Yeah, I know, not a good time to be writing a disparaging story about police, but I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Two days after this incident in Las Vegas, in which the Las Vegas Metro Police truly sucked, five police officers were gunned down in Dallas by a crazed sniper.
“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore,” is often the misquote attributed to Peter Finch in the movie “Network” which premiered on November 27, 1976. What he actually said in the movie several times, in increasing volume, after he asked everyone who was listening to his telecast to go to their windows and shout it out, was “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” The quote is used a lot, especially when discussing election issues.
I was on vacation and Las Vegas was on the itinerary for two days. It was stifling hot as expected and I was already wondering what possessed me to travel to Las Vegas in July. We were staying at the Oasis RV Resort. Of course, “resort” is always a bit of an overstatement when linked with the initials RV, but it’s a pretty nice place and a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip. We’ve stayed there before and it’s decidedly cheaper than staying in any hotel in the city. We arrived from Williams, AZ around 2:30 pm. After setting up the trailer and taking Domino to the Pet Resort, also a considerable overstatement of luxury accommodations for dogs and cats, we decided to head out to the Strip to donate some money to the local economy. Believe it or not, we were traveling with two of our older daughters and were having a pretty good time thus far.
We were told that the Oasis RV Resort has an agreement with Caesar’s Palace for parking. It really doesn’t matter, because you can park anywhere, and we didn’t really get any benefit from parking, or attempting, I should say, to park at Caesar’s. If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, Caesar’s Palace is enormous, and starts at the corner of Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip) and Flamingo Road. After much discussion amongst us, we decided we needed to turn left on Flamingo Road to access the parking garage which we knew had to be in the back of the casino. I was able to manuever into the left turning lane in the usual bumper to bumper traffic on the Strip, and began following the cars in a left turn with the green arrow. As I entered the intersection, which is six lanes in either direction, two turning lanes and four traffic lanes, the light turned yellow, then very quickly red. I had no choice but to continue with another car on my left, through the intersection. I did not impede traffic. No horns were honked from oncoming traffic that hadn’t even started to move yet. No pedestrians were in danger of being run over as I slowly moved through the intersection. We are talking, bumper to bumper traffic. No way to speed through the intersection.
Within seconds, and I have no idea where they were hiding, I was surrounded by three Yamaha XT250 MX bikes with sirens and lights. I’m not kidding about the surrounded part. They came off the sidewalk, and were in the back and on both sides of the truck. I immediately pulled over into the bus lane and was greeted at the window by an LVPD officer in a Star Wars helmet, still on his dirt bike, who told me to pull forward. I immediately did so, and he parked his bike in the traffic lane causing an also immediate backup of traffic on Flamingo Road, and strolled up to the open window with the helmet under his left arm.
“You ran a red light. Put out the cigarette. License.” Rude, abusive, blunt, course, impolite, insulting, impertinent. I handed him my license which I had already pulled out of my back pocket before he arrived at the window. I’ve seen too many videos of issues being raised reaching for something in a traffic stop. He looked at it. “Insurance. Registration.” My wife handed me the documents and I handed them to him through the window. He walked off. (TO BE CONTINUED.)