By Hal Collier, LAPD Retired

We are happy that 35-year veteran Hal Collier is sharing his ‘stories behind the badge’ with us.

This story involves an arrest that Dave and I made. I’m going to condense the arrest part, I covered it in an earlier Ramblings. We arrest this guy for stealing a car in the valley (San Fernando Valley). We get a subpoena for Valley Court. During the trial, the defendant doesn’t want to sit in front of the jury wearing the same t-shirt he was arrested in. The t-shirt was described in our well-written arrest report. 

The defendant’s lawyer wants a continuation. Dave jumps up and offers to buy the defendant a new shirt. The Judge agrees and hands Dave a $20.00 bill. Dave and I hustle to the Army Surplus store a block away and buy the dirt bag a new t-shirt.

I wonder if Dave gave the Judge his change. If not, I should get half.

The jury is back in the court room and Dave is called to the witness stand. The judge advises that they can’t swear Dave in until the clerk returns. 

Only Dave would raise his right hand and announce to the judge and jury.  “I can do this. I do solemnly swear in the case pending before this court to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” 

The judge asked the attorneys if they had any objections.

None. 

I have never heard of another officer who swore himself in during a trial.

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Dave and I responded to a radio call at Lucy’s El Adobe restaurant on Melrose.  Lucy’s was a favorite hangout for then Governor Jerry Brown. 

One night, this lady demanded to speak with the Governor. She refused to leave until she could tell the Governor how to run California. I now regret that we didn’t let her—it might have helped. Anyway we tell her she can’t talk to the Governor. 

She says, “If I can’t talk to Jerry, I’ll walk out into traffic and get hit by a car.” One of us, I’m not sure who says, “Go ahead.” 

This nut spins around and steps out into Melrose and is almost hit by a passing car. 

A motor cop who was looking for a drunk driver sees her step into the street and figures he’ll write her a ticket.

 

Dave and I wonder if we should let this nut become the motor officer’s problem. Our conscience gets the better of us.

We take the lady to the Mental Evaluation Unit for a 72 hour hold.