Dear Young Man,
I will not say all the titles I’d like to call you here because they would detract from what I have to say to you, and hope to say to you one day in court. What were you thinking last night when you pulled me over in front of my house, and claimed to be an undercover cop? You don’t know me. Why was I your chosen one?
You raced up behind me, lights in my car window, and when I pulled over to let you pass you stopped at an angle in front of me, trapping me where I was. While lights and sirens wailed from inside your car, and your buddy shone his LCD light in my car windows, you ran up and told me I’d been speeding. When I asked who you were, you told me you were an undercover cop. When I told you that you were not an undercover cop you ran back to your car and sped away. Leaving me shaken and wondering what had just happened.
What was your plan? What if I hadn’t called your bluff? What would you have done then? I can’t imagine what you were thinking.
I went in my house trembling, locked everything up and called the police. I guess you didn’t bank on my memorizing your license number and the make and model of your car. I’m glad the police took me seriously, even if it was all a joke to you. Within two hours you had been apprehended and your parents were there to pick you up. When I learned you were a high school student, I was somewhat abashed. I thought you were in your twenties, already an adult. You won’t look much different when you are, I’m sure.
I had a choice about what to do with you. Send you to jail or have you cited and the citation sent to the DA for action. I have raised my own teenagers, and I get that you sometimes do dumb things without thinking of the possible repercussions. And I chose not to send you to jail for the night. I do believe that my actions have consequences, however, and so should yours. It is not enough to just send you home with your parents and whatever little bit of groundation you might get. Will you be kicked off the swim team at the high school? Somehow I doubt it. So you were cited, and we will apparently get to meet in court one day. That is a day I actually look forward to. I’d like to look you in the eye again.
I know you thought you were just having fun with your lights and siren iPhone app and your friend’s iPhone flashlight. It’s so nice that you have those devices to terrorize people with. I don’t know you. You don’t know me, nor did you know who you were pulling over. What if I had been an off-duty police officer who was on an outing with his family? Do you think you’d have been safe? You would have been shown the front end of a firearm, without a doubt. Just because I drive a Prius and live in a quiet neighborhood that is no reason to assume you are safe to terrorize me. Yes, you frightened me, but you too could have been in danger. I suppose you didn’t think about that. At eighteen, it’s time to start thinking about the consequences of your actions.
I hope today is one filled with remorse. I look forward to meeting you again, in person, without a car window between us.