Get a Ticket – Get a Date?

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This one registers a solid 10 on the Creep-o-Meter:

A woman (I’m leaving her name out on purpose) was recently pulled over for “speeding” by Chicago cop, Chris Collins. The cop issued her a piece of payin’ paper, but apparently that was merely foreplay. Collins later did a search for the woman’s home address in the state motor vehicle database, then went to her home and left a note on her car asking her out on a date.

Here’s some of the actual text, first published after the AP got hold of the court documents:

“It’s Chris … that ugly bald Stickney cop who gave you that ticket. … I know this may seem crazy and you’re probably right, but truth is I have not stopped thinking about you since. I don’t expect a girl as attractive as you to … even go for a guy like me, but I’m taking a shot anyways.”

The note concludes:

“I did cost you $132 – least I can do is buy you dinner.”

Drew Peterson, you’ve got an amigo!

Not surprisingly, the woman was extremely creeped out by all this – which she not unreasonable construed as mildly threatening in addition to being extremely invasive of her privacy. In her lawsuit, filed shortly after finding out she was being cop-stalked, she described the “great fear and anxiety” the situation caused her and that she felt she was being “manipulated” by Collins into some sort of sick, force-fed “relationship” with a person who is probably someone she had hoped to never see or have to deal with again.

The story is interesting on several levels  because it gives us insight into the cop mindset. For one, it shows us that some cops don’t realize how menacing they are to non-cops. That being confronted by an armed, costumed man anointed with literal life-or-death powers is not pleasant. The obliviousness to the gross inequality of the power relationship (the cop has all the power; his captive, none) is disturbing. In a bar, a woman can turn on her heels and walk away from a suitor she’s not interested in. But this woman had no such option – and more, was under extreme pressure to be compliant and submissive. To pretend she didn’t loathe Collins, because Collins had a badge and a gun and state-sanctioned power to impose punishment at his whim.

Then there’s the matter of Collin’s contempt for the privacy of his intended paramour. His egregious violation of (supposedly) private information. To all who dismiss the concern many people have about giving the government open access to our private information, here is why.

And more: Does anyone doubt that such things are routinely done by those with access to our private (cough) information? This cop easily found out where his prospective “date” lived and felt no compunction about going there, without even a flimsy official excuse for doing so. It reminds one of KGB cretins such as Lavrenty Beria, who had a special liking for the nubile daughters (and wives) of his political targets. Come, step into my office. I see you are the daughter (or wife) of Comrade Smirnoff. Perhaps you can help me… .

In this case, no obvious threat was made. But threat is always implicit in any interaction between a cop and a Mundane. That’s the point here – and the reason for the 10 on the Creep-o-Meter. This woman had to fear that declining the cop’s advances might result in consequences.

It is an entirely reasonable fear.

And who would she file a complaint with? Other cops? That saying about foxes guarding hen-houses comes to mind… .

Probably there will be no meaningful repercussions for Collins. He will explain that he meant no harm; that he was just trying to be, you know, friendly.

Yet it goes without saying that if a non-cop performed this sort of stalking, the outcome would likely be very different. A non-cop hacks into the state motor vehicle database, acquires the home address of a woman and then shows up at her home, leaving creepy love notes for the poor woman to find on her windshield. End result? A felony bust and upon conviction, a likely (and deserved) tag as a sexual offender or at least, a known creep to be kept at several arms’-length distance.

But Collins will likely receive The Usual: A few days or weeks of “administrative leave” (that is, paid vacation) and perhaps a reprimand or demotion. The likelihood of him being thrown out of the cop shop for good – and perhaps thrown into prison  – is slim to none.

After all, “heroes” deserve special treatment.

Throw it in the Woods?

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Well, you could view the women as over-reacting, especially as he fined her. Or you could read random stuff out of it, everyone’s going to have a different view anyway.

  2. Eric,

    The scenario you describe has been going on longer than you imagine. I had a partner during the 60’s who engaged in a similar practice. He would write a cite for a valid infraction on the graveyard shift to an attractive female. The voiding of such a cite would require his obtaining ALL copies of the cite to turn in to the traffic sergeant. He would show up at her door after his shift change to “obtain her copy of the cite”. This was the only way the cite could be voided and more often than not resulted in a “date”. I was uncomfortable at the time with this situation but never ratted him out believing that “no harm” was done. The “victim” was issued a valid cite but got a pass in exchange for “value received”. My partner enjoyed the benefit in lieu of the local government. To my knowledge all parties were satisfied with the exchange. That however, did not justify it.

    It is a barter transaction as old as humanity but your selection of graphics is creepy and suggests an element of duress that I never encountered.

    • By his nom de blog, I reckon this poster to be much, much more than an “Alpha” male. Indeed, he is a Lambda-Epsilon-Omicron-Nu-Iota-Delta-Alpha-Sigma male! That’s almost three fraternities-worth of Greek. I don’t know how many on this blog are likely to agree with him, but–clearly–attention must be paid.

  3. I don’t know about Illinois, but in Pennsylvania a driver license holder’s address appears on the credit card sized plastic license next to the licensee’s picture. Is this not the case in Illinois? Why did the creepycop have to refer to a computer database to find the woman’s address?

    Thanks.

    D. Shaw
    Mechanicsburg PA

    • It may have been like SS numbers, which some states put on the DL (and which you can have replaced with a “customer number” if you so wish). Perhaps she just had a mailing address or Po Box on the DL.

      In any case, the relevant issue here is abuse of power. Having a male cop show up at a female’s home address soliciting dates can very understandably be construed as threatening.

      • I just read the link. It sounded to me like someone wanted to get some free money. I am sure libertarians are all for people robbing the money from the government. Oh, we are the government/our tax money that these people try to steal from. Oh, did you happen to notice the lady did not just sue the person that she said did wrong but also the “village of Stickney” . Yes you can not get enough money from just one person. You also have to rob the city/village/ordinary innocent people of Stickney.

        Are Libertarians for this kind of thing?

        • When a government thug abuses its power, then his victim is entitled to pursue recourse – criminally and civilly. I know cop-worshippers such as yourself cannot imagine why a woman might be skeeved out, even frightened by having the cop who recently wrote her a ticket show up at her home entreating for a “personal relationship” – but most everyone else can.

          Cops – who have power over us – have an obligation to avoid any appearance of the misuse of that authority. Giving a woman a $140 ticket and then – with the ticket active – showing up at her home, could reasonably be construed as an attempt at quid pro quo. You do something for me, I do something for you.

        • She has to sue the city, not the cop, because cops are granted sovereign immunity…that is, they can’t be held personally accountable for their crimes in most cases.

        • @Clover “Are Libertarians for this kind of thing?”

          No dumbass, libertarians are for not having the police (or any other bureaucratic functionary) do “this kind of thing” to begin with. Why don’t you try using this kind of romantic “persuasion” on one of your subordinates on the job and see what it gets you and your employer? Can you say sexual harassment lawsuit, Clover?

  4. I live in the hinterlands of Iowa, but the community of 25k is largest for 60 miles. Two years ago a cop [Galen Hindt] chased and tackled a twelve year old kid for shooting off fireworks (that the kid was black may have made it less alarming to the public); the comments in the local paper were the extension of military worship [keep us safe, blah, blah] which very few interested parties countered (honestly, it was only me over three days). A year later Hindt tells a previously unknown woman ‘unless she goes home from the bar with him, he will have her arrested for DUI’. She did, and he’s going to trial for third degree sexual abuse and extortion.

  5. Yet another shining example, from Karen Kwiatkowski in today’s LRC:

    To summarize my five predictions for the coming year, let me share a specific local story from a friend of a friend. A young man of 20, who happens to be a Ron Paul supporter, on his way home from his job in a local restaurant is stopped at a police “checkpoint” in our small town. Without cause, the cop asks a lot of question, to which the young man answers honestly. “No, I don’t have any drugs or alcohol. I work and am driving home.” The cop, ignorantly believing that the convoluted law he “enforces” resembles the Constitution, states that [suddenly] he smells marijuana. The car and the young man are thoroughly searched, and temporarily detained. The cops eventually become bored, and the young man is released. The next morning, his mother, who lives in another town, calls the local police department and makes a vociferous complaint. The department spokesperson said, “Yes, ma’am, of course we found drugs on your son. Isn’t your boy the African-American kid?” 50 years of civil rights flushed, stupidity and arrogance on display, and white and black equally insulted by a state which seeks to divide generations and races.

    • True story:

      In the mid-’90s my Dad was stopped for “speeding” in PA. To set the stage, my Dad is a retired MD, in his ’60s at the time. So, well-dressed, older white guy, well-spoken and not the least bit confrontational. But he was driving a red Camaro.

      Well, the filthy bastards “ask” whether they can have a drug dog sniff the car. My dad, who has never touched drugs (not that it’s relevant) and certainly doesn’t look or act as though he ever did (think: Bob Dole) foolishly consented. He was stuck by the side of the road for an hour, waiting for the drug dog to show, then waited while the drug dog sniffed the car. Of course they found nothing and eventually sent him on his way – but what if the Camaro my Dad owned at the time had previously been owned by a pot smoker who left a burnt-out joint under the seat? Or – entirely possible, given the incentive of asset forfeiture laws and the known corruption of police – they simply said the dog “smelled something”? Boom – cuff and stuff an old man, impound (and likely steal) his car.

      Never consent to a search. Never answer a cop’s questions. Give them your license and paperwork. If they ask you a question, politely say, “I’m sorry but I wont be answering any questions this evening.” And: “I do not consent to any searches.” Repeat. Followed by “Am I free to go or am I being detained?”

      • some years ago I was stopped at night “why do you drive so slowly?”. I gave the right answer “its wet, slippery and Im a stranger in this town”. And the cops asked (violently ignoring the 2 pot-smoking girls in the back seat) “Where do you want to go? Follow us, we lead you”.
        Thats protect&serve!

        And once I was stopped by a female officer…some hours later I placed her under my…uh…private arrest and we played games with her handcuffs;)

        But such things can only happen in relaxed countries.

      • By his comment above, Clover demonstrates a degree of incoherence that betrays his incapacity to actually use words at all. I do believe his brain has passed the point of no return: 49 percent brain tissue, 51 percent cauliflower.

        Regarding your story about your father, it is scary, the over-the-top commitment of time and effort the police put in on the stop, based on nothing!

        I wonder if, after a reasonable amount of time had passed, what legal standing (maybe I should put “legal” in quotes) your dad would have had to say something like, you have detained me long enough, and request to leave? What if it had taken two hours for the dog to get there? Three hours? At some point the cops would have had to decide to let him go … what’s the cutoff? What would their response have been if your dad had just said, enough is enough, I wish to leave? Certainly not suggesting that he just take off, but pointing out the obvious?

        A long time ago I read somewhere that it is not unheard-of for cops to apply the dog-training scent to their palm and then lean on the car body, then call the dog which then “discovers” the presence of marijuana. Full disclosure, I’ve no idea if this is true. I’ve long forgotten the source. It’s not beyond the pale though, is it?

        • The strategy I’ve had recommended to me by people who know (cops and lawyers) is to be very calm, low-keyed, polite and non-confrontational, but to decline to be drawn into any conversation, especially as far as answering the always-leading, will-be-used-against-you questions that a cop will invariably ask. Instead, simply state: “I”m sorry, but I won’t be answering any questions this evening.” Repeat, each time the cop tries to ask a question. If the question is, “Ok if I look in your car?” Your answer should be, “I don’t consent to any searches.” Hold your ground, even if the cop gets angry and tries to intimidate you. He may go ahead and search the car anyhow, but if you clearly refused consent (which will hopefully be recorded on the video/audio) the odds are decent you’ll prevail later, in court.

          Remember: No matter how nice a cop may seem, if you’ve been pulled over, you are being investigated. The cop is a pro, schooled in obtaining evidence to use against you. Do not give him anything. Do not “help him do his job.” His job is counter to your interests.

          Never forget this!

        • Gail, an acquaintence (that spent some time in a Mexican prison for his entrepreneurial enterprises) said he was importing agricultural products into the U.S. back in the 80’s. He had to stop in a line of vehicles at the border. He saw the authorities searching vehicles up ahead with a dog. So he said he walked a few vehicles ahead of his car, leaned on the side of an old Mexican man’s truck and asked him what was going on. The old man told him they were probably looking for drugs or illegals. The whole time this fellow was rubbing a block of hash on the old man’s truck door. He said sure enough, the dogs went crazy on the old man’s truck, the Federales pulled him over and waved the rest of them through. If this guy was smart enough to pull a set up like that, you can rest assured that “trained professionals” will get you if they want you; no matter how clean you are.

  6. Lets just hope the cop gets what coming and that is getting fired and losing his states license/certificate as a cop, and that he possibly gets charged criminally. As far as what to get to replace a ’93 Cherokee, I say get a late 90’s, 2000-2001 Cherokee with the 4.0L. Love mine, highly dependable, still fairly easy to do routine repairs on, and those 4.0’s are virtually indestructable.

    • Agree on the durability of the 4 liter six – my only issue with the recommendation in re 2000 (or newer) anything is that it’ll be OBD II and subject (in most states) to emissions testing. If you buy an older vehicle, pre OBD especially (ideally, pre-computer, period) you will probably be age-exempt from emissions testing and even if not, the emissions standards for those models are much lower because they came with much more basic controls. These controls are also easily (and inexpensively) repaired, if necessary. I would not want to own a late-model car with close-coupled cats (and two more downstream), 2-4 O2 sensors, etc., that’s 12 or more years old and has more than 100k on the clock.

      • Fortunately in rural Missouri they don’t “sniff” the exhausts on cars during inspections (yet, anyway). But I concur on staying with pre-2000 vehicles. I’m very fond of my ’93 Wrangler (4.0L) for the afformentioned reasons. The engine is amazingly tough and certainly runs a lot better than grandpa’s “straight six”. I just did a total exhaust system upgrade on it plus new injectors. While I was under there, I replaced the O2 sensor (orig. had 150K+ on it). All of that was easily accomplished in a weekend, including mods involving cutting and welding the shifter pivot shaft bracket (the Borla header isn’t designed with an auto tranny in mind).

        I drove it back and forth to work all week and thought the gas gauge was broken! If I can find an early to mid ’90s Cherokee with a 4.0 / 5 speed I’ll jump on it if the body’s in decent shape. The very nature of Jeeps enures that parts and accessories will be available virtually forever.

      • Thanks Eric – and TimL, Boothe and Don too – for the ideas RE my Cherokee.

        The Jeep only has 108K but here in snow country rust is becoming manifest underbody. The car runs well and I’ve taken good care of it. I’ve personally replaced radiator, hoses, belts, master cylinder as well as the routine stuff. The gas tank has recently developed a leak at the junction with the filler neck and the front U joints are creaking.

        I had the tranny rebuilt at 90K and some years ago – beyond warranty of course – the rear differential locked up, necessitating a new axle. My cousin who replaced it said it looked like a pinion, possibly flawed, came apart.

        I’ve seen a good looking ’84 300 Turbo Diesel for sale at $3900 but I’ve been skittish about its 285K miles.
        Maybe that shouldn’t concern me so much.

      • I put 150000 miles on the company cherokee with the 4 litre and an AOD trans. Always did the job. Then I retired. The car is still being used. No idea on the miles now.

  7. “Then again women are attracted to men in uniform…”

    Exactly, but only good looking Alphas. If that were the case here, his note would have had her floating on air, but since that wasn’t the case, it’s sexual harassment.

    I agree, definitely creepy.

    • And: Real Alphas are not bullies. They like a fair fight – and only fight when it’s unavoidable and necessary. So you’re increasingly less likely to encounter one wearing a uniform these days.

      • “They like a fair fight – and only fight when it’s unavoidable and necessary.”

        I’ll second the latter part of that motion. As for the first, I most definitely do not like a “fair” fight. I wised up as a teenager (ancient history) and abandoned that notion. I prefer the fight scenario that ends quickly with yours, truly, healthy and victorious. I’m fit, but can no longer reliably outrun most punks. So…show me fists, I’ll pull a baton. Wave a knife, I’ll draw my f’arm. Most important of all: anticipate, and then avoid situations where any of those options might have to be exercised.

        Don’t know where that puts me in the Greek alphabet. Don’t much care.

        • I stand corrected, Jay – right on.

          If you have to fight (that is, you’re forced to fight) do whatever’s necessary to end the fight quickly and at as little cost you as possible.

          Well said, sir.

          • Thanks, Eric. Remember “The Rockford Files”? I always like the Rockford style for fights: Use any ruse or prop–a misdirection, wisecrack, cheap shot, spatula or whatever–to at least slow your opponent(s) down enough to book out of there pdq in your cool Firebird. I think male viewers could really relate to that style, and females liked it for its toned-down testosterone. Which is just one reason the show was so popular.

            • Yup! Rockford was one of my favorite shows growing up – and a formative experience, too. Of course, the car – and Rockford’s driving example – helped!

  8. I have a 85 Mercedes 300SD (turbo diesel) It is a fun car that gets over 30 mpg, no computer, easy to work on, no smog, reliable and with 500 gallons of fuel in a tank out back, I think I can get around with an EMP or not.

    • You forgot to add all-but-indestructible! Those cars are known for going 300 or 400k between major rebuilds and the bodies seem to last forever, too. Great cars!

  9. So you mean to tell me all I need is an official-looking badge, uniform and gun and what was once “sexual harassment” becomes “friendly”? Well hell looks like I should have been a cop!

    And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that, hypothetically, if I were to do this, they’d skip over the “minor” sexual harassment issues and go straight to the grave and unforgivable offense of impersonating an honorable defender of domestic freedom. That we just can’t allow under any circumstances.

    Anyone remember that email that circulated years ago, things to do when you’re bored? One was to slick your hair back, put on sunglasses, park your car on the side of the road, and point a hair dryer at people and watch them slam on the brakes. Always wanted to try that for a few chuckles but it’ll probably get you tazed at a bare minimum these days.

  10. What a completely desperate dude! He should be terminated from his position, the department policy tightened up if necessary, and more. Someone should introduce him to internet dating. Creepo

  11. I don’t understand why the media is saying he searched the database to find her home addresss. Especially the story being repeated locally and not corrected.

    In Illinois a person’s home address is on the driver’s license. The one the cop takes back to the cruiser and then if his department is behind the times copies the info on to the ticket of which he retains a copy. More advanced departments have the computer in the cruiser print the ticket. But the info is still on it and the cop still keeps a copy. Even if he didn’t have the address on the ticket or keep a copy he could just write it down or memorize it when he had the license in his hand in the cruiser.

    Furthermore, unless one has a bond card or the cop is being nice, one’s license is taken for bond in Illinois. So again, he has lots of time with the information… no look up required.

      • “A hose to hose you with”
        That’s certainly a possibility, but it appears that one end of the hose connects to the dashboard vent and the other appears to go down the driver’s shirt collar. Perhaps a way to direct cooling air beneath body armor, or…. well…. depending on how far down the hose extends… let your imagination roam!

        Eric – your site’s terrific. I’m looking to replace a 93 Cherokee with something similar. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

        • Hi Duke – thanks!

          On recommendations: A ’70s or even ’80s era Wagoneer is one of my personal favorites. But an older Bronco, CJ or International can be a good choice, too. The downside is these models have become very popular during the past few years and priced accordingly. Still, they’re tough and almost endlessly fixable/rebuildable…so provided you’re in it for the long haul, even paying $15k or so up front (which is about what decent drivers are going for, from what I can tell) is a good investment….

      • Yes it’s an AC hose to blow cool air inside the body armor. I worked a little on a prototype to do the same with ice water. Draw back is that it requires a specialized undervest and the AC hose doesn’t. Advantage to the H2O system is that one can use it away from the car.
        As for the cop. In the current climate white males are typically terminated on the first offsense of this nature. Females and minorities not so much. (with a notable high priority exception here in Minneapolis).
        K-

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