The Sheriff Made Me Do It

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Catoosa County Sheriff

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It started off as an average night for my husband, Pat.  Who knew that the evening would end with a suspicion of heart attack, drunkenness and insanity.

Pat works in a medical records department in a hospital – which, of course, must be open 24 hours a day seven days a week.  One night, there was a problem at the office and Pat had to go in to “repair” a printer.  By the time he had fixed the printer (which required that he plug it in!) and then handled a few other things, he didn’t get to start for home until after midnight.

Pat drove home via his usual route and exited on his usual ramp to our street.  Unfortunately, a new stop light had just been installed a few weeks prior and it had a plunger to trip the light to green for those getting off the interstate.  The unfortunate part was that the plunger didn’t work quite right and a person could sit at that light for anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes before the light turned green. 

Pat had been sitting at the light for approximately five minutes when he noticed a car pull up behind him.  He noticed that the car was a police cruiser — very obvious because of the lights on top of the car and the black and white color of the car.  Pat could even see the patrolman sitting in the front seat.  The patrol car kept edging closer to Pat’s car and Pat looked into the rearview mirror to see if the patrolman needed to get around him. 

Much to Pat’s surprise, he saw the patrolman wave at him!  Pat figured that this meant that the patrolman was giving him permission to run this stupid, really long red light!!!  Yippee — not only did he get to run the light but he wasn’t going to get a ticket for it — life was good!

Being a good citizen, Pat did what he thought the officer had told him to do.  He ran the red light and started on his way home.  Much to his surprise, as soon as he started through the red light, the lights started flashing and the sirens started blaring!  How could this be?  He had been given permission from the police – he was just doing what he had been told!

Pat pulled over, rolled down his window and the police officer came to his window with an incredulous look on his face!  He leaned into the car — trying to get a whiff the alcohol which must have been consumed in great quantities to make this individual run a red light with a police car right behind him!  Since no alcohol could be smelled, Pat was ordered out of the car and order to walk to the cruiser.  He was invited to sit in the front seat while the police officer filled out the paper work.

What Pat didn’t know is that this was a canine unit and the officer wanted him to sit in the front seat so his dog could get a whiff of the crazy man.  When Pat sat down, the head of an extremely large dog was immediately in his face and the officer was telling him “don’t make any sudden moves — the dog doesn’t like it.” 

While sitting in the car, another cruiser pulled up to the scene and came to talk to the Pat’s new friend.  At that time, Pat weighed approximately 350 pounds, but was still surprised when the arriving officer asked if this was the cardiac arrest victim they had been called to take care of.  Pat didn’t know if the officer was anticipating Pat having a heart attack and had called just in case — or if it really was a case of a wrong address.  Lucky for Pat — he wasn’t having the heart attack and the officer went on to the real call.

After sitting in the police car for about 15 minutes, the officer told Pat that he was obviously not drunk so he must be crazy — otherwise why would he run the red light with a policeman right behind him!  Pat tried to explain that he thought he had been given permission by the policeman to go through the light since it had been red for so long – to which the officer replied – “No why would I do something like that?!?”

At that point, I think the officer took pity on my poor husband.  The dog had cleared him of any drug or alcohol usage, he wasn’t having a heart attack and although he obviously was having some type of break with reality, he wasn’t a real danger to any one — so he was sent home with a ticket to remind him of his brush with the law and his lapse of good judgment.

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