I’m going to try this out for entries… see how it goes over. Occasionally, I’ll share a story that is…uh…not so recent. A, “that one time…” kind of story, if you will. The titles and tags on these stories will be “That time when…”, and then the actual story title will follow as the first line in the entry. Yeah?
Okay. To be honest, I just felt that the title for this entry was too long for the title box on this page. But this could be a thing! Maybe it’ll take off!
Oh. Just read the story.
That time when the police were called on me while I was running.
A few years ago…uh..like seven…I lived in this apartment/town home complex on the edge of this little neighborhood. It was pretty sweet – up on the hillside, overlooking a park with a couple of lakes… I loved the convenience of the place. Granted, due to its position on top of a hill, and surrounded by hills, I did a lot of hill training by default. It also meant that if I was strapped for time to get my run in before work, I would have to take into consideration my ability to hoof it up the hillside, and then up the three flights of stairs, to get home and ready for work in time.
One wintery-cold day, I slept in and was so tight for time that I decided to run my mileage on the treadmill at the community gym. I got the mileage in just fine, watching travel channel and having the community manager lady, who’s glass office was across the hall from the giant window of the workout room, making faces at me as I ran. I completely lost track of time.
It was one of those gut-dropping realizations – kinda like the jump from 0-100 that everyone does when they magically realize that they’ve overslept their alarm and are already late for work. I hopped off the machine, threw my sweatshirt on, stuffed my boots into my gym bag and sprinted out of the gym and across the parking lots and sidewalks to my apartment building.
I remember feeling so fast at the time.
I took the stairs two-at-a-time and rushed through a hot shower and changing. My dog needed a quick walk along the tree line before I could leave. Lunch would just have to wait until after I was checked in at work. I threw on some warm clothes and a hat, leashed up the pup, and headed back outside.
In all, maybe 15 minutes passed, if that, from when I sprinted out of the gym.
When I hit the bottom of my stairs, it was immediately obvious that something big was going on. There were about five police cruisers all parked at haphazard angles around my building, and men in uniforms were combing the tree and brush line where I intended to walk the dog. There were two officers down by the dumpster area near-by… and they were searching.
Now, I know a lot of police officers. It’s part of my line of work. Bonus, I actually did an internship during college with the local police department, so a lot of the guys were friends of mine. Caution in my approach (Because who knows what was actually going on? And, the poh-poh get antsy when people just walk up to them while they’re busy), I made my way down to the dumpster area, where a supervisor just pulled up in his car. He called me over and filled me in…uh…a bit. They got some call that a criminal they were looking for from a robbery earlier that morning was spotted not 10 minutes ago running through this area, carrying the bag he stole from the victim. The apartment management spotted him going this way at “high speed”, and called the police.
Oh! I nodded intently. This was serious. Was there anything I could do?
I was told to keep my eyes open. One of the officers noted that, “he had to have gone into one of these two buildings.” I glanced back and he was indicating my building.
A thought struck me.
I mean, there I was, completely involved in the story now, with this man-hunt, and just searching my brain for anything I might have seen as I sprinted my way back to my apartment…but the only other person I passed was the young maintenance guy (So designated because the other one was so old he remembered the creation of the Earth).
The thought struck like a lightning bolt. I mean, clouds parted and light came down to illuminate the way.
“Was this person you’re looking for dressed in a black hoodie and black pants with a white stripe?” I asked leaning back down to the supervisor’s window.
“Yeah. Did you see him?”
He waited a beat then pushed for the answer, “Well?”
“It was me. I was out for my run. I sprinted through here to get home and get this dog out so I could go to work.”
There was a long pause as he shook his head.
“You’re shitting me.” He mumbled as he pulled his radio mic to his face and called off the search,
“All units disregard. The person we’re looking for now was just a runner, not the suspect from this morning. Go back in service.”
And then he started laughing as he repeated, “It was you the whole time…”
A couple of the officers came over to find out how it was solved, and the young maintenance man was with them. All was explained, and the officers laughed as they headed back to their cars to leave.
The maintenance guy was the one who called the police in the first place. He apologized profusely about it, saying that he didn’t see my face, and that the police called the office that morning to warn that the robbery happened in the area and to watch for someone dressed all in black.
“I tried to chase you too, but, well…. damn you’re fast.” He commented, as he walked with me back up the hill toward the buildings.
“Wait? You were following me?” I asked. I hadn’t noticed anyone following me while I was running. Was I that oblivious?
“Well… I tried to. You blew past me! You’re really fast.”
“You said that.”
“But, like…. really fast. You know?”
“Yeah. Look, here’s where I get confused. The guys said that this person was armed with a gun… and you thought I was this person? And you were going to chase me? What were you going to do if you caught me?”
He leaned from foot to foot with that one…. obviously uncomfortable.
“You had no plan did you? You were just going to haul off and chase someone potentially armed before you told anyone what you were doing? That’s so dangerous! Such a bad idea, man!”
“Yeah, well. Nothing to worry about. Because I wasn’t going to catch him…uh… you… You’re so fast.”
I wasn’t out to make him feel a fool about it, but damn, think a little before you do something to get killed. Also, it was a little creepy how he kept mentioning how fast I was…
Oh. I did get to work on time. And I got to tell this funny story about being “sought” by the police and helping them track me!
Anyway, That’s my story of the time someone called the police on me while I was running. Anyone else have that happen?