Cops and Robbers


keystone copsYou know I swear to God I love the expats here, I really do. I love their blogs, their tweets, their Facebooks and their face to face stories. It’s great stuff and it’s so 99.9% positive and insightful and I think their wives are great and it’s peachy and cool and creamy delicious how they first met. Really.

My life on the other hand always seems to somehow end up differently LOL. All this past month I’ve been talking about Project Iceberg and I realized that practically my entire life is like an iceberg – you only see the barest tip above the water. So let’s go for a little dip in the deep end, eh?

If you bought my book, you know that I used to get drunk with the police all the time and get into all kinds of crazy adventures with them. What you don’t know until now is that I’ve been dealing with the police since I got here.

Mind you, I’m not referring to me getting in trouble (or out of it?) but rather that I’ve just been around them a lot. There’s a police “sergeant” who used to run the bloc I lived in for years. I used to ride the bus with him all the time and chat. And there is a hilarious story about one time when I ran into him while he was “on the job”.

But this is a grittier story, a different story. On a recent day, I was down at the Sectia 1 police headquarters, which as far as I can tell is the central bureau. I was filling out a police report about a vicious beating and theft which had just occurred. I didn’t witness the actual fight but I saw the two teeth that got knocked out wrapped up in a napkin and a woman with a bloody, swollen mouth.

She was so shaken up that she couldn’t write very well so I filled out the paperwork for her as she dictated it to me. In Romanian. Because she does not speak English. She knows “God Bless You” and that’s about it.

And so there’s little old me, down at the police station, filling out an official piece of government paperwork and I just started laughing because I realized that I have never taken a single class in Romania on the “precious sacred language”. I am literally the least educated (in Romanian) person who has ever walked through that door and yet was filling out a witness statement in Romanian. Triple LOL.

Then we went and “filed” the paperwork with the guy working the desk. Apparently in Romania a vicious assault with visible wounds means no interview and they don’t take pictures of your hideous wounds (you’ve got to go somewhere else for that) and you have to fill out your own written statement.

Then the guy whacked the Mandatory Stamp of Officialness on a tiny piece of paper and then filled out a shitload of information in a giant log book he had on his desk. Using a pen he filled out all of the stuff in his log book and then gave us the stamped paper that was like the case number. Then see ya later.

While he was doing his official writing, I peeped over his desk and scoped out the “command room” he was working in. All kinds of different police kept walking in and out and talking and then doing something fast and then walking out. There were about 20 different radios all in their chargers and it looked like they were there for police to walk in and swap out their radios.

Was there a computer? There were two, both of them with a bright white screen and what looked like a 1980′s graphic pixel map with some codes. It looked like the screen for controlling access or doors or something. There was no computer that you interface with, look shit up, enter data into. And we’re here in the main headquarters of the police in the second largest city in Romania. Good lord!

Ah but you see, Daniel-san, my third eye had not been yet opened. Without consulting a database of any kind except the one in his head, the guy working the desk informed us that he knew the suspect and that there were three other open cases on the guy, all of them on similar cases to our own. Aha!

And less than 24 hours later, the woman got a call from the police. The guy had been arrested and they were filing the charges on him on Monday.

Bam! Good Hitting Police!

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3 Responses »

  1. I await impatiently now the piece on the expats and their great wives! That should be less tragic. By the way, a pal of mine got knifed to death in the middle of the day, in Montreal, for interfering between a bum and his female companion whom he was beating, like there was no tomorrow…R.I.P. Alain! So yes, you are a hero!

  2. y best friend got hit by a car, waited 40 minutes for an ambulance to come, waited another hour for the ambulance to finally start heading towards the emergency hospital (they did it only AFTER the police took her a statement), on the road to the hospital the paramedics gave her some medication and only AFTER they thought to ask her whether she’s allergic or not to any drugs (maybe her sky-rocketing blood pressure might have given them some clues…), once arrived to the emergency section, she waited another hour and a half for a doctor to pay her some attention and , finally, because the X-ray machine was far too busy, she was sent home (“Does it hurt that much?” “No, not really.” “Good. Then you may not need the X-ray.”) equipped with a bunch of painkillers. Ah, with a broken tailbone too but what she didn’t know couldn’t have hurt her, right? And this happened in…London. Yes, THAT London. Now, if we are the EU poorest country and therefore acknowledged as providing the worst social and health services, what would be their excuse, I wonder? But, looking on the bright side, my friend’s injury healed eventually, so long live the NHS!

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