Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Some People Just Want to Go to the Super Bowl

In Iowa recently, a brief car chase ended with a distinct twist.

On Interstate 80 near Des Moines, an Iowa State Patrol trooper attempted to pull over the driver of a Chevrolet Malibu for a simple traffic violation – an expired registration.  But the driver refused to pull over, and the chase was on.  More troopers joined the pursuit, which ended when one of the troopers executed a PIT maneuver.

The driver was then apprehended without further incident, and a search of the car produced nothing of any consequence.

But the arresting troopers were taken aback by the reason the driver gave for running:  He told them that he wanted to be chased because “it was on his bucket list.”

“In my 28 years, I’ve never heard that excuse,” Sgt. Scott Bright told a reporter.

While the driver can now cross that one off his list, to the extent that any of the following were on his list, he can cross them off, too:  DWI, eluding, interference with official acts, operation without registration, unlawful use of license, speeding, and a parole violation.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Back to the Beach... One Last Time

It is a bit melodramatic to call it a “dying wish,” but a 78-year-old woman here in New Jersey who is in hospice care with a terminal diagnosis of acute leukemia recently told her family that she would like to “go to the shore” one last time.

So she did.  With the help of a police officer in the oceanfront town of Ship Bottom.

For those readers not from this area, “going to the shore” is a regional phrase for what the rest of the country calls going to the beach.  But one does not go down to the shore.  The correct terminology is “down the shore.”

The family of Patricia Kelly, who spent countless summers vacationing at the shore, knew that she would not be able to walk onto the beach herself, so they asked the Ship Bottom Police Department for some help.  Which is how it came to be that Patrolman Ronald Holloway drove one of the agency’s SUVs across the sand recently, taking Kelly to the water’s edge.  There she was able to enjoy some time with her granddaughters, have a group hug with family and friends, and, looking out at the ocean, say goodbye to a place she loves.

Kelly was deeply appreciative, telling a reporter “they could have taken me right then, and I would have been the happiest person,” she said. “That's my place.”  Alluding to her desire to have her ashes spread on the beach, she added “I'll be there forever.”

The family conducted a prayer circle, and Officer Holloway participated.  The officer, clearly moved by the entire experience,  told a television reporter that “being able to take her out for this ride on the beach was a life-moving experience.  It was a checkmark in my career for sure.”

The family had nothing but praise for Officer Holloway, posting a message on the Ship Bottom Police Department’s Face book page that read “A BIG SHOUT OUT to Officer Ronald Holloway... he is a man who not only protects and serves but genuinely cares... his extraordinary kindness and character speaks volumes of the man he is.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Liar, Liar... (you know the rest)

To be filed under “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” is this news headline from this week:

Lawyer’s Pants Catch Fire During Trial

The report, sufficiently weird as to be dismissed as false, was confirmed to NBC News by the Public Relations Director for the Eleventh Circuit Court in Florida.

To be fair, the story contained no information that would call into question the attorney’s truthfulness.  Instead, it was reported that he had one or more e-cigarette batteries in his pants pocket which sparked a small fire while he was arguing, of all things, an arson case.

With a quick dash to the men’s room the situation was brought under control and the lawyer is said to have returned to the courtroom with only a singed pocket to claim as damages.  It was further reported that the episode caused the attorney to quit using e-cigarettes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Better Person Than Most

When the name appeared in an online news feed this week, we recognized it immediately, even though the name had otherwise not been in the news for quite some time.

Steven McDonald.

The Steven McDonald who, as a New York City police officer in 1986, was shot by a 15-year-old assailant, rendering McDonald paralyzed from the neck down.

The Steven McDonald who, as someone confined to a wheelchair and requiring the help of a respirator to breathe, publicly forgave his assailant and who stated that if people wished to receive forgiveness, they had to show it to others.

The Steven McDonald whose son, Conor, born six months after the shooting, is today a sergeant with the NYPD and represents the fourth generation of the family to serve in the department.

Steven McDonald died this week, following a heart attack.  He was 59.

The Steven McDonald whose dedication, courage, and indomitable spirit made this wheelchair-bound man stand taller than most able-bodied people.