From Burning Down the House
What Light Pole?
It was about four o'clock in the afternoon on September 5, 1999. The weather was decent and I had the doors on my trailer and shop open. I had my truck parked half way out of the garage door of my shop. The system on my truck was partially elevated. I had my L____ T____ adapter tack welded together and most of the way done.
Suddenly a cop car pulls up into my drive way. Out steps a guy who appeared to be about fifty years old with graying hair. He (No. 81017) said he was Deputy Kahler, an investigator for the Pierce County Sheriffs department. He said there had been a hit and run incident earlier in the day and my vehicle fit the description. He was quick to try to put works into my mouth with the interrogation style questioning.
Another squad car pulled into my drive way. Out stepped a black man. He didn't say anything, but he just stood around as if they expected some trouble from me.
denied knowing anything about the alleged incident and the investigator asked for my drivers' license and proof of insurance. I handed him my drivers' license and said that I had emptied my truck out and the paper work was either on my work bench or on the floor next to my truck. Deputy Kahler became pushy and insisted not to mess around with him. I said, "Just a second, I've got it somewhere around here."
Kahler wasn't about to let me find the paperwork I was looking for. As I tried to step around the front of my truck he followed me with his comrade right behind him at the right front corner of my truck. Kahler said, "I've had enough of you!" He grabbed his walkie talkie and called for back up, then slapped my coffee cup out of my hand and slammed my head down in the hood of my truck. I would have been even more pissed off if I would have had a perfectly strait hood on my truck. For sure he would have dented the hell out of it, but fortunately the dents made it a bit softer on my face as it slammed into it. He slapped a pair of hand cuffs on me and shoved me into the back of his partner's squad car. As I sat in the back of the squad car two or more squad cars arrived one after another. There was a blond fat one who said, "I had to come by, I figured he might put us in his book," as he walked over to check out my T___________ parked on the west side of my yard where I had just used my T___________ as a frame pulling machine for pulling out the core support on my truck so the radiator hose wouldn’t be so close to my hydraulic clutch pump.
Investigator Kahler walked over to the trunk of his squad car and opened it. Inside was a metal case full of sophisticated camera gear. He had more than one case; a whole arsenal in fact. He began by walking over to my T_________ and took a few pictures. As he walked into my shop his partner hoped into the driver's seat and drove me away from the scene. The cops left behind were going into my shop were I had another top secrete proto-type in the works. It felt like they were holding me down and raping my child right in front me. It seemed to me Kahler wasn't even concerned about the front of my truck, (which was outside of the shop,) because he just headed inside the shop. It accrued to me he was sent out to get my trade secrets. The fact that part of my front bumper was recently cut off with the use of a cutting torch was none of his concern.
As I was being booked into jail, I had my phone call and I called John. I told him about what happened and asked him to go over to my place and see if they locked everything up.
This time around, the experience in jail was much different than the experience I had before. This time I talked to the jailers as if they were doing a foolish thing and they tried to act as if they didn't know what I was talking about. But then I'd have to say that there was a few of them that appeared to understand I wouldn't fall for any of their pretending. It was as if they had a celebrity on hand and they wanted to keep it as low key as possible. They didn't exploit me to the inmates at all. The jailers wanted the inmates to think I was just an ordinary guy. It was obvious the jailers were well aware of who I was because at shift change, the door of the cell opened up and a guard verbally pointed me out to another.
I got out on personal recognizance of course. Funny how I was released at the same time as a guy that told me that everything I had to say didn't mean shit. Luckily I had bus fare to get back home.
When I got home I called John and found out indeed the cops had left my trailer unlocked and the shop left wide open with my truck parked halfway out of the garage door. The keys were still in the ignition.
The next surprise I got was the pink papers I received which had been typed up by a court clerk. One was a Washington state Criminal Complaint/Docket in the district Court No. 1 of the State of Washington. It's signed just under the part where it says certify/declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that (Get this) I have reasonable grounds to believe, and do believe, the above person committed the above offences contrary to law. Signed: Michelle Luma Green, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. WSBN: 27088
Then I would have to say: Why in hell she wrote that the offence was RCW 46.52.010, DUTY ON STRICKING UNNATTENDED VEHICAL. MISDIMENOR: did unlawfully operate a vehicle that collided with an unattended vehicle--and so on and so on. Dam, I thought it was a light-pole?
It said I was accused of running into a light pole and knocking it over. It said that the witnesses knew of the street I lived on and even my name. Now that I would find hard to believe because these so called witnessed didn't know me personally. Then in the report the investigator mentioned that he had investigated the license number of the truck and found out where I lived. The license plate number was all I needed. The license plate number ended in a 4 instead of a Y. Now how could he do that if he had the wrong license number? I'd say he knew about me before hand.
When I appeared for the preliminary court proceedings, it was apparent they were prepared for me to show up. I happened to get the same judge I'd given a 25 page booklet called Sunnyside's Lousy Book just months earlier. It was obvious they didn't want to have me make a mockery out of them again so this time the court room was empty except the court clerks and two cops standing in the back of the court room.
I said, "It looks to me that you've got the wrong guy here. The license plate isn't even the right number. My license plate ends in a "Y" as shown in the citation. Court papers show that it ends in a 4. The cop was picking on me because I've got a truck full of dents. It's quite obvious, since they showed up four hours after the alleged incident."
"Hah, it's just a Type 'O'," the judge said. Then he assigned me a new court date.
I got into him about whether he had read my book or not and the fact that he works for a bunch of crooks.
I said that they were just picking on me because I have dents all over my truck. Instead of getting mouthy directly to the judge, I got into a spiel on the crooks running the local government to the court clerks. The judge didn't like what I was saying and said, "You are being silly." I said, "Yes it's pretty silly paying a million dollars an hour for a freak show."
Since the preliminary court proceedings turned out to be so interesting, I thought the thing to do would be to take my video camera along to get more of crooks on video tape the second time around. I found out at the door that recorders weren't allowed in the court rooms. The neighbour hood I parked my truck in wasn't the best place in town to be seen stashing a video camera in a vehicle so I decided to take the camera home but my early arrival was just turning into a late one. I had to wonder if the crooked judge would be writing up an arrest warrant for failure to appear as I was making the trip back home.
At a stoplight on 38th street I noticed in my rear view mirror that there was a patty waggon two cars behind me. I began to wonder if he was tailing me for a chance to pull me over. The signal light turned green and the cars began to move forward. I looked in the mirror to see if I could tell if it was a county or city patty waggon. BAM.
in front of me stopped moving and I smacked into the car in front of me.
When I did show up in the court room, it was no surprise I got a minority court appointed attorney assigned to me. His assistant was a white dude, but short on brains I'd say. The fuck head took me out to the hallway and suggested I cop a plea bargain. The guilty plea he wanted me to fall for was five days of hard labour. I couldn't believe
The city had set me up to get killed. I receive a screwed up foot out of the deal and they wanted me to do hard labour. I didn't even know there was such a thing as hard labour anymore. For a misdemeanour no less.
While talking to Stads, I somehow got him to open up his file and what I discovered was a copy of the signed witness statement. The surprising thing about it was that the "4" had been crossed out and a "Y" was paced beside it. It was obvious the judge I'd seen earlier (the one who I’d given my book five months earlier,) had falsified the witness statement. I never did hear from Stads again, but I did get a warrant in the mail for failure to appear.
Gee, I’m sure court records will show that I was down at the Court house that day, because I was there personally to turn in the citation -- I received earlier in the day for smacking the ladies car – for a court date.
Oh yeah, about the alleged light pole.... When I got back home after I got out of jail, I grabbed my video camera and when up to take a few pictures of the base. The base was hard to distinguish because there was a large amount of rust. A pile of rust scale that is. I couldn't make out a base plate or the steel that would have had to snap. See the problem was that the light pole was a design from at least two decades earlier. Unlike the way you will see them on top of a cement piling protruding out of the ground about 2 1/2 feet as the do now days. The base or should I say junction box was just fastened to the ground at parking lot level. The junction box was made out of 3/16 inch steel and over years the rainwater had ran down the pole and through the junction box. Although it had been panted several times through out the years, the paint didn't do anything for the interior of the box.
I met the electricians who were working on repairing the light pole. They were laughing at the whole thing. I told them that since they weren't mounted on concrete pilings, all the lights in the parking lot were a liability and an accident waiting to happen. They too knew that a light pole sitting on the ground was a sitting duck for anyone to bump into. There wasn't even any curbs blocking anyone from bumping into them.
The electricians weren't fabricators but all they were concerned with was putting new light fixtures on the top of the pole which was in good shape yet. As they were trying to pound the box back into shape, I showed up with my camera and even met up with the manager of the store. I told him that they should take out all the lights and replace them with modern ones with a concrete base like the ones everywhere else.
They'd hired a welder to weld the junction box back down to the base plate. I stopped by and got a picture of that too. I was amazed they were even able to grind away the scale rust and still find enough metal to weld to. It looked quite tacky compared to what I'd do. (That is fabricating a whole new.)
The thing that might amaze you as much as it did me was when I stopped by to take the picture of the workmanship; a small blue car had already run into the pole. (I got a video of it too.) Funny how soon it happened. The nylon sling used to raise the pole with the crane was still stuck at the top of the pole. I'd say that was putting the welds to the test alright. I'll give the welder a B+ for the workmanship, even if he was stuck welding a piece of crap. His weld held and that was all that mattered.
The deal is, is this: The coffee stand is in the outer field of the parking lot at the grocery store. When pulling out of the coffee stand's drive up window heading south. You had the line of cars approaching the stand from the other direction for the window on the east side. When pulling away from the west window you have to look to your right for cars that might be coming down the lane through the parking lot. And you have to look left for cars coming in off the street which would show up behind the line forming for the East window. Then you have to look strait ahead because there is an entrance to the parking lot strait ahead of you as you pull away from the west window. With all these directions of traffic, the last thing you think about is the gray pole that is just to the left of the strait shot out of the west window. After clearing yourself for traffic and you plan to go out to the main road, (Pacific Avenue) and if have any line formed for the east window, you'll find yourself heading for the pole .
Basically I think of the pole getting knocked over as sort of a blessing. At least nobody got hurt and no cars were damaged. Having a fresh welding job made it so that nobody got hurt when the pole got hit by the small blue car. You might say it's a crazy way to look at it but....
The girls in the coffee shop my not think it's such a crazy way to look at it because shortly there after, a wind storm came along and blew over another light pole just west of the coffee stand. If the light pole would've been only ten to fifteen feet closer, the extending arms at the top of the light pole could have come right through the vinyl roof of the coffee stand and very have well killed one of them.
Just after the wind blew over the light pole -- just missing the coffee stand -- the store management had some guys set up temporary barricades and then the next day they put curbs in front of each pole. The girls still didn't feel safe in the parking lot after that. One said, "Shoot, the curbs can only do so much, a big truck will roll right over those curbs."
I told the girls about the judge falsifying the paper work to witness testimonies and turned them on to my book. You can sure bet if I have to go to trial over the light pole. I'll sure want to summons the girls to show up to testify. What do you think they'd have to say?
Have you seen the other Book Excerpts?
This segment discribes what the second set of court documents are all about.
Pretty rusty base plate
They get it up, but the strap wouldn't slide down on the day they hung it
Even after a car ran into it the same day as they put it up.
I guess I'm not the only one who was looking for traffic and not a gray pole.
Yah wanna check out line 19
Yah just gotta buy the book
© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. Dennis James Sattler