Thursday, August 6, 2009

Being a good citizen = Overrated

So being the responsible citizen that I am – and, okay, someone who likes to write – after the Incident in Eagle, WI I tracked down the police chief’s email and asked him if he needed statements from us as witnesses. After all, we were the only ones who saw the whole thing from start to finish – and the only ones who almost got flattened by a runaway truck. This led to two things:

1. My amazement at discovering that small town Wisconsin is a veritable hotbed of criminal and otherwise nefarious activity. Seriously – looking through WI police department websites to find the Chief’s contact info was eye-opening. Note to self: find a more peaceable state to ride in. Iowa maybe?

2. Chief Ehlers thanking me for getting in touch, noting that they had enough information for now but that he’d contact me if that turned out to not be the case.

Nice guy, that Chief Ehlers – a notion that was reinforced last week when I got several calls on my cell phone and then an email from him wanting me to call them immediately. You see, apparently the Powers That Be (or the Perp’s lawyers) somehow convinced a judge that Perp wasn’t a danger to anyone – in spite of taking over a bar, letting a pickup go careening down the street driverless before it slammed into a crossing gate, etc. All in a day’s work I suppose. So in order to keep Perp in jail, the police needed a statement from me explaining how he put innocent bystanders’ lives at risk (duh!), and they needed it before the hearing at 11AM.

It was 10:40 at the time.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking: “But Tasha, you’ve had years of practice blathering on and on in your blog, emails, outraged letters to the newspaper, etc., so this should be a piece of cake for you!” And so it was –really, if they needed someone to write things up succinctly and quickly, they couldn’t have found a better person. Lucky them, no? I also gave them Deanna’s contact info, but they couldn’t reach her in time. We still had no idea what this guy had done in the first place to be running from the police, but whatever it was, it was clear that the police were VERY invested in keeping him locked up.

So I sent off the statement, not sure if that was enough to keep him locked up but figuring there wasn’t much more I could do, though I did tell them that if they needed me to come out there for anything, I’d be happy to. Okay, maybe not “happy” per se, but I like to do my part to keep Wisconsin and its stores of cheese safe. If nothing else, someday people will be able to say this about me: “Okay, so her blog postings were generally waaaay too long, but in the end, she did manage to help keep Wisconsin safe for the cheese-loving populace.” So there is that.

That was last week. Deanna and I yucked it up about the whole thing, kind of, what with her threatening to pummel me for contacting the Eagle police in the first place, and me trying to placate her by offering to buy her lunch at Knuckleheads the next time we passed through Eagle. Ha, so funny!

Today came the subpoena.

Yes, a summons to appear in court to testify next Friday, August 14th at the bright and shiny hour of 8AM. Next weekend is also the Dairyland Dare, so basically we’re looking at three days of all things Wisconsin. Kicking events off with a courtroom appearance, proceeding to a bike ride where I crashed last year and broke my collarbone and my head, then finishing off with what will apparently be kegs of beer at the ride’s end. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

(As a side note, to astute reader T-Odd, who noted that my last picture looked like scones and not teacakes, those are NOT sco.....okay, so they are. But that’s because I don’t have an actual picture of the delectable, scone-like-but-way-better teacakes. Yet. This will be forthcoming, in between pictures of the Eagle, WI courtroom.)

So I actually don’t mind having to go up to Eagle to do my part to keep the world safe from people trying to “take care of business” in very odd ways:

(from a news article about The Incident)

“(Name removed), 38, of XXXX., was also charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing an officer, carrying a concealed weapon, disorderly conduct, and resisting an officer. He is being held in Waukesha County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.

According to the criminal complaint, (NR) took his father's knife and said he was "going to take care of business." (NR’s) mother, Gail, told police her son then held her hostage and told her to take him to Eagle.”

Especially when those people are clearly dangerous:

“... saw (NR) get out of the truck ... and the truck continued to roll, forcing two bicyclists to avoid it. The truck crashed into a railroad crossing standard, causing it to fall onto the highway, the complaint said.

Meanwhile (NR) then ran into Knucklehead Pub, 100 South St. When the officer entered the bar, he saw (NR) sitting at the bar with his back to the door. The officer pointed his gun at (NR) and told him to drop the knives and show his hands. (He) then took a buck knife and threw it backward toward the officer; the knife landed about five feet from the officer, the complaint said.
(NR) then got up, told the officer to shoot him and despite numerous orders by the officer to get on the ground, (NR) went behind the bar and asked the bartenders for a couple of drinks, the complaint said.

Other officers arrived and (NR) was eventually hit twice by Tasers. Police were able to get (NR) outside, but he resisted, throwing himself against a truck, trying to get away, and attempting to bite officers.”

Now, knowing all this, I don’t blame the Eagle police department for wanting to keep this guy locked up. Biting? Throwing knives? Potentially disrupting the sanctity of the Ice Cream Social to take place later that afternoon? Puh! I too would have none of that in my peaceful little town. As I’ve said many times before, I am a BIG proponent of sniper fire, judiciously used. Just saying.

I’m just sorry I dragged Deanna into this. Okay, so it was her idea to go riding up in Kettle in the first place – but yes, even after almost getting killed, we could have gone on our anonymous little ways, letting this douchebag continue to wreak havoc, had I not contacted Chief Ehlers. So I take full blame for this unexpected additional detour on our Dairyland Dare Grand Adventure.

So, umm, Deanna......lunch at Knuckleheads on me next Friday?

And wait, what was that I said about not letting my life degenerate into a version of My Cousin Vinny? Hmm....


D said...

Your life needs some Vancouver. The most you'll get here is news stories about the gangland shootings while you're stoned on the best BC bud.

t-odd said...

No good deed goes unpunished. Rural WI might as well be the wild west - it's damn scary! I don't know that rural Iowa is any better. I'd stay with what you know and WI has WAY better cheese and beer than Iowa.

I will look for you later this year on "Cops." You're the drunk biker with no shirt on who says, "Occifer, I seen the whole thing" and then gets thrown in the clink for being drunk and disorderly, right?

tribabe said...

Sweet story!

Stephen said...

but how credible will you be as a witness when you apparently lied about the true identity of the Scones in the previous story....