May 20, 2014

TAGGER

A few days ago one of our company's tour bus drivers, Steven, arrived at the end of his tour with a fairly amusing story.

He said he'd been inching his way through downtown traffic when he noticed a cop busting some hooligan in the rear-view mirror. The cop had apparently been in a car behind him and Steven noticed him jump out of the car and yell at the dude, "Hands up! Let's see your hands! Get down on the sidewalk, NOW!"

As he pulled away he saw handcuffs go on the guy, but as he turned the corner he lost sight of it and dismissed the whole incident. San Francisco is a big city and when you drive a tour bus through downtown traffic almost every day of the week you see all kinds of strange things. Steven said he thought that the cop had simply recognized some gangster or street thug that they'd been looking for.

But that wasn't the end of it. After Steven had traveled a couple of blocks the cop caught up to him in the same car and lit him up.. he was pulling him over, and Steven's heart raced. Our tour bus drivers are commercially licensed and they try to be very careful in traffic, as a point or two off their license could mean suspension or possible termination. This is their living, so getting a ticket is a really big deal.

Steven opened the bus door as the officer approached and then stepped inside the bus.

"Hi sir, how you doing? I just wanted you to know I was behind you in traffic and observed a vandal tagging the rear of your bus with spray-paint."

Steven was quite relieved to learn he hadn't done anything wrong, and he accompanied the officer to the rear of the bus to observe this..



The tagger was handcuffed in the back of the police car, which turned out to be a plain-car with no markings and the officer was a plain-clothes guy. He explained that the little hoodlum dashed out between two parked cars and started tagging the bus right in front of him, not making him as a cop. Not only that, but the dash-video on the police-car caught the whole thing. It's a slam-dunk!

The "tag" you see in the photo isn't complete because that's only how far the idiot got before the cop stopped him.

Steven was given an incident number and told to forward it to his manager for insurance purposes, which he did. I was told the advertising wraps on a bus like this run into thousands of dollars and the whole thing will have to be replaced because they can't just dab over the tagging bit or repaint the isolated area. Hopefully a judge will impose that cost on the thug, and make him pay it off over a very long, extended period of time, after he gets out of jail and pays off the certain fine he's likely to receive.

Living in a city like this and traveling through congested areas as much as we do, we often see vandalism and assaults go down and think, "Where's a cop when you need one?" Nice when that actually pans out, eh?