The Day I Was Arrested by Mistake
The Day I Was Arrested by Mistake
I was arrested by mistake! Alright, may be the term arrested is not technically correct, I was detained and handcuffed by mistake. I didn’t commit any crime. But what happened to me is still interesting.
Before going to study in the US, and during a time I didn’t have a cellphone, much less WhatsApp, I was attending a school just for some months in Guadalajara, Mexico. Certain day, I left home for school with enough time to arrive just on time (IF nothing different happened). I probably had a test the first hour; that part I’m not sure.
I went to a bus stop one or two blocks away from home. Once the bus arrived, a large crowd of people got off of it. That was unusual at that hour and at that place. I got on, I paid, and I sat on an almost empty bus, which was also kind of weird. There was a total of six souls on the bus: Three passengers, the driver and his two friends on the front. Looking closely, the driver and his two friends seemed to be minors. I don’t know that with certainty, it could have been the effect of some sort of magic cream that made them look that young, who knows.
The bus started moving, but it went faster than normal. Part of me was happy because I would be able to arrive on time to school for sure. Then it caught my attention that the bus driver turned right one street before he supposed to. It was on a narrow street, he even scratched a parked car and I could smell something burnt. Would it be burnt paint? I don’t know if the driver noticed it, but he kept going with more detours from the actual route. Still towards my school direction. So, as long as he was taking me closer to my destination, I wouldn’t protest.
We were speeding, and even in some turns, the driver would hit the curves of the sidewalk. And I felt like being on a mechanical bull when running over speed bumps. But who cared! In my unscrupulous and selfish mind, I was getting closer to school faster, and make it easily on time.
Then we arrived at a red light, lame, we had to stop. If you know Guadalajara, we were on Lázaro Cárdenas and Mariano Otero intersection by the Arcos del Milenio (Milennial Arches). At that point, a police car stops one lane away on our right side. Two policemen get off, one walks slowly towards the bus pointing the driver with a gun. The other policeman stays behind the police vehicle to cover himself while also pointing to the driver with his gun.
Then I saw on the left side a police pickup truck arriving with several policemen aboard. They all got off and pointed different parts of the bus with rifles. Some hid themselves behind the truck while a few walked towards our bus.
It was interesting to see that at least one rifle seemed as if it were pointing at me. If I had the vision of an eagle I would’ve probably been able to see all the way through the muzzle up to the bullet. Right then, two or three more police cars arrived and surrounded the back part of the bus and one more on the front.
The bus driver opened the doors and I heard the first cop shouting: “Get off the bus! Son of […] Where’s the gun? Where’s the gun?” And one by one, the driver and his two friends got off the bus. The three are surrounded, frisked, handcuffed, and taken inside a police car. “Oh, that was an amazing show! It’s as if I were in a movie.” I thought while smiling, but it was right then when I realized that we didn’t have a bus driver anymore.
Now, who would drive us or what? Would they want me to drive? I looked at the bus steering wheel and the gearstick from my seat, then I saw the mass of cops down the street and after fantasizing for a few seconds I said to myself: “Nah!” And then, the first cop that had arrived to the scene got on the bus, a big, round man shouting: “Where’s the gun?” Another policeman also got on and began interacting with one of the passengers who was a few places sitting ahead of me on the right side.
The big round policeman approached me and started talking with flowery language asking where the gun was or who had it. The big, round policeman asked for my backpack, and I immediately remembered a High School class where I was told that nobody could register you without a warrant. But you try to tell that to the big, round policeman. So he yelled at me: “Where’s the gun?” So, not having many options, I opened my backpack, took out the gun and gave it to him. Lol, I’m just kidding, I obviously didn’t have a gun, but I think it was part of his job not to believe anyone.
He demanded my backpack, I gave it to him and he searched through it. When he didn’t see anything, he told me to get off. I got off and there were already a few cops waiting for me. I saw the young bus driver and his two friends in a police car while I was being escorted to another pickup truck that had come later. I saw on the back the other two passengers, both handcuffed. And no Miranda rights, of course.
Once I got on, assuming they would handcuff me too, I extended my wrist and I made a gesture to one of the policemen as if he were a restaurant waiter to kind of insinuate something like: “Policeman, some handcuffs, please.” So he put me the handcuffs and I ask:
“So, why are we being arrested?
“You all did something really bad. No! REALLY bad.” Said one of the most civilized and less irascible policemen.
“Ok. What did we do?” I asked.
And then he told us that a bus had been reported stolen at gunpoint and they (the cops) had finally captured us. Although I never knew what happened to the aforementioned gun. And based on that, I assumed the other two passengers and I had got on a stolen bus. I don’t have an idea of who wanted to steal a bus, lift passengers and continue through the route, sort of. Unless… they would not let anyone get off and tried to rob all passengers? Anyways, the bus had been stolen and now recovered.
The civilized policeman asked us what were our occupations. One of the passengers said that he was a law student. When hearing that, the policeman said something like: “Oh, very well. We like lawyers. We help them a lot.” When they asked me what I did, I told them that I was a student and journalist (because at that time I helped my parents with their magazine). And sadly, I didn’t hear anything similar about my profession. The time journalists were well respected by many policemen in Mexico was “out of fashion.”
To the Police Station
After a few minutes, the policemen began to talk among themselves and ease their tension. One of them was saying that every time he hears there’s a situation involving weapons, he gets goose bumps, but he goes all out. So after that and a few more minutes, the non-discrete convoy of police cars with flashy lights began to move. We were taken to a police station next to the Cruz Verde hospital on Cruz del Sur street.
Right when we entered into the small building, a surprised man stood up from behind a desk and comes to us all upset reprimanding the policeman who was next to us. The police office worker said something like:
“What are these civilians doing here? Why are they handcuffed? Take their handcuffs off!”
“The chief told us to bring them here,” said the other policeman hesitantly.
And the reprimand continued while were were taken the handcuffs off. I held and felt the wrists of each of my hands right after they were freed to see if they still worked, well… in fact, they didn’t hurt, but I always saw in the movies that when people were taken their handcuffs off they would grab their own wrists to easy their pain, kind of 🙂
Anyways, after all things were settled, the police clerk (or whatever his ranks was) apologized for what had happened and he said we were free to go. But after realizing that it was late and I was far from my destination, I asked if I could be taken to my school. The police officer told me that he wouldn’t be able to do that because it was against the rules. So, I had to leave, cross the street, and wait for another bus.
It didn’t take much for a bus to arrive. I got on, I looked at the bus driver and the passengers and everything seemed normal. I rode hoping that we wouldn’t be placed in ambush and detained again.
Once I arrived to school, kind of late by the way, everyone asked me why I was so late. Then I explained:
“It’s because I got on a bus, we were surrounded by some policemen and pointed at us with their guns and rifles and we all were detained and taken to the police station and blah, blah, blah…”
“Yeah, right!” Everyone was laughing as if I were making up that story, but I told them it was true until they believed me.
I sat and little by little the silence came back to the classroom. It was that type of silence we get when we had a test or we were working on some exercises on our notebooks. But then someone knocked on our classroom and asked: “Is there any Jesús Rosas here?” So I raised my hand and said: “Me”. Then he said: “The principal wants to see you in her office.”
Then more silence… with some sort of intrigue I stood up and went down the hall up to the end towards the principal’s office. I knocked the thick wooden door and I heard: “Come in.” I opened the door and the principal stood up and extended her wired phone saying: “You have a phone call.” I took the phone, approached it to my ear and heard: “My son! Oh, ‘Chuyito‘ (Mexican diminutive nickname for Jesús), I was worried about you, I was told that you had been arrested and blah, blah, blah…” It was my mom, and I was really surprised that in less than an hour she already knew what had happened to me on the other side of the city.
Well, it happened that a friend of the family, specifically from the Church I go to, had passed by the location everything had happened; she saw me handcuffed on a police truck and she called my mom to make sure everything was okay. After hearing my mom’s story, I told her everything over the phone and tried to calm her down, I told her that I had just robbed a bank and that was it. Lol, just kidding, but I did tell her that everything had been a mistake and that I obviously hadn’t done anything bad and I was fine. Once everything clear, I went back to my classroom to tell everyone why I had been called to the principal’s office, after which there were more laughs.
A day with many surprises, wasn’t? After that, my day came back to the same monotonous, insipid, and boring routine of always. But you tell me, have you ever been arrested by mistake or had a similar experience with the police? Or perhaps something along the lines of fugitive bus drivers? If yes, please share it and leave a comment.
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