Monday, February 17, 2014

My husband, the (almost) felon.

I had to refrain from writing this post, even though it is obviously the craziest story you are ever going to read. It involves the police, and jail, and all that good stuff so you are going to want to read the whole thing. Because trust me, when you think it can’t get worse, it does.

So one time, exactly a month ago, Porter and I went to a Utah Grizzlies hockey game up in West Valley City. I was pumped for it because I am and will always be a GRIZZLY.

Before the game started, we were looking for a parking spot. We saw all of these hardcore fans, decked out in Grizzly gear, parking in the Costa Vida parking lot, which literally connects to the Maverick Center parking lot. There weren’t any signs saying we couldn’t park there, and we figured all of these die-hards knew what was up, so we followed their lead. Wrong decision numero uno.

As we leave the game, we make our way to where our jeep was parked. No jeep. No cars at all in the parking lot. Just a tow truck at the back of the restaurant hooking up to another car.

We make our way to the two tow truck drivers.

Me: “Hey did you guys happen to tow a black jeep liberty?”

Tow truck driver #1: “Yeah, you are going to have to pick it up at our lot.”

Me: “Were we parked illegally, there isn’t a sign out here?”

Tow truck driver #2: “You aren’t allowed to park here during the game.”

Not my question, but whatever.

Porter: “Can you give us a ride to your lot? We don’t have any way to get there.”

Tow truck driver #1: “No, I don’t have insurance for that. You are going to have to call a cab.”

It’s 12 degrees outside. All I was wearing was a sweater because I wasn’t planning on spending the next 6.5 hours outside. We walked like a mile to a hotel. Porter had them call us a cab. We tried looking up where the lot was for this tow truck company. It didn’t even exist on the Internet (and we all know if it is not on the Internet, then it’s not real).

Porter called Costa Vida and got an address. He then called the police to report our vehicle “stolen” because there was NO sign telling us we couldn’t park there. The police said they would meet us at the lot to keep the peace, but there was nothing they could really do.
We take a cab to the middle-of-no-where sketchville. There are already two people there waiting for their cars. Here is the kicker…. our cars weren’t even at the lot. The tow truck drivers said they had taken our cars to another lot and would be bringing them to us INDIVIDUALLY (aka they could charge us for more miles of towing).

They bring the first gentleman’s car. The tow truck drivers tell us that the fee for the night was going to be $289.50…in CASH. No credit/debit cards accepted. What the whaaat? We are in the middle of nowhere, with no cash, and no way to get home. The kind gentleman who got his car first offered to drive me to an ATM so I could withdraw money.

Meanwhile, the police show up. A crowd starts to gather since the tow truck drivers ended up towing nearly two-dozen cars. Did I mention it took them 45 minutes to bring the first guy’s car?

I get back to the tow truck lot with the cash. We are waiting alongside several unhappy campers. It is now past midnight. I’m freezing.

One frustrated family decides they aren’t waiting any longer and follows the tow truck as they go to pick up the next person’s car. Porter makes polite small talk with the police and then asks out of curiosity:

Porter: “Are they allowed to take our cars to a different lot?”

Cop: “Yes, if it is a secure lot that they own.”

Porter: “What if it isn’t a secure lot?”

Cop: “If it is a public lot and is not protected or locked up, then you can go take your car.”

Bingo. Just then, the family that had followed the tow truck calls a girl still waiting in the lot with us.

Girl: “They found our cars! They are just sitting in a parking lot a couple of blocks from the stadium!”

The tow truck drivers had literally been taking our cars and dumping them in a pawnshop parking lot so they could tow as many as they possibly could (rather than take the time to tow our cars to their lot ten miles away). Everyone jumps in cars and takes off to the pawnshop. Porter gets in a car with some random guys. I had learned that we needed $289.50 in exact change, so the kind gentleman offered to take me to a gas station to break my last $20. I was not about to give these guys a penny more than what they demanded.

After I got the change, the kind man drove me over to where we thought our cars were. That is when all chaos broke out.

The tow truck drivers were trying to box everyone in the pawnshop parking lot with their massive truck while everyone jumped in their cars and tried to take off. I stay across the street with my new friend and watch Porter get in our jeep.

I see Porter start to make his way out of the parking lot when one of the tow truck drivers jumps in front of him. Porter stops the car. The driver is screaming at him and then slams his hands on the hood of our car. All of the sudden, this crazy lady comes out of nowhere and rams the guy out of the way. She then motions to Porter and tells him to drive while multiple cars follow behind.

I am still in the car with my “friend,” and he floors it so he can follow our jeep. Porter pulls into a gas station so I can get in the car with him. We are freaking out a little, but we got our car back, so we were happy.

It’s now 1 in the morning. I’m exhausted and so ready to go home. As we pull out of the gas station, a police officer starts to follow us. No lights, just following us. We try to get back on the freeway when we realize we are in a right-turn only lane and so we have to pull into the parking lot of a random hotel.

That’s when the cop’s lights go on. Porter stops and waits for the officer to come to the window. He asks Porter a couple of questions and then tells him to get out of the car. I stay sitting there, petrified. My phone is dead, so I have no one to call. I haven’t taken my asthma medicine and I can feel my chest start to tighten up. I try to keep myself calm.

I glance in the rear-view window to see them questioning Porter.

Cop: “What are you hiding in there?”

Porter: “What are you talking about?”

Cop: “What are you hiding in your sweatshirt? Take your arm out of there!”

Porter: “I don’t have one.”

That’s right jerk-face cop, not everyone has two arms. I mean for crying out loud, his sweatshirt is SEWN SHUT, there isn’t even a sleeve…

I start to feel pains in my stomach…I realize I have been waiting to pee for like three hours. An officer finally comes up to me.

Me: “Excuse me, have we done something wrong?”

Cop: “You haven’t, but your husband has.”

Me: “What has he done?”

Cop: “I can’t tell you.”

Me: “Well, I really need to use the restroom, is there any way I can go inside of the hotel?”

Cop: “One minute.”

Fifteen minutes later, he comes back and escorts me to the restroom like I’m some sort of convicted felon. When I come out of the bathroom, there are three officers waiting for me in the lobby.

Me (trying to stay calm): “Is everything ok? Where is Porter?”

Cop: “He is getting booked.”

Booked? What does that even mean? Like jail? For what? I’m so confused, but also so relieved because I seriously had held my bladder like a champ for so long.

Me: “Booked? What did he do?”

Cop: “He is being charged with aggravated assault.”

Assault? Does he realize Porter is literally the kindest human being on the face of the planet?

They ask me for my statement. I give it to them. I explain to them that the other police officers told us it was ok to go get our car.

Cop: “If that police officer told you it was ok to kill someone, would you do it?”

*No you idiot. I’m not stupid. But in case you haven’t noticed, I have not had too many run-ins with the law, so I don’t know the system.*

I sit in the hotel lobby, alone, trying to keep my asthma under control all while three police officers watch me like a hawk. They won’t answer any of my questions, but they kept telling me I wasn’t in trouble.

Me: “Then why can’t I leave? My jeep is outside.”

Cop: “Well where would you go?”

*Gee, I don’t know. You’re right; I should probably just keep sitting here for no reason. *

After over an hour, I see another police officer drive up. He walks into the hotel.

New cop: “Are you Carlie McKeon?”

Me: “Yes, where is Porter?”

New cop: “He is in the car, just filling out a statement. You are his wife right?”

Me: “Yes.”

New cop: “Well how come you don’t have the same last name?”

*Oh trust me I have tried. But I found that working with government agencies, like the one you work for, aren’t exactly efficient so it has taken me a little while. *

Me: “Why did you book him? What is going on?”

New cop: “Oh, we didn’t book him.”

What the what? At this point, I now understand why the West Valley City Police is the laughing stock of the state.

New cop: “The tow truck drivers were claiming Porter hit them with the jeep.”

Me: “Well he didn’t. I saw the whole thing. Is the tow truck driver hurt in any way?”

New cop: “No. There isn’t even a mark on his body. As of right now, I don’t have enough evidence to charge Porter. I’m going to turn it over to the attorneys and let them handle it. If there is a case, you will hear from them in 3 weeks.”

Me: “And if there isn’t a case?”

New cop: “If 3 weeks comes and goes and you do not get a letter, then no case is filed and this will all go away.”

I see Porter get out of the cop car. I run to him. This whole time I had just pictured him sitting alongside big, tough criminals in a jail cell.

Porter: “Did they not tell you where I was? I told them to let you know.”

Me: “No! Where did you go?”

Porter: “They took me to the tow truck drivers to work it out. The cops tried getting me to lie by telling me that you had said one thing, even though it wasn’t true. They tried saying that you had told them you were in the car with me and stuff.”

Those dirty dogs.

At about 2:30 a.m. we finally got to leave. By the time we got home, we were so freaked out we couldn’t sleep. I literally just sat in bed.

Four weeks have gone by and we didn’t receive a letter. We even looked it up to see if a case had been submitted, and nothing came of it. We literally had to endure the longest night ever for nothing.

At least we have a good story to share with our future children. If nothing else, we learned a valuable lesson in being honest. Porter and I told the truth, and stuck to it when the cops tried to get us to say otherwise, which helped us in the end.

It turns out the tow truck drivers changed their story 3 different times. First it was Porter hit him with his car. Second time he said the side mirror on our car hit him. Third time he said Porter charged him in our jeep and he had to jump out of the way to keep from getting run over.

The tow truck driver then made a critical mistake. He told the police that as Porter drove away, he rolled down the window and flipped him off. Time out: Porter doesn’t roll like that. Also, he has one arm. How was he supposed to drive, roll down a window, and flip you off with one hand? That would take serious talent.

Almost every single person got away that night with their cars. Instead of making like $6,000, the tow truck drivers walked away with $289.50 that they made off the first gentleman. The best part is, the tow truck drivers were in such a hurry to tow as many cars as they could, they failed to take any vehicle information so they can’t go after anybody.

The next morning, both Porter and I called our mothers to tell them what had happened.

My mom’s response: “Wow, that’s crazy. Don’t worry about it, nothing will come of it.”

Porter’s mom’s response: *busts up laughing* (I seriously love that woman so much)

Porter didn’t end up having to go to jail. I didn’t hyperventilate and die. All is well in the world again.

The end.