Project and Swerve

Here’s the full story as featured on my blog (

On March 3rd, 2010, four members of the Conroe Police Department attempted to arrest me for a burglary I had no involvement in. The night started with a friend of mine texting me around 9 o’clock to tell me that season eight of Smallville was on sale for twenty dollars. I’m a nerd. So I started puttin’ my shoes on to go get it. But, at the time, I didn’t have a car and, as a nerd, I know Best Buy’s schedule by heart. It closed as 10 o’clock that night. On foot, I couldn’t make it in time. But I knew of another video store in town that didn’t close until 11 so I checked their website to see if they had the same deal. And they did. So I put on my jacket, put my headphones in my ears and started walking.

I got halfway to the video store, which is right after an efficiency apartment complex, but before the overpass of a major interstate, when a Conroe Police Department squad car came flying over the overpass with his lights, but no sirens. He pulled over and stopped right in front of me. I stopped walking, took my headphones out of my ears and waited for him to get out of the car. He shuffled around a bit in his car for a minute. In that minute, if I wanted to run, I could have, but I didn’t because I had no reason to run. I just waited. He gets out of his car and asks me the typical cop questions: What’s your name, where ya comin’ from, where ya goin’? I answer this accordingly: Adam, home, video store, Smallville. He asked where, “home” was. I pointed and explained, “About a mile away, behind HEB.” He told me there was a burglary in the area and he wanted to take me back over to the apartment complex I just walked by to see if I was the guy they were looking for or not. I was innocent, had nothing to fear and the apartment complex was only half a block behind me so I agreed to go with him. If the apartment complex had been more than half a block away, I’d have refused. I was naive, but no so naive to think he’d bring me back when we were done. But in my naivety, I figured I could go over, clear my name and be on my way.

He puts me in the car and we head that way. He didn’t cuff me or pat me down. He didn’t confiscate any of my belongings. He just put me in the back seat and we were off. As soon as we got to the apartment complex, I noticed there were Conroe Police Department squad cars on the scene including the one I arrived in. When the car I was in stopped, another one of the officers came to my door, opened it up and immediately, aggressively giving me grief over the situation: You’re goin’ to jail, you did this. You even match the description of jeans and a t-shirt, shaggy hair. That’s half the people in this town. That’s half the people in the world. Men, women, black, white. Half of everybody. At the end of the description, though, he said, “blue ball cap.” I leaned out the door to get some light on my cap and said, “It’s black with flames on it.” I leaned back in the door and he closed the door on me.

After a minute or so of sitting in the car by myself, two of the officers pull me out of the vehicle and have me stand in front of another one of the squad cars. They have another suspect in the back seat of this other squad car. They tell me they’re going to ask him if I’m his, “buddy.” So I stand there, they go to the back of the car, have whatever conversation they have with that guy, come back to me and tell me he told them he doesn’t know me so they’re letting me go. It’s not 11 o’clock, yet, so I started heading towards the video store again. I get back to the same spot where the first cop picked me up before and that same cop comes up behind me again with his lights on, but no sirens. He gets out of his car, tells me it turns out that I’m the guy they want and he has to take me back over there. This time, he confiscates my phone (that’s what I was using to listen to music), cuffs me, pats me down, puts me back in the car and takes me back over there.

As soon as we get back to the apartment complex, it’s the same situation as before. The cop that was grief before did it again: Opens the doors, tells me I’m guilty and I’m going to jail. It’s like they had a script that they didn’t even know how to deviate from. They pull me out of that squad car and put me in the back of the squad car with the other suspect. I’m in cuffs. He’s not. He could have beat the hell out of me to get me to confess and take the blame for the whole thing and there’s nothing I could have done about it. He was twice my size so even if I wasn’t cuffed, he still could have done that. But he doesn’t. If he was the guilty party in this situation then he was at least honest about it. He and I sat in the back of the squad car for a few minutes in dead silence. I’d guess the cops were putting us together to try to get us to talk, but we didn’t know each other so we had nothing to say to each other.

After a few minutes, they pull him out of the car and have him sit on the front of car. I’d guess they realized their mistake of putting a cuffed person in the car with an not-cuffed person, but I’m probably giving them too much credit. After sitting the car by myself for a minutes, the cop that picked me up pulls me out of the car and takes me over to stand by his car. He and I stand in silence for a couple of minutes when out of nowhere, he says, “Don’t ya think about runnin’.” All I could think was, “Now? Not when you picked me up the first time. There were woods five feet from me. I could have. Not when you let me go and I got out of sight. No, I’m gonna wait until now when I’m handcuffed on an asphalt parking lot so I can trip and bust my face open. I like a challenge. This is the opportune moment.” But I didn’t have anything clever to say in response. I just had attitude. With a fuck-you tone, I said, “I’m not thinkin’ about doin’ anything.” Yup, nothin’ goin’ on in my head. Totally blank. I’m an idiot. So he says, “Gettin’ an attitude’s not gonna help.” With heightened fuck-you tone, I say, “Neither is accusin’ me of somethin’ I didn’t do!” So he puts me in the back of his squad car, probably to cool off for a few minutes. While I’m back there, fuming, I’m listening to dispatch. I hear the name and address of the apartment complex followed by, “criminal mischief.” What happened isn’t even classified as a burglary like the cop originally said. They have no idea what’s going on. After sitting back there for a few minutes, three of the four cops come over, pull me out of the car and start taking the cuffs off. As they’re taking the cuffs, one of them that I hadn’t actually talked to yet says, “You keep up this behavior and, one day, we’ll bust your ass.” Again, I have my inner dialogue, “What behavior? Walking while intelligent? Sorry, I’ll dumb it down for Conroe P.D. I’ll drink more so I kill some brain cells.” I don’t actually say anything other than, “Can I have my phone back?”, get my phone and I’m outta there.

By the time they let me go, it was exactly 11 o’clock. The video store was closed so I wasn’t getting my Smallville. I started heading back home, but first I post on Twitter and Facebook that Conroe P.D. was just harassing me, big time, and if I don’t show up to work the next day then that means I’m in jail.

I get home without any problems. I call my best friend to come pick me up because I need to talk to somebody about this. She picks me up and we go somewhere to get some food while we talk. My bright idea was to go to Denny’s… Where the cops like to hang out. Luckily, none came in that night. We sat, talked and ate until 3 or 4 in the morning. I went home, called into work the next day and didn’t even try to pretend being sick. It was just, “I’m not coming in today. I’ll explain later. Bye.” Slept the rest of the day. Then, at about 4:30 in the afternoon, I walked to the video store and got my Smallville. Screw Conroe P.D.