I was taking my son to the airport this afternoon when we noticed a guy in a pickup truck in front of us driving erratically. He drove dangerously close to the ditch on the right, then started drifting over the center line into the left lane. It was a country road with thick woods on either side, so it would have been nearly impossible to avoid him. Eventually, he drifted far over into the left lane before correcting himself and almost running into the ditch on the right again. As he once more drifted left, three motorcyclists approached us and passed safely by. They’ll probably never know how lucky they were today. Shortly thereafter, he drifted erratically to the left, across the opposite lane, and up a hill, almost tipping over before coming to a stop in our lane with two blown tires and smashed up doors and fenders. Apparently the truck was damaged too badly to move, so he began blowing the horn with his feet. We called 911 and waited in the parking lot of a nearby recreational area. When the police came, he was sitting on a guard rail, apparently completely stoned. After checking to see if he was injured, they searched him, and found an ugly looking knife. They immediately knew who he was. He had been involved in another incident a week earlier, in which he had resisted arrest. One of two officers who questioned him had been involved in that affair as well, and said he was lucky that three brave motorists helped him subdue the man on that occasion. He had appeared completely incoherent, and hardly capable of walking, but when the officers pulled out the cuffs, he suddenly began resisting fiercely. He was a young, strong, man, and it was all they could do to subdue him. One of the officers had to taser him, and the effect was almost unnoticeable. Once he was on the ground and in handcuffs, he became a great deal more voluble. It was like being in the middle of an episode of Cops.
I gained a great deal of respect for our county police. They were well spoken, didn’t use more force than was absolutely necessary to subdue the man, and acted with admirable professionalism throughout the incident. When you see something like this up close and personal, you realize how hard their job really is. They take a lot of abuse, but I take my hat off to the two pros I saw in action today.
It makes you think about the wisdom of riding a motorcycle. I had a couple of dirt bikes myself in my younger days, but managed to get through that phase with only a few bumps and bruises and a scar on my chin as a souvenir. Those three bikers we saw today might just have easily have been killed, and they would have had no chance of getting out of the way. At least in a car you have a fighting chance.
I doubt they’ll be able to keep the dopehead responsible for today’s incident in jail for long. When he gets out, he’ll climb back into another pickup truck, license or no, and will be a death sentence on wheels for some unsuspecting motorist. If it has to come to that, I hope he is the unsuspecting motorist.