THIRTY-ONE YEARS AGO TODAY!
Thirty-one years ago today, I was a rookie cop working the mean streets of Los Angeles, Morning Watch (11pm – 7am) out of Van Nuys Division (they were Divisions back in those dinosaur days, not the less military, more PC Areas like they are today).
About 2am we observed a woman in red sedan blow through a red light at the major intersection of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sherman Way.
We hit her with the lights and siren as she continued down the main thoroughfare of Sherman way at a blazing twenty five miles an hour. Not only did she not stop, she blew through the red light at the next intersection without even slowing down.
We got on the radio and showed ourselves ‘in pursuit’ of this heinous traffic violator. Other cop cars fell into line behind us with their lights and sirens going, but the violator kept up her steady twenty-five mile an hour pace – blowing red light after red light at every intersection.
It was such a slow motion pursuit we were able to get police cars to leap-frog from intersection to intersection to stop the traffic so our procession should proceed without the woman killing herself or somebody else.
At last the police helicopter was called in and hovered over the violator and hit her with a spotlight. The woman suddenly swerved to the curb and stopped.
I exited the police vehicle (that’s cop speak for I got out of the car) and approached the woman’s driver’s window. She was crying hysterically – I don’t do crying women very well.
Her window was rolled down. She looked at me, still sobbing hysterically, and asked, “Don’t you know what happened.”
Other than her blowing twelve red lights in a row, I had no idea what she was talking about.
She up the wailing into a fit of hysteria, gasping, “Elvis is dead!”
We called her husband who came and picked her up. No charges were filed.
Thirty-one years ago today – The King of Rock-And-Roll passed on!