wish is that he should have gotten more roughed up by the cops, and maybe actually learned a lesson. As it is, I expect this is only the first of many future offenses.

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    9. despite my feeling he may deserve more than he got, I don't find myself desiring for a police officer to lose control. it feels good for a moment, but in the long run it hurts the officer.

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    10. Kara- I'm a nurse. Trust me, if a patient starts calling me a female dog, I will gladly start instituting rectal temperatures just for the hell of it. A police officer calling their suspect an "asshole" is a lot less offensive than you calling them a "customer".

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Nicole, I've requested specifically that people not make such comments. In case you didn't see that request before, you have now.

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  5. @Kara and et al, I found your post interesting and enjoyed reading it despite not completely agreeing with it. My opinion is that one should be judged by their actions, not their thoughts. I have had a few (OK, that is a lie - many) unkind thoughts about others at various times (the disgusting, smelly man who took off his shoes and lounged all over me on my last flight), but I keep them to myself and behave in an appropriate and civil way. This is exactly what Doc B did. He didn't call the man an "asshole" to his face or even to others in the hospital. It sounds as if the man with the nice bracelets was treated far better than he treated the staff and no medical need of his was overlooked. He received polite, exemplare treatment. Now Doc B did come to this venue to vent and amuse. A blog is the place to do that. I am sure you noticed he changed the patient's name, and we are not even sure what country is hosting this event. He did not mention the person's race or devolve into vulgarity (asshole is pretty mild, if you consider all the options). So, I am not seeing the problem. I think you should be happy that the gentleman was treated so civilly. You may not realize it, but there are many of us who behave well but have less than saintly thoughts running through our heads. If you doubt this, you might check with your child's teacher.

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    1. "If you doubt this, you might check with your child's teacher."

      Please, please do so! I pity teacher's because there are so many names that are automatically OFF their list - whether it was an obnoxious child or their foul parent(s).


      Wednesday

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    2. Rats. That should have been teachers without the apostrophe. My mind slipped its leash.

      Wednesday

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  6. Why are we assuming this is a Canandian officer?

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    1. only one person assumed it was a Canadian officer, eh.

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