My first arrest

I’ve only been arrested three times. Considering my track record, that’s pretty impressive.

My first arrest. 1980. I was walking home to my apartment one night, and the cops pulled me over. It was a case of mistaken identity. I looked similar to someone who had just committed a crime in the area. I fit the description of the suspect. So they pulled me over. Gave me the flashlight treatment. Ran my name across the wire. It turned out, a couple years previous, I had been given a ticket for hitch-hiking on the freeway. And I had failed to pay the fine. So a warrant had gone out for my arrest. So now, years later, the cops had a reason to arrest me. I was a criminal. So they handcuffed me and hauled me off to the Berkeley Police Station. Which was a stunning turn of events. One minute I’m walking down the street. The next minute I’m in handcuffs and locked up in a cage. The cops grilled me mercilessly while I was locked up in my cell. 

“Admit your guilt and we’ll go easy on you,” said the coppers. 

“I didn’t do anything,” I said. 

“Take off your shoes!” demanded the cop. I took off my shoes. 

The cops took this “evidence” — my shoes — and disappeared off to some other part of the police station. Leaving me there in my cell. In my socks. . . It turned out, whoever had committed the crime had left shoe-prints at the scene of the crime, embedded in the mud. So they wanted to see if the treads on my shoes matched the shoe-prints left at the scene.

Fortunately they didn’t match.

But I still owed 150 bucks for the “hitch-hiking on the freeway” ticket. They allowed me one phone call. So I called up my older sister who also lived in Berkeley. I explained my plight to her. She thankfully came down to the Berkeley Police Station and paid off the $150 fine at one in the morning. I had paid back my debt to society. And had rehabilitated myself.

The cops let me out of my jail cell. I was now a free man. A good, honest, decent American, just like you. And I re-paid my sister the 150 bucks the next day

The End

2 thoughts on “My first arrest

    1. Yeah, my memory might be a little off about that. It might have been only $75. The ticket is about $250 today in 2019 money. I don’t know what that would work out in terms of the rate of inflation from 40 years ago.

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