The Street Racer – Our Days in Court

In the time between issuing the excessive speeding ticket and our the first court date, the Street Racing Hot Line worked out the wrinkles in their new system and figured out how to deal with Mr Corvette Driver.  As a result, Mr. CD had his licence revoked for a number of weeks and he found himself wallowing in the ranks of prohibited drivers.

On our first court date Mr. CD was more than thirty minutes late for his appearance.  This did not go over well with the Justice of the Peace, who sternly asked for an explanation as to his tardiness.  Mr. CD showed great humility and gave the court his apologies, saying he had missed one of the three public transit buses required to get him from his home to the court house. 

The JP gave this some thought before accepting Mr. CD’s apology, and then sent him to registrar to set another date with the warning to NOT be late for his second court appearance. 

When Mr. CD sputtered and asked why his case couldn’t be heard then, the JP said there were other cases to be heard whose defendants had been on time.

I love a judge with a good, healthy sense of justice, don’t you?

Our second court date came around a few weeks later.  With only a few moments to spare before the courtroom opened, I still had not seen Mr. CD when scanning the numerous faces waiting in the corridor.  Sprinkled in among defendants were other police officers and bylaw officers.  I recognized one motorcycle officer and went over to say hello.  We ended up talking about the reasons we were in court this day, and shortly after realized we both had previous dealings with Mr. CD.

I was frustrated the defendant was not yet at the courthouse; I suggested perhaps Mr. CD had missed his bus and it was the following reactionary comment from my motorcycle colleague that can be described only as divine intervention.

“What are you talking about?  Mr. CD’s already here.  I saw his car parked outside,” he said.

The next few moments were a flurry of Q & A, and by the end of it we had determined the following:

  • Mr. CD’s driver’s licence had been revoked and he was currently a prohibited driver
  • Driving while prohibited is an arrestable offence
  • While none of the police officers present at court could put Mr. CD behind the wheel, Mr. CD’s bright blue Corvette was parked out front of the court house
  • A check of the licence plate on the Corvette confirmed Mr. CD as the registered owner
  • the probability of Mr. CD being the one to have driven the Corvette to the courthouse was high
  • my motorcycle colleague was going to sit in on the trial and watch, as he knew Mr. CD could get up to some serious shenanigans when in court.

As I took my place in the court gallery beside the motorcycle officer I looked around.  The one person I was searching for was absent, but just as proceedings were about to begin Mr. CD snuck in the door and took his seat.

The Justice of the Peace went around the room, everyone stated their names, and cases were called to the bench.  All the guilty pleas were heard first, fines and adjusted payment schedules were doled out, and time ticked down to when we would take the stand. 

Finally, we were called.

The two of us stepped forward and proceedings began with my taking the witness stand and explaining the facts as they occurred in the original street racing post.  Mr. CD then had the chance to cross examine me, which he did.  That’s when it got weird.

Between questions on how long I had been a police officer and inquiries if I had ever been permitted to give expert testimony on my ability to give a visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed, Mr. CD introduced his argument that there was no way, in the 1.5 blocks we had travelled on the date of the alleged infraction, that a Crown Victoria weighing in at xxx pounds could have reached a velocity of xxx kilometers an hour, even if travelling at a high rate of speed down a hill with a 5% grade.  And yes, that’s really how he talked.

After much deliberation of the calibration of my police vehicle’s speedometer, of my years experience as a driver, and of the sheer ridiculous thought that Mr. CD had been street racing on the day in question, the JP finally instructed Mr. CD to get to the point. 

Mr. CD held his tablet of notes up with a flourish and he paced back and forth as he started his cross examination.  Several of his questions prompted a terse response from the bench with direction to keep the questions on subject, and when such a demand is made after the JP pushes his glasses to the end of his nose so he can better visually penetrate the person he is looking at, you had better heed the warning

Eventually, Mr. CD took the witness stand and gave his version of events.  He denied almost everything, saying he had been driving at the speed limit, admitting only to exchanging words with the motorcycle riders; he said they simply commented on his nice car.  He even went so far as to say his beloved blue Corvette was in storage as he was abiding by the driving prohibition he had been issued.

It was at this point my motorcycle officer colleague quietly slipped out of the courtroom. I’m the only one who noticed.

At the end of the traffic trial, the Justice of the Peace found Mr. CD guilty of the excessive speeding infraction, stating the validity of the officer’s evidence weighed heavily on his decision.  Mr. CD did not have his fine reduced, but he was given an extra few months to pay it down.  Mr. CD gathered his papers together, stuffed them in his briefcase and stormed out of the courtroom.

I gave the customary bow to the JP and pushed out of the courtroom door only to find my motorcycle officer friend waiting outside.  He saw me and quickly pulled me into a nearby doorway.

“We have his car under surveillance.  If he drives, we’ll have him,” he said in a conspirator’s whisper.  

We turned our radios to the channel the traffic officers were using and listened to them give updates as Mr. CD was followed covertly out of the courthouse.

“He’s walking down the sidewalk.  He’s out on the street walking towards the driver’s door of the Corvette.”

A two second pause.

“Shit! A patrol car turned down the street – he stepped away from the car and back to the sidewalk!”

Another pause, this time a little longer.

“He’s back at the Corvette.  He’s opening the door and he’s in the driver’s seat.  Ignition.  We have ignition!” the excited voice exclaimed, “He’s northbound on Hornby!”

Moments later, with a news TV crew in tow, one of the motorcycle officers stopped the Corvette, handcuffed Mr. CD, and arrested him for driving while prohibited. 

God knows where the TV news crew came from, but the entire incident made the 6 o’clock news that night.

Their story was a thing of beauty.

Karma – the force generated by a person’s actions to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence

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