This post from Ron Ray, retired LAPD
Ok, here goes—
It was the late seventies. I was working Hollywood morning watch. My partner had just finished writing a ticket at the intersection of Santa Monica and Western. We were in a parking lot across the street from a local dive bar and since it was close to closing time we decided to sit and wait and snag a DUI driver leaving the bar.
We did not have to wait long and saw our future arrest come staggering out of the bar and start walking to his car parked at the curb. As he walked to his car we noticed that he was placing his hands on other vehicles for support as he walked. He gets in a late fifties Cadillac, starts the engine, cranks the wheel, and punches the accelerator. The car makes a sharp U-turn from the curb, tires are screeching with rubber burning and it goes blasting east on Santa Monica to the entrance to the Hollywood Freeway.
The guy has a lead on us and my partner does some driving to catch up. We are south bound on the freeway about three miles or so before we get the guy stopped and pulled over on an off ramp. We get him out of the car and one thing is readily apparent.
He is old. His driver’s license says he is 89.
One other thing becomes apparent. He is not under the influence. No booze on his breath, no nystagmus in his eyes, and his speech was clear and distinct. We asked him if he had been drinking and he said he had not had a drink in fifty years. We asked him what the hell was he doing in a bar then. He replied that he lived in an apartment down the street from the bar and went there because he was lonely and he could talk to people. We asked what the hell was up with his driving.
He replied, “I was sitting there in the bar when someone come in and says that there is a black and white parked across the street. Someone else asks, ‘Hey, Pops you want to earn some money?’”
“They pass the hat, everybody kicks in a few bucks—I think twenty to twenty-five. They say, ‘Take this money and go take the cops on a wild goose chase’……so I did.”
We kick the old guy loose. I am laughing, my partner is fuming. We race back to the bar and of course find it locked up tight.
All the cars gone, not a soul around.