Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh Yeah

Jono or Janice reminded me last night that I had promised to post on my Victoria day lunch time entertainment. So here goes.

I was sitting on the balcony, quietly eating my lunch when a car was pulled over by the police. It took a while before the police officer got out of his car to talk to the driver. When he finally did, there was no other traffic on the road for a few seconds, and we could hear a little bit of what the officer and the driver were talking about. It sounded to us like the driver had changed his mind at the last which resulted in an unconventional manoeuvre, catching the attention of the officer. After talking with the driver for a minute or two, he went back to the cruiser. A little while after that, another officer showed up. Eventually, the two officers asked the man to get out of his car, handcuffed the man, and the first officer took him to his car. The second police officer then searched the now handcuffed man's vehicle. Something tells me he was up to more than unconventional manoeuvres. For most of this time traffic was fairly steady, and the noise from the cars drowned out what the police officers were saying, so we had no idea why the driver was handcuffed and taken away. There was a moment where we could hear that he was concerned about the fate of his car. Perhaps he was hoping that if he showed enough concern, they'd let him drive his car home, and then they could arrest him later instead.

This doesn't really compare to what happened on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago, though. I had taken two people back with me from Kingston, and just dropped them off at their houses. One of them lived in Dundas, a small town at the just west of Hamilton, and the other lived on the eastern end. I had to do a lot of city driving (simply going to my own house involved almost exclusively highway driving), and it seemed like I was catching every light red. Not only that, but after I had dropped off the second of the two passengers, I was a bit disoriented and started driving the wrong direction at first, making it take even longer to get home. I had become impatient. There was one more traffic light to get through before my street, and it went from green to yellow sooner than I wanted it to. There was plenty of time for me to stop, but I was tired of stopping for red lights, and decided that I would go for it anyway. I cut it close. If the light wasn't red when the front of the car entered the intersection, it was by the time the whole car did. Just as I had cleared the intersection, I saw the flashing lights of police cars up ahead. "That was fast," I thought to myself. I got further and realized that that they were at my street. "How do they know where I live?" Once I reached my street, I saw that the cars were blocking off my street. It was obvious then that they weren't there to ticket me for running a red light. I drove to the next street to take a different route in, only to find out that that route had also been blocked off too. I didn't really have any other options that wouldn't have been a major hassle, so I parked my car and walked home (it was only a block away). On my way I tried to get information from the officer that was blocking the street. He wasn't going to give me anything, and seemed annoyed that I even asked. As I got closer to my house, I saw at least four more police cars, a news crew, and a girl leaving her house trying to cover her face and yelling at everyone to leave her alone. I still couldn't tell what was going on, but it was happening right next to my house. My parents had gone away that weekend, and my brother was the only one home. He was half asleep. I asked him if he knew what was going on. It was clear that he was annoyed, but he didn't seem to be aware that anything had even happened. After a while, a police officer knocked on my door trying to find out if I knew anything. I explained that I had just got home and that my brother was sleeping and didn't know anymore than I did. He asked for the birth dates of some family members for some reason and requested permission to check out our back yard. As far as I knew, we weren't break any laws back there, so I said okay. Somewhere in the conversation, I tried to get the police officer to tell me a bit about what had happened, but he wouldn't tell my anything either. I finally got to find out when the news came on. Somebody had shot my neighbour.

While we were a bit shocked that something like that could happen so close to our house, it was probably the least shocking place that it could have happened. They had been bringing down the property value from day one. For the most part, they didn't do anything that was obviously illegal, but they were very noisy and requests by us and the neighbours to keep it down weren't simply ignored, but rather were laughed at. We were always a little suspicious, though, that something else might have been going on that was less obvious.

As mentioned, my parents were away that weekend, so they weren't witness to any of this, but the news did reach them eventually. It turned out that the shooter's name and my brother's name were very similar, though not the same. When they heard this, they thought that somehow my brother might be involved. They called home to make sure that he wasn't.

A week later, in church, one of the members announced that her son had been arrested.
Can you guess what for?

As it turned out, this woman's son was scheduled to be a witness at a drug trial, and someone had threatened her. It seemed that we were right to suspect that our neighbours were up to something besides making a lot of noise. The story, as I've heard it, is that he went over there to talk. When our neigbour saw the gun, he turned to run away. The shooter, who up to that point had merely been a gun holder, panicked and shot our neighbour. The wounds weren't life threatening, so the guys still alive somewhere. I don't know what happened to the rest of the people who live in that house, but it was very quite there for a long time afterwards. My mom moved out the following July (she had been planning on moving before all this happened), though it appears that she just can't escape the crime.

No comments: