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It's Been an EXCITING, if Slightly Stressful, Week of Police Activity

Posted Mar 12 2010 10:09pm

Oh, my heavens, is this a long post. Please to get a snack and visit the potty before you begin.

Wednesday we came home late from school, around 5. It was seriously one of the warmest days in a long time and I'd stayed after school to let the kids enjoy the playground. When we arrived home, I was thinking to myself how good it would be to get the dress I was wearing OFF - first time in this sundress courtesy of the Goodwill and I could see why it'd been donated - either the weight lifting is working or the armholes are too small, but it was ridiculously uncomfortable. Everyone climbed out of the van and my little ones begged to be allowed to color with sidewalk chalk. I wanted nothing so bad (ly) as to get into my pajamas and begin dinner. I was dreaming of a 8 p.m. bedtime for myself. So I said they could color and sent the other two back out to watch over - and was cajoled into moving my van into the street so that they could play basketball. I opened both the blinds and the window so that I could keep an eye on them.

A nice, normal suburban afternoon.

I changed into pjs and came downstairs to cook dinner. A few minutes later, I heard an unfamiliar voice and I looked up. There were 2 teenage boys talking to my kids, and as I moved to the door, the kids came tearing in, shouting over each other and shoving to be the first to reach me.

"Mom! These guys told us to go get your parents NOW! They asked if you were home and when I said yes, because you are home and I didn't want to lie and I didn't want them to think we were home alone - so I said you were here and come now!"

Uh, yeah - I'm in my pajamas.

So I grabbed a robe and went to the garage door.

"Can I help you with something?" I asked.

Yeah. Give us some dinner.

"Excuse me?" I am sometimes slow on the uptake.

You heard me. We want some dinner.

And I can't believe the next thing that came out of my mouth. "I don't even know you!" Yeah. You too can be clueless like me one day.

Well, we've been looking through your neighborhood, looking for the coolest neighbor, and we've decided you are it.

At which point I reached over and closed the garage door. Smart aleck remarks swallowed before they came out, witty repartee avoided. I had no idea what to say - so I'd really said nothing at all. But my Mama radar was beeping like crazy and so I went into the house. And looked out the window, to see the two boys, who were probably 18 or so, move to my neighbors house. So I called a second neighbor, down the street, whose husband is overseas in Iraq. Then I called another neighbor, who said that, yes, they'd been to her house but she hadn't opened the door. She looked outside and saw the boys talking to a third neighbor, who was yelling at them. She reported that he went back into his house, but then came back out to yell again.

And that internal radar was beep-beep-beeping, and so I called the police. I was really nice and calm as I explained the entire sequence of events, and they agreed to send out a car. Or three.(and then I posted it on Twitter - @mttsm) And the boys were spoken to, and I felt guilty. Until I left the house three hours later to see them smoking under the street light at the corner. So my husband called the precinct, and he was told that said youths had indicated that they were magazine salespeople - empty handed, dinner demanding, no supply carrying salespeople - and that if they'd said anything harassing, the police would have picked them up - but no one reported anything verbal at all. My report from earlier had fallen on deaf ears.

So, when I was upstairs today, and realized that the helicopter I'd been hearing for a while was actually RIGHT OVER my house and circling repeatedly, and I looked out the window to see 4 police cars in my street outside my house - and then I looked out the back window to see a police officer on foot with his gun in his hand in the empty space behind my house - I was a little alarmed. And that alarm deepened when I went downstairs to the front door and stepped outside to see the helicopter low enough to see the pilot, circling my house, and to be motioned to go back inside by a police officer standing by his car. And I thanked God that my kids weren't home when the four cars (and two others that had been around the corner) zoomed suddenly out of the neighborhood. Part of me wondered if it had to do with Wednesday's dinner drama.

I left the house to pick up one of my kids at the bus stop - for I didn't want her coming through this -  and passed two police cars on the street, with a man (not familiar to me) in front of them in handcuffs. The officer in question was holding a folded brown paper bag and both the officers and the handcuffed man shot me angry looks. Just then, my phone rang and my son reported that the shopping center around the corner was under blockade, with multiple police cars in the lot, and officers out of the cars, crouched behind doors with their GUNS DRAWN and a couple of officers pointing what he called M-16's (but I have no idea if that's what they were, but some kind of big gun) surrounding a dumpster and pointing at it.

And then a man came out of the dumpster. 

My mailman reported a high speed chase of a red car and several police cars down the main street up to the shopping center. The news reported a "man with a gun" situation.If I had to guess, I'd think that there were two guys in the car and they split up to avoid being apprehended.

And I'm ready for a little less real life drama. I'll settle for watching Law and Order on tv.

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