Profiled or Potential Suspect

Post-Urban Culture

The car behind me was trying to act non-descript; low lights, dark windows, headlights dim. “Fuck,” I swore. “I can’t believe it.” I knew once I made my left turn onto Hayden Road, the police cruiser behind me was going to pull me over.  “Fuck,” I swore. It was going to be my first traffic stop since February of 1986.

Ten minutes before, I had walked out of Clancy’s, a shitty, clean well-lit Irish bar on the edge of Old Town Scottsdale. In my on going travels in the Phoenix Metro Area, Clancy’s stood out because of the surprisingly good Guinness and a University of Michigan flag I saw flying from the door jamb.

‘Outstanding, I have found the Michigan bar,” I thought. Here was the place where U of M fans congregated to watch our heroes lose on any given Saturday from September to November. Unfortunately, it was the spot for Nebraska fans. However, a sizable contingent of Detroit ex-pats drinks to excess at the bright beige Formica bar nightly. I popped in to have a pint, say Happy New Year and curse the state of our hometown.

I made the turn onto Hayden Road and the flashing red and blue lights appeared in my rearview mirror. I pulled over to the curb, trying to remember what to do once you were pulled over by the cops. Driver’s License in my wallet, check. Auto Registration in the glove compartment, check. I put down the window on my driver’s side and put a Mona Lisa grin on my face.

A pint, perhaps two is all you can have to drink in any Valley bar. Any more than that and you run the risk of being pulled over for a DUI and the powers that be in Maricopa County frown upon drunk drivers. Any offense above the legal limit of .08 but below .15 will earn the offender some time in the Tent City annex of the Maricopa County jail. The Spartan existence includes a pair of pink pajamas, a rabbit ear TV and fans for the heat in the summer.

A young 20-something cop knocked on the passenger window. I had just made my life far more difficult. “Yes officer,” I said. He asked for license, looked over my digital mugshot and asked where I’d been. I figured this guy had followed me out of the parking lot so I told him the truth, where I was, how much I’d had to drink etc.

“Aside from your beer have you taken any other drugs this evening,” he asked.


“Do you have any weapons or firearms in the vehicle?”

“No officer.”

“Alex, will you get out of the vehicle and meet me at the rear please,” he asked. Having written about crime and punishment, I understand a traffic stop and/or (pending) arrest is nothing personal. The key is to follow instructions and listen to what you’re told. (When read your Miranda Rights and told you have the right to remain silent that means SHUT THE FUCK UP.)

Once at the trunk, there was another cop, a small bald guy with glasses built like a fire hydrant. “Do you know why we pulled you over sir?” I shook my head. “The Circle K at the corner of Miller and Camelback was just robbed by a white guy with curly brown hair driving a red car,” he said. That is a description that fits me perfectly.

It also explained why there were so many Scottsdale cops in the parking lot of that stand-alone convenience store. I thought the several trucks used to bring large sheets of glass parked up against the building were just there to buy some beer. The assailant must have shot out the windows before/while making his escape.

The two cops did give me a field sobriety test. Head back. Recite the alphabet. Touch the tip of your nose with the finger I say. “Do you have any other drugs in your system aside from the alcohol from that Guinness,” he asked.

“The last time I took a drug was on July 3, 2008. Some Percocet for my left shoulder after surgery,” I said.

“Oh I’ve had several of those surgeries. I hate that shit,” the older cop said. He asked me to follow a penlight with just my eyes, no turning my head. “You wear contact lenses. You should think about the Lasik.”

He walked back to his car to retrieve something or other and the younger cop started to comfort me. “You’re fine. I knew you were sober when I asked you to get out of the car. Relax. Everything is fine. Don’t worry.”

Sure enough, when the older cop returned, he sent me on my way with a lecture about almost having too much to drink. “Go straight home,” he instructed. Home was my intended destination.

As I drove the 3 miles back to the house, it occurred to me they never asked for my registration. That’s when it hit me; I hadn’t been through a DUI traffic stop. I was pulled over because I was a potential suspect in an armed robbery. Profiled in the parlance of the politically correct found running amuck in our society.

I wonder who was pulled out of line at JFK and Sky Harbor while these two cops were doing their job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Every Friday, get 2 for 1 movie tickets when you use your Visa Signature card.

Recent Comments