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My First Experience with US Law Enforcement, on my 3rd ever day in the US!

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  • My First Experience with US Law Enforcement, on my 3rd ever day in the US!

    Hi all,

    I just realised that I never got round to posting my first ever experience with US Law Enforcement, which happened on my first ever visit to America - it was an interesting first 3 days to be sure!

    To set the scene, I'd been accepted for an internship at San Diego State University for the summer of 2004 - unfortunately the university accomodation was too expensive, and so I'd turned to rental ads on the web to find something. I was able to get in contact with a guy who owned several apartments, including one near the university, and he agreed to help me out.

    I arrived on a Friday evening and after waiting for an hour at the airport met the guy who was organising my accomodation - interestingly he was arguing with a Parking Warden about whether he could stay longer than a couple of minutes in a pick-up/drop-off spot next to the arrivals lounge, and had just put a suitcase on the sidewalk as "proof" that he was unloading!

    Anyhow, after that introduction we went for a drive around San Diego, while he gave me some background on himself, apparantely he'd been in Army Intelligence, and had invested in Microsoft at the right time, and made lots of $'s off that. He said he was going to put me up for the weekend in a house near the beach with a couple of girls so I could socialise (the campus was pretty quiet as it was the summer).

    So I was at the beach for a few days, and on Mon morning headed into campus to meet my supervising Prof. We discussed the project etc, but then something happened which turned the whole visit on its head...

    Just after the meeting with my Professor, I met the accomodation guy, to check out houses near the university. We had just pulled into the parking lot of a Jack-in-the-box, and he had walked off while I started to get my jacket out the car...I suddenly hear a lot of shouting, and turn round to see 3 cop cars have blocked the entrance to the lot and the accomodation guy is being frisked and handcuffed. As I walk over, one of the cops sees me and I get frisked too, whilst I explained how I knew the guy. Once they'd figured out that I was an innocent Englishman abroad, they said "Well sir we've saved you a lot of money - this guy is a major Con man who we've been after for 3 months!" It was pure luck one of them saw the car, ran the plates, and called in the back up - if we hadn't pulled in to the parking lot they would have done a highway stop!

    It was a pretty major arrest for the campus police, so I ended up meeting a Captain or Lieutenant I think, who upon finding out that this was my 3rd ever day in the US, shook my hand and said "Welcome to America son!"

    So...I helped them out with the investigation as best I Could - gave them all the locations we'd been to etc, whilst I saw the con-man in the back of one of the squad cars, trying to get my attention. I just gave him a big smile whilst I continued to give my statement

    Thankfully, just before I'd arrived in the US, I'd got an email through SDSU advertising a house near campus, so I called them up and was able to move in the next day (it turns out that he'd told the girls at the beach house, and other places, that he was a student accomodation organiser, the plan being to take both of our money and then run).

    There's one more amusing part to this tale, as when I went to check out this other house, my Professor came with me. After I knocked on the door, I was greeted by one of the guys there, a former marine, but the whole time he stayed standing behind the mesh outer door...after finding out my reason for visiting, he called out to my Professor (who was standing by the car) and said "What kind of handgun have you got there?"...my Professor had a belt clip for his phone, which, did indeed look like a gun holster from a distance, hence the extra precaution. After sorting out that misunderstanding, I was settled into the house, and the rest of my time went pretty smoothly - helped by the fact that I often saw the cops on campus and chatted to them...which definately steered my career ideas into Law Enforcement.

    The last I heard of the con-man, was that he served several months in jail, before going to New Orleans and attempting to pose as a Hurricane Katrina victim. SDPD had kept tabs on him however, so he's back in for another stretch...as the detective who worked the case said "He just doesn't learn, does he?"

    Suffice to say that of all the interns who went to the US from my College in London, I had the most "interesting" experience that summer!

    On the off chance there's anyone here who's in SDSU police, I can't thank them enough for the help they gave me, and for giving me a great story to tell when I got back to England! I would mention the names of the Officers who particularly helped me, but as this is a public forum I respect their privacy.

  • #2
    Gotta love San Diego

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    • #3
      I'm glad you had a happy ending, and didn't lose your money!
      Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

      sigpic

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      • #4
        Hot diggity (yeah, I can't believe I said that either). Someone sharing a happy experience. Just when I was about to give up hope on anyone other than me having a good experience I get proved wrong.
        R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Munden

        You're service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

        Kieth M.
        I once knew a guy who said, "I'll step over any nine to get to three threes!"

        I knew at that precise moment that he and I would never get into a fistfight over a woman.

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        • #5
          3rd Day in U.S.

          Welcome to the United States. Glad you didn't get taken for a whole lot of money. That was coming.

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          • #6
            Welcome to America! I'm glad the guy got arrested and didn't get your money.
            "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

            "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

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            • #7
              Originally posted by willowdared
              I'm glad you had a happy ending, and didn't lose your money!
              Happy endings are good,
              In war, resolution; in defeat, defiance; in victory, magnanimity.
              -Winston Churchill

              Comment

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