Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I'm at a local for a few pints with a semi-employed friend. I am at the moment duly employed, but still gun-shy: layoffs may be polite and with the Godfather sense of "It's just business, Mikey", but I, like everyone else, have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep etc. And to finish off the cliche boulabaisse, there but for the grace of God go I.

So he's semi-employed, I'm duly employed and my wife is pregnant and I would therefore like to remain employed to support both wife and upcoming baby. Work is complicated, but not difficult, and save for the according-to-all-sources-PERFECTLY-NORMAL pre-fatherhood jitters (and of course my wife's pre-motherhood jitters), a Sunday afternoon is a good time for a beer. Or two.


We're chatting, staring out the front window at a grocery store across the road. It looks pretty standard for a Sunday- a few people outside the coffee shop next door, various shoppers ferrying carts of groceries to a cab stand or to the parking garage. David notices that there's a police car in front of the establishment, and two nice officers discussing something with a guy behind a large cart of groceries.

'Discuss' is too light a term. This is a debate. They're appearing quiet, but the guy being questioned (heavyset, expensive coat, a very shiny watch) looks to be raising his voice. A second police car arrives, two more nice officers exit and the grocery cart individual is looking downright agitated.

We can't figure out what he's done, if anything. The cart is filled with bagged groceries, which means he's probably paid for them, since walking through a grocery store bagging your own groceries is a bit conspicious, and this guy does not look dumb. He does look pissed. Pissed enough that one of the cops puts his hand on the guy's shoulder, as if to suggest that this chat happen someplace closer to the squad car, where it's nice and warm.

Pissed-off guy slaps the cop's hand off his shoulder, rather loudly (at least looking that way from a distance). Another 2 pints of Guiness arrive and David mentions that this was not a good manouvre on the guy's part. "You really want your lawyer to be able to say 'My client co-operated with the arresting officer...", and this guy has just blown it.


The other two cops swoop in, again not touching the individual, but making their presence known. Another hand on his shoulder, another slap. One slap too many. The guy is sort of lifted under his arms and whisked to the back of one of the cruisers. Another kerfuffle, he doesn't want to put his hands on the trunk and allow himself to be searched. His hands are then PLACED deliberately on the trunk and his legs kicked open- the kicks are aimed at his shoes, so perhaps there won't be bruises after the fact? And it's pretty obvious that the cops have lost patience and the guy himself is suspected of...grocery theft? They pull a sheaf of paper and his wallet out of his coat, wave the papers in front of his face.

NOW the gentleman becomes polite, you can read the 'Officer, this has been a big misunderstanding' tone in his face from across the street. An order of chili fries arrives and this all becomes dinner and a show. A third car arrives, and an OPP cruiser (which is waved off), so 3 cops are lingering with the individual, 2 cops discussing some matter with a green-coated grocery type, and one poking through the grocery cart.

Finally, the gentleman's wallet, and the sheaf of papers, are divided into little piles and placed into evidence bags. And it hits us. Credit card fraud. He used (or is suspected of using) a stolen card. The card is swiped, authorized, he signs a name that may or may not be his. The credit card company now knows that somebody used a card at a particular location, and requests that the nice officers are sent there to investigate. And they caught the user.

Who's going to be having a very bad day. Why the sheaf of papers? Reciepts? Was he stocking a restaurant on a stolen credit card? Or is this all a horrible misunderstanding and he's going to sulk out of a holding cell in 3hrs with a loathing for law enforcement? Who's to say. Another Guiness and Sunday continues, unabated.


STAG said...

I wonder how it actually ended up? I used to go to court as a lark, but got bored with the rather repetitive nature of most court cases. This one might prove interesting.

Blogger Templates by OurBlogTemplates.com 2008