Acid Heroes

June 29, 2014

Cops part 2: “I didn’t fight the law but the law won anyways”

Filed under: Backwords from Ace — Ace Backwords @ 9:15 pm


Like I said, as a homeless street person, it’s inevitable that you will have regular interactions with the cops. Simply by the nature of the situation.    But I have found (and I don’t know if this is just me or if this is generally true) that if I don’t cause any trouble or act like a wise-ass, the cops generally will  leave me the fuck alone. The cops already have enough assholes, lunatics and hardcore motherfuckers that they have to deal with.  Most of them would be more than happy to leave you alone.   If you let them.  With occasional exceptions.  Unfortunately.

One afternoon I was riding my bike through a quiet, residential neighborhood, not a car or pedestrian in sight.  When I came to the intersection, without thinking about it, I slowed down (but didn’t completely stop) at the Stop sign, looked both ways, and then peddled through the intersection. Something I had done a zillion times before.   But suddenly out of nowhere a cop car goes blasting past me, sirens blaring, cuts in front of me and demands that I pull over.  The cop practically sprints out of his cop car, rushes right up to my face and shouts;  “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID??”  The second cop immediately positions himself directly behind me, arms tensed, as if he’s ready to blow my brains out if I make one false move.

“No,” I said, honestly.  “What did I do?”

“Are you trying to get cute with me??”  shouted the cop.  “You know EXACTLY what you did!  You went right through that Stop sign!!  Why are you LYING to me??”

“I’m not lying to you, officer,” I said.  “If you said I did it, I’m sure I did it.  I just spaced out and didn’t realize what I’d done.”

That seemed to slightly placate the cop.  That I wasn’t offering up any resistance or phony alibi (which often enrages the cop beast).  And, after brow-beating me for about 10 more minutes, the cops finally got in their car and sped off, without even giving me a ticket.  To this day, I have no idea what that was all about.  The only thing I could figure was, the cop had just come from some kind of heavy scene.  Maybe he had just dealt with a little girl who had gotten badly hurt by some pervert.  Or maybe he had just come from an intense confrontation and his adrenaline was still pumping. Or maybe he was just a flaming asshole. At any rate, at times like these I have to remind myself that cops are in fact actual human beings with actual human feelings (some times in spite of much evidence to the contrary).

Another evening, when I had an apartment, I was walking home and I was about half-a-block from my apartment, when a cop car screeches along side me.  Turns out there had just been a burglary, or some kind of serious crime, in the neighborhood, and I just happened to match the description of  the suspect.  When the cops ran my name across the wire, it turned out I had a warrant out for my arrest because of an unpaid “hitching-on-the-freeway” ticket from 5 years ago that I had forgotten all about.  So the cops had the legal justification to slap the handcuffs on me and haul me off to the hoose-gow.   It was a sudden, and shocking, turn of events.  To be walking down the street minding my own business one moment, a half-block from home-sweet-home.  And then to be locked in a cage while being berated by cops who kept demanding that I “confess” to my “crime.”  Whatever that was.  “You’ll make it easier on yourself if you just come clean and admit to us what you did,” said this one woman cop who was playing at being the hard-ass.  They made me take off one of my sneakers and give it to them — apparently the burglar had left foot-prints in the mud at the scene of the crime.  But fortunately my treads didn’t match.  So, after making arrangements to take care of my ticket and repay my debt to society, I was finally released from my cage at around 4 in the morning.

The scary thing was: I had just harvested about 20 of the pot plants that I had been growing in my backyard. And they were lying in a pile in my livingroom, drying out.  So it occurred to me how a simple case of “being-in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time” could have easily escalated into something much more serious.  (The problem, of course, when you’re homeless is that you’re always in “the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time” simply by the nature of your existence).   It also impressed upon me the wisdom of always taking care of my tickets before they became warrants, if only so the cops would never have that kind of leverage over me ever again.

I got arrested another time.  It all started with me getting into a loud and public argument with a friend of mine.  It was basically a case of me having a bug-up-my-ass and acting like an asshole (so shoot me).  And in the heat of the argument I gave him a little shove to the chest.  Not to hurt him, but just to push him away from me and get him out of my face.  To my amazement, he goes running over to a cop that was standing on the corner and tries to sic the cop on me.  The cop basically said: “Listen children, why don’t one of you go that way and the other go the other way.” After the cop left, I was really pissed.  Calling the cops on me violates one of the few moral principals I have (its just part and parcel with my general principal of trying to avoid all interactions with “official society” if I can help it).  And I made a couple of brainless threats to my friend (which was stupid, but it wasn’t like I was actually gonna’ act out on any of them) and stomped off down the street.

Unfortunately the situation kept escalating.  My friend followed me down the Ave and confronted me again.  He informed me that he was going to snitch me off to the authorities by revealing personal information that he knew about me that could have potentially got me into serious trouble.  So now I’m really really pissed. I chase after him down the street and when we get to the intersection I gave him a good kick in the ass and punted him across the street.  Again, I caused no physical injury (your honor).  I merely wanted to help him along his merry way. And his buttocks did get nice air-lift while he was air-born.

So then I’m hanging out on the corner of Haste and Telegraph with my friends. It never even occurred to me to “make a get-away” because I just thought the whole situation was just a bunch of bullshit over nothing.  Two assholes scrapping.   So I was shocked when I cop car pulled over and informed me that I was being “arrested for assault.”  They slapped on the cuffs and hauled me off to jail.  My friend had decided to press charges.

So now it’s a “he-said-he-said” kind of a deal.  Where I’m giving my side of the story and my friend is giving his.  And I always figure it must be amusing to the cops when they’re hearing two such divergent and slanted accounts of what was basically the one-and-the-same situation.

Then the cops are finger-printing me.  This was back in the days before computers where they actually pressed your fingers into the ink (you kids nowadays with your high-tech fingerprinting!).  And its actually a little harder to do than you’d think.  The cop had to keep doing it over and over to try and get a clean, usable print.  The cop doing the finger-printing was this black woman cop who had a reputation for being a real hard-ass with the street people.  But up close, in that intimate setting (her, daintily holding my hand like a schoolgirl on a date or something) her eyes seemed shy and girlish and her demeanor was bashful and nervous.  It’s weird the stuff you remember.  But it’s one of those things where, cops from a distance are such imposing symbols as the Upholders of Society’s Laws. But up close you realize (yet again) that they’re just flesh and blood human beings just like you and me (though, of course, flesh-and-blood human beings with guns and clubs and handcuffs on their belts and special cages built specifically for people like me).

I also lucked out in that one of the cops on duty was an old friend of mine who I had spent years playing hoops with in the park.  And I could tell that he had put in the word with the other cops that I was “OK.”  So they generally were buying the line of bullshit I was feeding them (my “account” of the “incident”).  And after a couple of hours of staring at the wall of my holding cell, they released me back into society (as they say).

A week later my friend came to his senses and dropped the charges. And that was the end of that one (aside from the fact that it’s still on my record to this day that I was “arrested for assault”).  What can I say.  I’m an outlaw.





  1. I like what Micky Rourke (playing Bukowski) said about cops in Barfly: “I don’t hate cops, i’m just more comfortable when their not around.” I think he said the same about people too… Cops these days are becoming a more than just garbage collector, the way they are being armed, or “militarized” its like even the small town ones are being encouraged to act like an occupying military force….sad

    Comment by Jon — June 29, 2014 @ 11:17 pm | Reply

    • Ha ha. My motto always is; “I ignore the cops and the cops ignore me. And I’m always willing to hold up my end of the bargain.”

      Comment by Ace Backwords — June 30, 2014 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  2. I’ve had similar incidents with the Po-Leece

    Comment by Katy Meow Blau — August 19, 2014 @ 2:46 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: