Category Archives: THE CRAB DIARIES (Maryland)

Life experiences from our time while living in, and anything while associated in Maryland. Posted every calendar scheduled full moon as of March 2016.

THE CRAB DIARIES: THE ROADMASTER

If you have been following along, you may remember one of my previous posts that speak about one of the worse vehicle’s I’ve been in: Dodge Aries.  I was never fond of that vehicle and THANK GOD that I never was given this vehicle as my daily driver.  I might’ve done something to it that probably would’ve gotten some not so good responses from certain people.  However, this is not a continuation of that post, but if you want to read about it just look for the title – K Car of Stress.

I remember my father had a 1992 Buick Roadmaster Station Wagon, which to me at the time, was probably one of the best vehicle’s we owned.  I can’t remember how long we had the station wagon, but needless to say I was not happy when my father no longer owned it.  In my opinion I think my father is hard on vehicle’s, but known how most American vehicles were built in that era a lot of them didn’t last long anyway.  So I can’t say that my father was the sole purpose for us not having the station wagon anymore, but it’s possible that his driving habits could’ve helped it along.

It wasn’t very long before the station wagon was used more for hauling job equipment and bowling gear nearly every day of the week.  Of course, the tan interior took a beating and began to quickly wear and tear.  However, what would you expect for the interior to be since my father bought it used and not brand new.  As a matter of fact, I don’t ever remember my father buying brand new vehicles, but that is for another day if I ever decide to go that route.  The interior had a specific smell that only my father could create, but it wasn’t an unpleasant smell, but definitely smelled like his job.

It’s amazing how when you are growing up of how you can differentiate smells between your parents.  My mother wasn’t very much of a make-up and perfume person, but at times she wore perfume that was so strong that it got in my mouth and tainted the taste of my Sugar Bear cereal.  So I suppose you can say they each had a smell that would signify him being a man and her being the woman.  That was definitely the way I would describe how inside of the Roadmaster smelled, but like I said it wasn’t unpleasant.  The only unpleasant thing about riding in the station wagon was being with him.  I could never feel extremely comfortable while being in the car as if I was always on edge that he would criticize me for something or keep bugging me about if I cleaned up behind the dogs or not.

The only way I can best describe the feeling being inside that car was that his spirit was not at rest.  If you have been around someone who has an uneasy spirit and you know that anything could come out of their mouth, you will remember that unsettled, uneasy feeling, nervousness that surrounds you.  I felt like I could never actually be myself, but always reserved and tried not to concentrate on that feeling too much.  As a young child or teenager feeling like this shouldn’t be, but it was there for a reason.  However, despite that I still enjoyed riding in the car, but it was way too big for my mother. LOL!  I think she only drove it a few times when she absolutely needed too!  It was a good vehicle to have for long road trips, but it was awesome to sleep in if you were in the back!  Too bad we didn’t have this vehicle for very long or maybe we did, but don’t remember for how many years.  Whatever the case maybe I believe this was the best station wagon he ever owned, and I’ve ever been in.  Definitely, near the top of my list!

Henry Scott

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THE CRAB DIARIES: K CAR OF STRESS!

THE CRAB DIARIES – THE K-CAR OF STRESS

If you grew up at any time during the 1980’s you had to have been in one or knew someone who owned one.  You saw these things EVERYWHERE and almost every neighborhood had that one resident with one in the driveway or parked on the street in front of their house.  Our house was no different and I have to admit that it was a decent looking vehicle, but the operations of said vehicle did not follow that same feeling.  I am not for certain where the vehicle came from, but I was told that it came from my grandmother, who was still alive at the time and living in Washington, D.C.  She was getting older and was in no need of a vehicle, so my father gave it to my mother for her personal transportation.  Still to this day, I am not 100% sure where the vehicle came from or confirm the origination, but I can tell you sure that my love for this car was not shared with many.

We had a 1986 Dodge Aries, brown with tan interior, and was always under some mechanical or maintenance service.  I’ve never seen a car that had their brakes worked on as much as this vehicle; nearly every weekend I saw my father working on the brakes.  The car was loud and embarrassing to drive, but my father didn’t dare drive it unless my mother put up a large enough fuss, however, my father would claim that there was nothing wrong with the car.  Okay, I suppose the car hesitating as you are crossing the highway or pulling out of a turn is just all in our minds!  It is not a good feeling when your mother turns the corner to cross the road and the car hesitates so bad that it feels like it stalled out.  You look to your right and see a van come barreling down the road, expecting you to move or anticipating for you to move and is not slowing down.  Then suddenly, the car kicks in and you nearly spin tires just to get out of harm’s way.  YEP!  Our imagination is so strong that we can make things happen in reality.

I can’t tell you enough how much I hated this car with a passion and did as much as I could to avoid being picked up in from school, friend’s houses or anywhere in between.  It was loud and always had something rattling underneath it, and what made it even worse was when the interior ceiling cloth began to sag.  This made it even more embarrassing to be in and around the car, and my mother soon just got tired enough of it and torn down the interior ceiling cloth.  BOY!  Was that a mistake!  Each time you got in the car you had to dust yourself off because all the particles that were being held in place by the cloth, began to fly around inside the car and just infiltrate your hair and clothing.  You dared not to eat in the car because tasting ceiling dust with your hot and ready McDonald French fries was not healthy!  There was never any motivation to fix the car and have it stay in the family for years on end, no motivation to put money into it so that my mother would have a safe ride, but my father was doing okay with his car so why should he bother?

I often told my mother, as she came to pick me up from high school, to come in through the rear parking lot and I’ll just run to her!  She understood completely about how I felt being in that car, but it was her only transportation provided to her.  I am not sure if she was working at this time or not, but she wasn’t able to buy another car for herself; and what made it even worse was that the car was in my father’s name.  Anything in his name he wanted to keep until it wasn’t worth keeping anymore, or attempt to trade it in and wonder why he gets laughed at.  How can a mother and son feel being in this car when suddenly you hear your muffler detach from the bottom of the car, hit the road and just drag along the ground making that awful metal to concrete noise that you can never forget!  Driving with your hazards on, trying not to look horrified as cars pass you staring at you and just trying to get home so you can be ready to set on fire!  Not really, but I wouldn’t have been hurt if it she did.

My father decided that the best way to fix said muffler attachment issues was those thin metal hangers.  The very old school way to reattach a muffler until you was able to do it permanently, but I am not sure if that ever happened.  This car was just simply a death trap and my mother did everything she could to avoid driving this P.O.S.!  Thank God when I started driving we didn’t have this car anymore and my mom ended up with a brand new Dodge Neon, emerald green.  I don’t know what possessed my father to give my mother this car, but it was one of the worse decisions he ever made for our family, which have been many!  I am not 100% sure of what happened to the car, but I just know that our terror with this thing was finally over.  The loud noise, the smoke it caused, the overheating, the failed power steering, the ac unit going down numerous times, hubcaps missing, interior lights working intermittently and numerous dirty stains on the seats and carpet.  In recent years I’ve seen a few here and there, but in no way the shape that our BROWN DEATH car was in, and much quieter.

My father’s side of the family was cheap and/or frugal to the point that they would keep a car so long until it wasn’t worth the money anymore.  I understand that some vehicle and brand names you do just that, however, if the car is CONSTANTLY giving you the same issues over and over again, either replace those parts with brand new parts or replace the whole system or just GET RID OF THE DAMN THING!  I love working on cars and trucks and customizing them and spending some time on them, but once you start getting into the electrical parts of the car, unless you know someone or have an idea of how to fix those issues, it’s time for that car go.  My mother did what she could to have this car stolen, blown up, damaged or just not work anymore so that she wouldn’t have to drive it.  It was so bad that if she drove it more than five miles it was a fear of it overheating and not starting.  I, mean, the stress of this damn car was just overwhelming and finally it was out of our lives FOREVER!!!!

I don’t ever want to sit my ass in one ever again, unless somehow they reinvent it completely like the Dodge Charger or Challenger.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon, but of course you never know!! My most hated car in history!!

What was or is your worse car ever?

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: GUESS WE CAN’T GET ALONG

HAPPY FULL MOON!

You know, in our society today, getting along with other cultures and nationalities seem to be more of a challenge in some cases, but in other cases you see unlikely allies. Seeing cultures, and other societies, getting along with each other in a peaceful fashion and coexistence, it can sometimes bring you hope and possibility of things working out in the future.  However, on the flip side of that cultural coin, some society divisions can’t and will not get along no matter what is proposed or what solution is warranted for them.  In these situations in order to get those cultures to coexist with each other sometimes is to have some sweet deal or some mutual understanding that would not affect them in a negative light.  As we see with negotiations between countries and social-intellectuals, where forcing an agreement can be a long and very lengthy process.

Well, this day actually showed why some African nations, and clans, don’t coexist and why that continent is always having some kind of turmoil. When all hell broke loose inside the Marriott Hotel, most of us were working an overtime assignment; Maryland Terrapins football game.  I can’t say that I was happy I wasn’t on regular duty, patrol, because with this huge ass mess that happened no one was safe from being called in to assist other officers.  What I do know is that I was working the overtime assignment when a call or alert tone came out that made everyone’s heart skip one or two beats.  Our day began with a normal briefing of the football game and who Maryland was playing, however, I don’t recall anyone mentioning some African sponsored event during our briefing either.  I can only say African because I certainly don’t remember the clans that were fighting each other, but I do know they were from somewhere on the African continent.  My overtime assignment was somewhere not too far from the Marriott because I was one of the first officers, not on patrol, to respond and arrive on scene.

After this immediate assistance to our officers was called out over the radio, I either got the authorization or just took it upon myself to leave my post and go to assist my fellow officers. Sometimes when shit hits the fan you don’t have time to follow the protocol, chain of command or ask for permission to do things.  Especially when your fellow officers are in dying need of your help.  What made this call for assistance even more immediate was that the officers working on the overtime event and patrol officers are on two different radio channels.  So that would mean that the dispatcher had to relay this information of a mass fight at the Marriott over several different channels, which could be done at one time with one button.  As I am screaming, meaning the speed of my cruiser, towards the Marriott Hotel on campus, UMUC, the incoming traffic for the football game is still coming.  At the same time we have kids playing around with footballs, and doing other activities through the parking lots and crossing the street.

Now, I am probably less than a minute away from the hotel, and I am approaching one of the traffic circles. Cars and trucks are moving out of my way, barely, and traffic in and around the circle is still there.  Finally, just before I enter the traffic circle vehicles started to find ways to get out of the way to only allow me to loudly screech tires around the circle.  I remember one lady’s face as I came around the circle with the cruiser leaning hard to the right, and tires skipping and sending ear piercing screeches.  Her face was like the sound of the tires were hurting her ears as she sat in her vehicle ready to proceed through the circle after I left.  In the short distance left to the hotel, I must’ve topped at about 80mph before screeching one more time around the corner through one of the hotel entrances.  Once I finally got there, and ran into through the hotel doors with other officers, everything was quite.  I was expecting all kinds of loudness and people running around the lobby area, but little did I know the actual area of problems was inside the auditorium.

After the doors of the auditorium opened up, it was like the sound inside the room just exploded outside. The only thing I could remember was that the room was full of smoke, some people with partial clothing torn off, covered in eggs and rubbing their eyes and coughing.  Little did we all know, who are just arriving, that pepper spray was used, eggs were being thrown from both sides and that it was more of a political event.  For a while I had no idea what was going on and who was who, except that we had the duty now to kick every one of them out of the hotel immediately.  Trying to get them out of the hotel, which I found out it was two different groups that hate each other, was the one of the hardest part.  Hotel staff had to tell both groups that they are no longer welcome there anymore and were banned from ever attending the hotel in the future.  Apparently, some of the attendees were arrested and transported to the regional jail, while others were forced out and put on their respective buses.

The whole situation probably took about more than an hour to settle, and probably several more minutes to get them to leave the hotel grounds. As far as I know not much damage was caused in the auditorium, but enough for it to be shut down for a few days.  Later on, I found out that the two groups that were fighting each other, are also fighting each other over in their home country and the hatred or dislike toward each other is just as strong if not stronger.  The last thing we needed was other cultures and groups bringing their fight and anger toward each other from one country to ours.  I can’t say we are much better at that either, but I think you get my drift on that statement.  HOT FRIED MESS!

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: LIVING UNDER THE FEARS OF THE DC SNIPER

Real life experience from Maryland

This was probably the most terrifying time to live in the Washington, D.C. area.  Approximately a year after 9/11, which was the worse attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor and the Oklahoma City bombing, we were once again in fear.  Many people remember the words of the former leader, Osama Bin Laden, who claimed that one of his goals was to sabotage and bankrupt the United States.  For many citizens living in this area, we all began to think that maybe this is the second part of his planned attack on America.  However, for three weeks, we all lived in stress and with extreme uncertainty of what will happen and who will be the next victim of the DC Sniper.  I remember I had just finished my year long tour at the Pentagon and Ft. Stewart, Georgia when all this started.  During this time I remember getting a call or somehow being told that the National Guard was a possibility of being called out if these sniper attacks continued for a certain period of time.

Thinking of going back in full military gear to catch one or many snipers terrorizing the area was not appealing, but motivating because I wanted this to end just as badly as anyone else. How could you go through life not knowing that you will be the next sniper victim and be able to concentrate on your daily activities?  I remember seeing most gas stations being less populated, and most within the Montgomery County area were either not being used or if they had people there, they were very quick.  My fear was being at a gas station when or if the shots rang out and one of them strike the hose of a gas pump.  At that point we would all either go up in huge flames or gasoline would just contaminate everyone, putting us in massive risk for a static charge to ignite us.  Each time I went and got gas I had my head on a swivel to see if I could find anything or see anyone that would spark my attention.  I never saw anything during this period.

One of my most memorial times during this stessful moment was when I entered the Capital Beltway, Interstate 495 and 95, and saw a massive back-up.  There was nothing but brake lights all up and down both sides of the beltway with county and state police cruisers flying by us with their lights and sirens blarring.  Nearly any suspicious vehicle that matched a previous description or any white box truck that looked suspicious were stopped anywhere they were.  So if you had a white box truck in the area at the time, I felt sorry for you because ultimately you became a suspect because of one eye witness.  It was later determined that the eye witness who saw a white box truck leave the area of one of the shootings, misidentified a suspect.  The driver of that white box truck stated he left the scene immediately because he was deathly afraid.  So as he left the area, he sped off which made him look like a possible suspect.  Victims dying at the hands of a sniper, and none of them were tied together or had any connection together, was extremely mind-boggling.  Random killings will and can stomp an investigation from moving forward at the pace that is needed.

For the first time in my life I started to worry more about my family members being caught up in this terrorist act, and wondered how would I emotionally respond to that.  I can thankfully say that none of my friends and family were victims of this brutal plot, but unfortunately, some can’t say the same thing.  Since this has passed in our history timeline, other copy-cats have tried to mach this behavior in other parts of the United States.  Thankfully the massive cooperation of local, state and federal police agencies worked well-together to solve and catch the DC Snipers before more death and terror continued.  At one point I was thinking how would the world look if you have your National Guardsmen patrolling the streets with local and state agencies?  What would’ve been our Rules of Engagement if we were to get called out?  Would Martial Law be declared for the area?  State of Emergency?  All these things ran through my mind constantly as I was preparing myself mentally to go back into that mode for which I just left.  I thank God that we were not used for that purpose and that we were able to left on standby.

I tell you, the not knowing whether you or someone next to you was going to be the next victim.  Everyone was watching everyone and I’m sure police caught themselves respond to massive amounts of suspicious vehicles and persons during this three week period.  Since that time it would appear that many people forgot that it wasn’t only stressful for the citizens, but for police too, who were tasked to solve this investigation ASAP.  Some people began to speculate that it was probably international terrorism that was responsible, to complete their second part of the 9/11 attacks.  All in all it was homegrown terrorism with one of the snipers being a veteran, John Allan Muhammad, who served in the first Gulf War, and a seventeen year old companion, Lee Boyd Malvo.  Needless to say Muhammad would get the death penalty and Malvo would receive life in prison, which is what they were sentenced with after their days in court.  Situations like these is what can transform an area and the police departments, but whether that be good or bad is completely up in the air.  I think the area was transformed, but in some ways bad and in some ways good.  I suppose it depends on the individual people you ask.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: SUFFERING UNKNOWN

Real life stories from Maryland

*Graphic Content. Reader discretion advised*

You read about celebrities committing suicide, Hollywood and professional sports, and you mostly hear one statement that comes out of the death investigation, ‘mental illness’. I often wonder is mental illness getting that much worse in our society or it is just being reported more, a better understanding of what to look for and how to deal with it.  This story also falls in the category of if you see something, say something!  We would often get numerous calls of suspicious vehicle and people nearly daily, and they sometimes turn into something bigger.  However, for this incident if someone had actually said something and called us, we could’ve saved a life and saved a family from heartbreak.  In speaking to the witnesses after responding to the scene, I clearly remember two witnesses, while in the computer lab, watched this individual for two hours straight; with clear signs that this person may need help.  A simple anonymous call to the police would’ve possibly had us take him to the hospital for an emergency evaluation.

Yes, I was slightly bothered by what they told me, which stuck out to me to be clear signs of someone needing intervention. To give you a better sense of the situation without going into great detail of how everything panned out, we were dealing a person who unexplained committed suicide by jumping from a four-story garage.  Normally during your death investigation you would find something, no matter how small or big, that could possibly explain why this person took the dramatic ending that they did.  From what I know nothing was found, but that doesn’t mean something wasn’t found later.  I remember receiving this call over the radio, as one shift was ending their night, for a male having seizures.  Putting everything together, and connecting the timelines from all the people involved, he was just minutes from being discovered on top of the garage.  Even with cameras posted in strategic spots with clear view of the garage roof, not one spotted him coming and eventually going over the side.

I remember we all thought it was a crime scene at first and thought he might’ve been a victim of foul play. As we worked vigorously to save his life doing CPR, he was too far gone, and too severely injured to bring him from the reaper.  Oddly, just the thought of my time in Afghanistan is what calmed me down and slowed down my thoughts enough to be able to think through the situation.  Several minutes later, the ambulance finally arrived to use the AED and take him to the hospital, but we knew it was too little too late.  I can honestly say this was the absolute first time that someone passed away in front of me.  The evidence that was left behind after the ambulance crew removed him, gave more reasons why he had no chance of survival.  For all we know we may never know the deep root of the personal problems that haunted this person, but yet again another family was robbed of a young precious life suffering.  I sadly understand that some people may not want help, but the ones that do we need to step up and help them out.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: EARLY LOST

Real life experiences from Maryland

Graphic content. Reader discretion is advised.

The loss of life is always heartbreaking, especially when it involves a young person who hasn’t had a chance to experience life after their education career.  You can ask any law enforcement officer around and most will tell you a story that involves a death that has stuck with them.  Well, this is definitely one of those type of stories that has stuck with me over the years.  This was in no way my first time seeing a deceased person, but in the manner that the person was discovered is the image that continues to burn in my memory today.  Thank God I have not suffered nightmares or severe PTSD from it, but just something that I will never forget, and it also serves as a reminder how precious and sensitive a young person’s life is.

I remember it was either late afternoon or early evening as I was patrolling the campus when a call came over the radio about someone bleeding heavily. Of course, once I received the call I immediately turned on my lights and siren and got there as fast as I can.  Thankfully the traffic, both vehicle and pedestrian, was not that heavy and I was able to get there pretty quick.  I discovered later that one of our officers was a lot closer to the dorm than I was and could’ve easily jumped the call, but it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run.  Still under the impression that this is an attempted suicide call, I rush into the building and jump on the first elevator that opens up.  Perfect timing!

Two other students came on the elevator with me and all three of us got off on the same floor; maybe the 6th or 7th.  The elevator doors open up and I go right as the other two go left, which was the proper direction for the dorm room.  Once I realized I went the wrong way, I turned around and started back down the hallway towards the elevators.  After you pass the elevators, you have to go through a set of double doors and then another long hallway with some more dorm rooms.  Immediately after I walked through the double doors, I see two students in the middle of the hallway in just tears.  Once they see me, they pointed into the room where I needed to be.  When I entered the dorm room, I was extremely shocked on what I saw as I was not prepared for the scene.  My shock was written on my face for a brief second when I saw this young college student hanging from the end of a scarf.

Not a site for anyone to see, regardless of how many times you’ve seen death and destruction. Another student was in the room as I entered, and of course, she had to be told to leave and close the door behind her.  Under sheer adrenaline I ended up cutting the scarf before EMS and the fire department arrived, which I was educated on not to do.  Not to describe the entire scene, but it was discovered through our primary investigation that she had been there for nearly twelve hours.  After wrapping my head around the incident, I started to think that none of her neighbors, on both sides and across the hallway, knew what was happening and what just occurred.  Everyone else got up the following morning going about their day, passing her room, and no one still had the knowledge of what had taken place.  She was only discovered by one of three other roommates that lived in the room and happened to return earlier than expected.  I often wonder how many times we pass people, places and things and not aware of what is happening.

Of course, it wasn’t an easy thing to notify her other roommates of what just happened, but I was thankful I didn’t have the duty to phone the parents; our detectives were blessed with that tasks. However, a scene like this wasn’t helpful in me getting rid of the ‘Angel of Death’ curse I was supposedly stuck with; but now that curse appeared to have attached to someone else and hasn’t returned to reclaim my soul.  I would like to keep that away from me as much as possible!  Only time will tell with that as there is no discrimination!  Sometimes you have to be thinking what signs were missed or how many times were her calls for help ignored, or maybe she never wanted anyone to know about her situation.  The sad thing is we will never know, but we can still help others from going down the same road, to meet the same fate.  There is no easy answer or one track to battle any signs of depression, as each person is different, but sometimes just being available for someone and providing a shoulder can be a great step.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES – EGGS IN ONE BASKET

Real life experiences from Maryland

As most rookies joining the police force, I was very excited to be able to pursue a chosen field of law enforcement. My beginning was interrupted at first, before I even had a chance to get on the road and wear the uniform.  During the last few weeks in the police academy, my class were at the emergency vehicle operations course, learning how to maneuver a cruiser at high speeds.  Well, at the end of one class one day, as everybody was leaving the parking lot, I got to my car and noticed that I had a voice message.  Once I got into my voice message and heard my team leader in my National Guard unit telling me to contact him ASAP after I get this message, my heart basically dropped as if I already knew what the call was about.  It was about mid-June in 2003 when this happened, and instead of me calling back my team leader, I decided to head straight to the armory to find out myself what was going on.  It was at this point that I was told that our unit was being deployed out of the country, to an unknown location, near mid-July.  The horrible news that it was to me, I was more concerned about not having enough time to get things in order and to having to drop out of the police academy early.  However, when I looked at the date of our deployment and when we were supposed to meet up at the armory, it was on my mother’s birthday, the same day we were due to graduate from the police academy.  Needless to say, I was not able to graduate with my fellow classmates, and neither could my command staff allow me to join them later at Ft. Dix.  Of course, my concern was that I may have to do the academy all over again, but it was brought to my attention months later, that I would be able to be plugged right back in with another class.  Then by May or June 2004 I ended up finally graduating from the police academy getting my new career started.

Although I was given more time to finish my FTP (Field Training Program) due to my absence for nearly a year, it wasn’t needed, but that didn’t mean it was easy for me going through the process. I ended up with a FTO who was very particular in his set of ways, health and fit nut and demanded perfection, at least attempt to do your best and not slacking.  Throughout the entire FTO process, except near the end when it was time for me to be cut loose, we butted heads a lot, but of course, my arguments were always overruled by either him or the squad sergeant.  So a lot of times I kept to myself, and even at times I knew the answer to certain questions, but was afraid to get it wrong due to being castrated by my FTO for not knowing it.  However, through all the frustrations I had with the process I ended up gaining a nickname of “Eye of the Storm” all because I would stir up trouble, even on Sundays, when it was nice and quiet.  Time and time again I lived up to that name, and in this one particular incident that nickname would become nearly branded for life.  Not sure what night it was, but I remember it was while we were working evening shift, sometime near ten o’clock, and my FTO was in the passenger seat looking out his window.  As I drove passed one of the parking lots on campus, he motioned to me to turn the vehicle around and enter into the parking lot.  It was like clockwork when we entered the parking lot, because the two suspects, who were trying to break into another car, saw us and drove off.

Now, if you are trying to escape from the police in a car, your best bet is not to use your getaway vehicle as a Dodge Caravan. It was the old version Dodge Caravan, the model that would normally have the engine smoke and leak oil!  This was their getaway vehicle as we were in a police package Crown Victoria, fully marked and lighted up.  Once we made a U-turn in the parking lot to pursue the suspects, they left the parking lot and campus, and back on to the road we just came from.  I quickly sped up and caught up to them within a few seconds, but before I could even get my hand on the radio mic, my FTO grabbed by habit he said.  Immediately, after he called out the registration plate, which I believe was a D.C. tag, and it came back stolen, I turned on my blue and red lights.  Well, after my lights were turned on, the driver stomped on the gas and attempted to elude me in a DODGE CARAVAN!  By this time the pursuit was called out over the radio by my FTO as I was just concentrating on driving behind the van and not lose it, HAHAHA!  The van made a right turn at the second light in front of us, and then took a merge lane on to the four lane highway that cuts through the city and by campus.  Maybe within a minute after getting on the four lane highway, another one of our cruisers pulled up to join the chase, which had two sergeants in it.

They stayed behind me, to me left, as I stayed with the van doing approximately 70-80mph. At this point I am excited and my adrenaline is pumping in thinking that they will keep straight for another few miles, hit the D.C. Beltway and it would really be on.  That part of the excitement was short-lived when they turned back on to campus and came to a complete stop about 200 feet past the entrance.  After a second, all four of us got out of our cruisers, weapons pointed at the van, and ordering the driver to exit the vehicle as we were conducting a felony stop.  The most bizarre thing happened, and caught all of us off guard, when the driver jumped out, facing us with his hands up and the passenger jumped in the driver seat, closed the door and took off in the van.  Here I am, with my FTO and two other sergeants with our weapons pointed at a guy standing about six and a half feet tall looking at each other as to figure out our next move.  My FTO finally said to the two sergeants to go after the van as we take care of this suspect we have now.  They both jumped back in the car and pursued after the van as I was giving my suspect orders to get on the ground to be arrested.  Unknown to me, there was another cruiser coming up behind my cruiser as I was leaning over to search my suspect, and the next thing I remember was seeing a silver streak, bright headlights and a quick shot of a yellow parking light going by my head.  I thank God for the quick reaction that officer had in avoiding taking my head off as I was conducting an arrest on my suspect.  I can only imagine that it would not feel good, number one, and number two that explanation could get very sticky.

A few minutes later the van ended up crashing somewhere down in the city, and second suspect caught. However, that second suspect was only cited and released I believe, since I had the main one in custody.  I was so excited that I made an arrest, especially off of a high speed chase, that I was ignorant to the paperwork that followed.  The processing of all the charges and paperwork included, even with help, took another eight hours of my life that I can never get back.  During the processing though I found out that the suspect was not only in possession of a stolen tag and vehicle, but also he was drunk, had an open warrant, violated a trespass notification, had burglary tools in his possession, marijuana and a suspended license.  Not even some of the experienced officers there at that time had accomplished something like that, so the ones helping me had to learn as well, but were well adverse in the system still.  I was due to get off work at 0230hrs, but didn’t get off work until close to 0700 or 0800hrs.  OMG!  It was a lot of work for me to do and learn, but the great thing about the whole thing was that I ended up knocking out maybe a dozen or so objectives that I needed to complete in order to get off FTO.  That was the awesome thing about the whole chase and the processing, but believe it or not we were not done completely by 0700.  We came in the following day, on our regular evening shift, and had to do some touch up on the report and other officers’ supplemental reports, and other paperwork that had to be completed.

The messed up part about all of this was, as I learned about how justice works in the county, that the suspect that I arrested only got off doing 18 months unsupervised probation, and the other guy never showed up to court. Apparently, the other suspect that we caught that night of the chase gave a false name, which ended up having the state’s attorney subpoena going to an older guy, who was not charged for obvious reasons.  That night was an awesome night in the adrenaline rush, charging someone with eight or more different charges and clearing out much needed objectives, however, it sucked on the paperwork aspect of the job though.  Since that night I don’t remember having another kind of chase or night like that, although I have had plenty of busy nights working in a college town, which comes without saying I think.  It was at this point that I started to see how the justice system is in general, not just towards black men, but how they prosecute certain crimes and which ones they decide to go after.  This kind of work of the justice system really makes our job tougher to enforce certain laws and rules when we know that people will only get off anyway, as my suspect did in court with 18 months unsupervised probation.  Yet, they want you to do more enforcement, but it is never or rarely explained of how they want that to happen.  Years past and one of the sergeants that was on the chase is now a major, and the other one left to go elsewhere, but heard she might be home now being a mother.  My FTO left the agency some months or years later, and is now living in Georgia, married and happy with a child.  I hope to never forget my experiences during that time, while on FTO, and I suppose that is why I am writing about them now so I don’t.  Smart move in my book.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES – CRAWLING INTO THE WORLD

Real life experiences from Maryland

Every single one of us has a beginning to our story, and unfortunately, our ending will come as well, but how it ends is totally up to you. Just like a baby that comes into this world and grows up to be a fully functional adult, unless other medical or mental issues take hold of that person and directs otherwise.  The start of my law enforcement career was a challenging one, but nothing that I wasn’t prepared to handle, at least mentally, and the physical part came dragging right behind me.  In high school I played sports, and the first three years was either soccer or baseball.  However, in my senior year in high school I played varsity baseball, varsity soccer and football all close together.  At one point I found myself running from one soccer match, which we lost horribly, and traveling back across town to get prepared for our Friday night football game.  Although I was only just a place kicker for the team, I still had to get warmed up and be prepared to go in whenever I was needed, but I never saw the field that night.

It was always placed on me when I was growing up, by my mother, that I would either be in the military or a criminal. That sounds kind of weird for some, and may be even kind of a set-up for the worse in me, but the way I snuck around the house scaring people made her speak that statement.  For the longest time I had the goal of wanting to be a state trooper, wearing that Stetson with the brown and tan colors of the Maryland State Police, and driving those oddly designed patrol cars, but later on that was changed.  However, my dream of becoming a police officer was definitely solidified when I was robbed at gun point, which later turned out to be a bb gun, for my 15 speed bike that I had practically begged my best friend to have.  Thank God we had a police officer living in the neighborhood, and thanked the two young boys that witnessed it and biked home to tell the county officer.  Once my statement was made, and I identified the suspect vehicle and one of the two suspects, the case was practically solved within 24 to 48 hours after it had happened.  All this took place in the hot, humid and sticky summer of 1997, which later that year I joined the Prince George’s County Law Enforcement Explorers Post 222; located in Bowie, Maryland.

I first joined the police explorer program on the advice of the detective who took over my armed robbery case, and I want to personally thank her for that direction and mark her as one of the people in my life to put me where I am today. Thankfully, the suspect plead guilty for the charges he was faced with and kept me from having to testify on the stand for the state.  As I got into further dealings with the police explorer program, I was made the rank of captain, which put a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders, but I was up for the challenge.  This is where I had to learn how to deal with the public and get my first insight on how police work and operate.  I did plenty of charity and public showings, and especially dressed up as McGruff numerous times with the fan not working sometimes during those brutal summer months.  I did a few television interviews with local channel stations, which I never saw myself, and got to meet a lot of officers throughout the county.  Perhaps the most important part of the journey there was when our post won the volleyball gold medal in the Explorer Olympics, against the United States Park Police program.  Also, later during that weekend I ran the 400 meter race and came in first place, although my run time would be considered a disastrous and an embarrassment to the professional standards.

My reign as captain, leader of the group, ended when I was scheduled to go to military boot camp in the fall of 1998. The previous year, the same year when I was robbed at gun point, my father, who is a navy veteran, did his best to block me from joining the military, or I should say the Army.  No matter what my motive was and no matter what my reasons were, it wasn’t good enough, however, pushing me towards the United States Coast Guard was the goal for THEM!  This was one of the few times I’m glad I remained strong headed and stubborned, and the backing of my mother was surely a helping hand.  I think the straw that broke the camels back is when my father actually brought me paperwork to join the U.S. Coast Guard, which I voiced against, to me in the basement one night.  His side of the family wanted me to go one way and my mother side wanted me to go the way I wanted to go, but this night it all came to a massive head.  Several minutes later, my mother came downstairs and saw me in tears due to frustration and anger that my father wasn’t listening to me, and kept trying to push me in a direction he wanted.

That night my mother laid into my father about trying to push me towards a direction that I didn’t want to go. The only voice you could hear for a while was my mother’s voice, and how she backed me in my journey of wanting to join the Army.  To give you a better sense of how my father made a negative impression with this blockade, the recruiter called me a year later and asked me again if I wanted to join the National Guard still.  Of course, I was at the age of 18 and my father couldn’t block me anymore from joining the branch I so desired to join.  I even told him with a smile on my face when he came home, and didn’t give a shit whether he liked it or not.  My mother, and I, saw it as an opportunity to begin a journey of my own path and start my career with a stepping stone.  I finally signed my name on the dotted line and became a Military Policeman with the 290th Military Police Company.  One of the saddest moments, however, was when I finally left the house heading for basic training in Ft. McClellan, Alabama.  A sergeant came to the house to pick me up, and I had explained to my mother and younger sister, who years later joined the Marines, that once out the door I will not be looking back.  I kept that promise and never saw my home again until four months later when I returned home nearly thirty pounds lighter.

Those four months at Ft. McClellan were brutal when I suffered through the last four weeks of winter and my last weeks of summer there. It was a damn issue when the temperatures reached the mid 90’s with humidity already near 100%!  I made it through, but I ended up with suffering a heat injury halfway through Military Police School, which once in a while still sits with me today.  The day of graduation, in June 1999, the family came down, even the ones that decided against me joining the Army or the military altogether, and acted like they were happy for me.  I knew better, but I allowed them to have their shine with others since it was going to be a very long ride from Huntsville, Alabama back to the D.C. area.  Time back home to enjoy the civilian amenities were short-lived when my first orders were to join my new unit for Annual Training in Panama for two weeks.  I thought the hot weather in Alabama was rough, but the temperatures in Panama made the experience in Alabama like winter lasted an extra four months.  Pressing your uniform was basically a moot point since the humidity, by noon, would make your uniform look like you slept in it the night before.  Of course, the arrogant and stupidity of some officers were expressed when they got mad about our uniforms looking like shit, when they fully knew that the humidity killed it every time.  However, when you are in the officer all the time, your uniform would look crisp and clean, and not full of sweat and road dust from cars entering and leaving the base.  We did have a view of the Panama Canal if you was working one of the main entry points facing the waterways, which were a few miles away.

I was mistaken as Panamanian, Dominican, Mexican and even Columbian by the natives, and other fellow soldiers. That would explain why most of the natives would speak to me in their native tongue, and of course, I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.  Then also, when our unit went to Manheim, Germany in 2001, I believed I was mistaken to be Turkish, which if true, save my friend’s life because many Turks in the country hated American blood, it was no mistaken him to be American.  My very first taste of being a military policeman, full-time, would come just a few years later after my graduation of basic training, and would eventually catapult me into my career today.  The start of my civilian police career would also face challenges as our country was engaged in a war that many Americans, including military service members, figured we didn’t need to be part of, except invading the country of Afghanistan.  So I have been engaged in the law enforcement field for over 17 years, and have seen and been through a lot, as many other veterans and police veterans have faced a lot.  Although, I was able to postpone my basic training schedule from September 1998 to February 1999, so I could finish business school, I still ended up graduating from Fleet Business School in August 1999, after making up several days missed.  My unit was filled with several soldiers as full-time police officers, and ones that were inspired to become police officers, and nearly everyone tried to recruit me for their agency.  Knowing myself, I wanted to go somewhere on my own path and not follow others down an already grooved road.  When 9/11 happened, I was in the middle of the hiring process with a few agencies, and of course, I had to exit those processes to go serve my country.  Once that tour ended, Operation Noble Eagle, I reinserted myself back into the hiring process of a couple of agencies again and got hired by one finally, the University of Maryland Police Department (College Park campus).

The career that I’ve been wanting for the longest time is now starting to pick up steam, and the events that followed after my hire is what leads me being the person I am today. God only knew that the beginning of my career, and life, at this point would take a wild ride, that none of us were prepared for.

Henry Scott

THE CRAB DIARIES: NOVEL’S END

This very month of December 2015, will mark two years since my wife was moved back up in the northeast corridor of the country.  I remember when my wife received a call from her current employer stating that she was to start in January 2014.  What a way to begin the new year with a new job and new dreams being established on the horizon.  However, it was quickly apparent that they wanted her to start immediately when they changed the start date of her new position.  They called her back and requested that she begin her new job in the early part of December instead, which became a logistical nightmare for us.

Now with time going against us, it was my job to make sure my wife had what she needed for the sudden move back to Albany, New York; where she is originally from.  Although it was bitter sweet for her to return back to her hometown, it required us to move in with her mother and stay there until we found a place of our own.  That is a whole other story that will be under a new diary location in the near future.  It was bitter sweet for my wife because when she moved down to Maryland nearly ten years ago, she vowed to herself to never return back home.  When I first came to Albany, New York after we first met, the city was in horrible shape and it just looked depressing.  My first thoughts were I understand completely why she left and would never want to return.  Over the years, however, the city began to return back to life and its soul began to revitalize its attractiveness.  I can honestly say I’ve seen the city improve itself and grow up, but just like all other cities in the country it has its problems.

I remember moving my wife back up here on December 9th, immediately after I was done with my traffic court cases.  That very same day I received a call from one of my lieutenants inquiring about me being in possession of a New York State driver’s license.  Apparently, someone in a higher paid grade was wondering why I was in possession of a NY license and still currently employed with the agency.  Well, it was at this time no secret that the end of my employment with UMPD was approaching, but the specifics still eluded me.  For several weeks I drove back and forth, between upstate NY and Maryland every week.  I would pack up more things from our apartment, which I was still residing in, and drive back north to unload and spend time with my NY family before returning two days later.  I could not begin to tell you how many miles I was racking up on my vehicle each week, but just keep in mind that a one way trip was approximately 350-400 miles.  Driving the road so much I begin to find different routes and ways just to break up the travel; even if it added more time to the route or not.

Many nights I worked my ten hour overnight shift on patrol immediately after I just finished driving six to eight hours.  I was so well versed in my traveling that I knew whether I was going to make it on time to work or not based on when I got into PA and MD.  I could almost time it down to the minute every time I drove back to Maryland, which was a burden in itself.  Several times I did not want to drive back down because I knew it was not my home anymore, and knowing that the end was near.  It was beginning to get harder and harder leaving NY to come back down, but knowing that the book on my life in Maryland was about to end gave me motivation.  Traveling up and down the road, every single week, got old very quick and couldn’t wait for it to end.  Well, that end came in March 2014 when I resigned my position at UMPD!  I have to say that the situation was surreal and almost fantasy like.

My eleven years working with the same agency was ending, and a new chapter was beginning in a new state 400 miles north.  At first when I knew when my last day was going to be, I was very excited and happy.  However, it seemed like within a month’s time of my resignation date, I began to feel some sadness and bitter sweetness knowing that I would not see some of my friends and co-workers for a very long time and some I may never see again.  Not knowing what the next chapter would bring my way, I had the total faith that God would take care of me and direct me where I needed to go; where He wanted me to go.  Six months later I ended up in a place where He feels that I am needed and can make a difference.  For me, it will be my second year living in New York this coming April, which I must say has been a good time!  I miss the people back home, and maybe some of the experiences, but my new foot-hole has been established and new relationships formed.

I often times wondered how come I didn’t move away sooner.  The answer is because God wasn’t done with me until he put it in my heart for me to move on.  I attempted several times to leave the agency and go elsewhere, but each time the doors kept slamming shut.  I felt like I was stuck in a rut for a very long time, until the moment came true where God informed me it was time to go.  Things began to happen in such a way that I felt like I out-grew the area, the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan scene was no longer in my soul.  Constantly running around and always being busy was getting on my last nerve and not being able to settle down anymore.  I felt closed in at my job and felt like my career was stagnant and would not go anywhere.  I still love my home-state, but I will be loving it from afar.  I am in a place where I feel like my arms can expand and not touch the sides of life.  Although I cried leaving on my last day of work, and my last day being in a place where I was born and grew up, it was a beautiful day!  An exciting day for what challenges were coming ahead.

Being up here is like heaven almost, and I want to just share my joy and happiness with others.  To let people know that life can be fulfilled and enjoyed outside of your normal circle, outside of your personal bubble, world.  Growing up I never thought I would be so far away from my family because it was fun being around them, being near their spirit was comforting.  As I got older and spent time in other places and met new people, my world expanded and life became more than just the D.C. scene.  Soon enough the itch to move away further from home was apparent and a must!  Now I am in a place where I can once again be myself and do what I need to do without worrying about being watched every step of the way.  We do have our problems to just like other places in this country, but in comparison I found my happy place and peace for the time being.

Henry Scott