Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hit and Run

Seriously…what a fucked up night.

note: I’m ok!! :) And this is a long post.

It happened Friday night/Saturday AM. David and I met my best friend and her guy at this cool local bar she found online that was in between our two locations. We get there about 11:30pm, the parking lot is full, as well as the grassy area next to the place, but there was one spot available on the street behind a silver mustang. We checked for tow away signs, no parking signs, painted curb, etc. You know, all the things that point to “do not park here.” Plus the mustang was parked there too—so I parked. There was tons of space for those parked in the parking lot to back out. They had the parking lot, then another strip as wide as the street, then the street. Perfect spot.

We went inside, found our friends, sat down, and ordered drinks. The bartender laughed at me when I asked for an apple martini. He said they didn’t have any martini glasses but he knew how to make them. My turn to laugh. I then told him that I’m not that fancy, I’ll take it in any cup if he’s willing to make it. The bartender found something vaguely resembling a martini glass without the stem. Much gratitude, Sir!

Honestly I would have taken it in a plastic cup, haha.

We couldn’t have been there more than 20-30 minutes when a group of people came inside asking for the owner of the silver scion (me). I acknowledged that it was my car and then they dropped the news on me. Driver of a truck hit my car while backing out, got out of the car and looked at the damage, then drove off. As they were just walking out they were only able to get a brief description of the vehicle and the first three numbers of the license plate. We thanked them and got the description from them. Immediately I asked David to call the police while I called in a claim to my insurance company—this car that I’ve only had for TWO weeks that isn’t even mine yet. I mean it is, but its not paid off so technically the dealer still owns it. They told us it was a ford dual cab truck, either 250 or 350. A blue-green color and that the first three numbers of the plate was Q37. We thanked the people who managed to catch the driver fleeing and they were on their way. I never thought to ask them to stay or get their names or contact info.

David and I both give the information that we have to the insurance company and police. We took a few photos of the damage and decided it would be a while before the police got here—so we went back inside to finish our drinks. We hadn’t even gotten halfway through them! 20 minutes later a Seminole County Sheriff’s Deputy calls David’s cell and asks us to come outside. First she tells me since my vehicle was struck in the street (or is in the street) it is not her jurisdiction and she would have to call FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) out. She asks me to tell her what I know anyway. She was really nice and sympathetic. The first thing she said to me was that she was sorry this happened to me, seriously a nice person. I was really pleased especially since my last encounter with the authorities. She told me that it might be a good thing that FHP has to handle it because she would just write up a report and then I would be “on my own” whereas the state trooper may be able to “look into it.” That confused me but whatever, I was just happy that we were getting this handled so quickly. Oddly enough I stayed calm so far. The deputy told us we might as well go back inside and have a drink while she waits for FHP.

The bartender gives me my next drink on the house (it was a noticeably smaller glass) and we wait. We tried to ask him if he knew the driver based on the description and who had just left. He told us a lot of people just cashed out and while he may know the regulars he doesn’t know what they drive. My bestie’s bf thought that the bartender was being a little shady.

Finally the state trooper gets there. The deputy who responded initially came inside to let us know. Apparently another sheriff’s car came to join the party. I pull my insurance card and drivers license out and notice the three officers talking. So I walk over to the car and get my registration out also, as the deputy told me I would need it. I then walk over to them and wait. When the trooper decides he finally wants to acknowledge me he asks me what happened. I tell him. The next thing he says to me was “Well why is it in the street?” I figure he means why it is not parked straight (the vehicle that backed into mine pushed my car back about 3 feet and diagonal to the curb). I tell him that well it was right behind the mustang but when the guy hit it my vehicle was moved. He said, “Well it’s in the street, still.”

Confused I ask if I wasn’t supposed to park there. That wasn’t it. He proceeded to lecture me with this fucking infuriating smirk that I should have known better to park my vehicle in the street. Especially at a bar he said. He motioned to the empty spaces in the lot and the grassy area as better options to park. I stared back at him in disbelief. He looked amused. I, however, was not fucking amused. The attitude came out, “Are you saying that this is my fault?” I can’t fully remember exactly what he said, but I was not very nice, nor was I rude. Just a very angry tone. (It’s only exact words if in quotations, if I’m not sure I just write it as story)

No he said, I didn’t say it’s your fault, but you shouldn’t have parked there. It’s so easy for someone to just back up and hit your car. He then gets mad at me because of the tone of my voice and I assume the nasty glare I had on my face. He starts to give attitude back by saying I shouldn’t have parked there, I don’t have any information to give him—I interrupted him and said I have partial plate number and description of the vehicle—he picked back up with “That’s not good enough.” He continues on, staring right back at me as nasty as he could. I wasn’t backing down. I called him out. I was the victim, or rather my car. I didn’t get pulled over, he was supposed to be helping me, not berating me. He continues but I interrupt him again not wanting to listen to his bullshit, not deserving to be lectured for something bad happening to me, and honestly not wanting the next thing he said to be the thing that really set me off, “Do you need my information or not”, as I hold my hand out (it had all my papers). He did need it, but he decided to say not yet and get a few more words in. I didn’t listen, just glared right back and said, “gotcha” to affirm I understood whatever I didn’t pay attention to.

He asked for my papers, said he would write up the report then go inside and talk to the employees. We asked if he would be able to get a list of the people who opened tabs and closed them out at about the time my car was hit. He replied that he would speak to them inside. At one point someone behind me, I’m not sure who (not David, I asked him), during the Lindsay vs. Trooper evil stare down grabbed my shoulder tightly. I assume for moral support or to say please don’t attack. I think I broke eye contact first and looked over to the deputy for help.  She was the initial responding officer so I felt like she was “my” officer. I was pissed so I said to her I don’t appreciate his amused smile and I am not happy with this current situation at all. The trooper had already walked off to his vehicle. I began to storm off over to the steps but she told me I couldn’t really leave right now. I told her I just wanted to sit down over there. She obviously felt the tension and I may have snapped at her. She asked why I was now giving her attitude (as if she understood why I was pissed at him), I told her I don’t mean to but I’m really freaking out now and I need to sit down.

FHP was in his vehicle, the deputy left, and we sat down on the curb waiting. Within a few minutes another trooper arrives. What the hell do they need two people here for??

As we waited we talked about how the only way to work with cops is to be polite to them even if you don’t want to. I said normally I would agree but this situation is fucked up and also I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m the victim and was not expecting to be treated this way. You don’t get respect from me unless you give it. That’s how it works. Different story if I’m getting pulled over for something I’ve actually done. We joked around while we waited, making fun of the trooper and discussing how we thought things should have gone. The trooper took his time and I could hear him talking shit about me to the other trooper but I didn’t care. Finally he was finished and called me over. He was respectful this time. He joked a little bit, and I in turn was nice to him. We made sure the car was drivable and the officers went inside to talk to the bartender and staff.

I don’t know if he thought he was being nice or helpful or what. Maybe he thought I was younger and wanted to “parent” me. I don’t know but it really took a calm, controlled situation into a terribly awkward and uncomfortable situation. In the end everything was ok, I didn’t go to jail for assaulting an officer, the guy changed his attitude and in turn so did I. However I really don’t think he will be looking into it whether it’s a can’t or won’t. I read online in a post someone wrote that the police weren’t able (or wouldn’t) to find the driver with partial plate and description but their insurance company was. So I am certainly hopeful on that. Also my mom will be asking any officers she knows if they can help us. I think I should also contact my lawyer. My dad says I should contact FHP and report a complaint against the trooper since he was such a douche during a time where he should have been supportive and helpful.

All I know is if we catch this guy I am so pressing charges. I’m a sad panda. I wasn’t able to open my car door but my dad came over and made sure we wouldn’t break it when we gently forced it open. Yay, we can open the door again and the damage looks exactly the same (aka not worse). He told me I needed to write everything down ASAP once I wasn’t spitting mad and before I forget it all. So this is that.

new car  broken car

Pretty new car! And then Pretty new car with ouchie :(

 

And I know it could have been so much worse. I’m just hoping we can bring some justice to this situation.

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