Friday, July 1, 2011

Joe Friday v. Cleveland Police Shortage

            This past Saturday night was marked by a wild car chase and I was the pursuer.


            It started as I left Whole Foods in University Heights, picking up 271 North off Cedar to head to my home in Euclid.


            As I entered Willoughby Hills on the freeway, I noticed the erratic driving of the man passing me.


            It was a recent vintage Chevy Trailblazer.  I noted the license and called the Willoughby Hills Police on my cell.


            The dispatcher took the info while the offender narrowly missed others on the highway.


            I stuck with him trailing 100 feet behind.


            The driver became even more erratic in his maneuvers.  I continued the tail as Willoughby Hills transferred me to the Euclid Police, DUI man going along into 90 West through my favorite town.


            The speed increased.  This was really getting interesting.  My lwife was riding shotgun.


            There we were, Joe Friday and Bill Gannon.


            In no time, we were out of Euclid and into Cleveland on 90 west bound.


The suspect, one near miss after another, darted off the freeway at E. 185th  but popped right back on in effort to lose me.


He was no match.


Again, westbound on 90, he suddenly exited at E. 152nd Street and there began a cruise through Collinwood where he crossed-over the center line and narrowly missed major collisions.


Wild I tell you.


My wife didn't complain.  I think adrenaline had replaced blood entirely in each of our systems.


At long last, my prey always in my sight, the drunk driver pulled into an apartment parking lot and parked, slumped over the wheel.


By this time, I'm talking to the Cleveland Police dispatcher.


We stayed a good 200 feet away, parked ourselves in a fashion that permitted complete observation of the rapscallion as he snored away.


What happened next?




Well, at least for a long time, nothing happened.


The Cleveland Police, overrun  with shootings and higher priority calls (according to the dispatcher), finally arrived in a zone car to round up the man who could have killed people with the way he was driving.


I asked the officers if they needed me to stay.  They said no.


I left, excitement over, my good deed done for the day.


Gannon and I headed back to the station house for a cup of java with the boys.


I mean, Nancy and I went home.


Did I do the right thing?  Should I have minded my own business?


Oh, by the way here's one more question.


Do you really feel safe in the City of Cleveland when you know that a deadly weapon on four wheels can remain at large for 40 minutes without the police showing up?    


Ten-four.  Over and out.

David M. Lynch

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