Behind the Badge

Don't argue with Leroy!

In March 1987, I was on routine patrol one Friday night at about 2am. I was driving West on Indiantown Road in the City of Juptier, Palm Beach County, Florida. At that time, it was a basic two lane road in the middle of swamp land (the edge of the Everglades).

Since all Police Officer's know that 2:00am on a Friday night/Saturday morning is a "prime time" for some 'non law abiding citizens' to be on the move, I was running radar, when I observed headlights approaching. My (MPH) radar gun displayed a speed of 58mph. The speed limit was 35mph. I reset the radar, and again it displayed 59mph. I pulled to the right side of the road and waited for the vehicle to pass. I then did a u-turn and came up behind a 1964 Ford pickup truck occupied by an older male and female.

As I initiated the traffic stop, the driver immediately pulled to the right and stopped. I noticed the truck had no license plate, but in that part of South-East Florida there are a lot of 'farm vehicles' on the road, so it wasn't all that unusual. I called in my location, the reason for the stop, and proceeded cautiously to the vehicle. Both occupants set staring straight ahead. I gently knocked on the driver's window and he rolled it down. I said "Good evening Sir. My name is Officer Ginter from the Jupiter Police Department. The reason I stopped you this evening is because I observed you speeding back there. May I please see your driver's license, vehicle registeration and insurance card please". "Ain't got none" was the driver's response. "What is your name, Sir?" I asked. "Leroy" was his response. "Well Leroy, you are required to have a drivers license, a vehicle license plate, and valid insurance to drive on public roads in the State of Florida". "Son, I'm 69 years old, ain't got no drivers license, never had a driver's license, and ain't plannin on gitten one neither". Since the gentleman was so very polite, I decided to discuss his 'moving violation' with him before re-addressing the no valid license issue. "Well Sir, the reason I stopped you is because you were doing 58 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone". "No I wern't". "Yes sir, you was". "No I wern't". "Well Sir, I have you on radar which clocked you at 58mph and again at 59mph." "Radar? What's that?" Realizing that this gentleman was not a part of "main stream society" I patiently explained that radar is sorta like a camera that takes a picture of your car and lets the Officer know how fast you are driving. His response? "No I wern't". Knowing that my Sargeant would be arriving soon, I tried to 'wrap it up' so I could decide what 'charges' were appropriate. I looked at the lady who was setting silently, still looking straight ahead. She had not uttered a sound. "Ma'm, would you please inform Leroy that he was speeding?" "Nope" was her response, as she still stared straight ahead. "Please ma'm". "Nope" she responded again. "Why not Ma'm?" "Officer, I've been married to Leroy for 52 years now. If there's one thing I've learned in 52 years of being with him it's YOU DON'T ARGUE WITH LEROY WHEN HE'S DRUNK"!!!!!! When my Sergeant arrived he gracefully took over the situation. I couldn't continue. I was laughing too hard!!!!!

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