It was 01:30, and I was doing some serious neighborhood patrol. We had recently been hit with a series of overnight car burglaries in our neighborhoods, and I was damned if I was going to let it happen again, even though I had case reports stacking up on my desk. I was slowly driving up and down the neighborhood streets, shining lights into parked cars. Either I was going to find some car burglars, or I was going to scare them into stopping their activities. Or I was going to waste my time. It was so far looking like the last possibility was the most likely.
As I slowly approached a car parked on a corner of a residential street, I saw that it was occupied, and that the person in the driver's seat was in his late teens or early 20s, and was facing lighted screen in his lap. He cut his eyes at me as I passed. He looked scared. I turned around and parked behind him. I got out and approached, making sure that my body camera and car camera and body mic were all turned on. At the driver's door, I opened with, "Whatcha doin'?" This isn't actually part of the 7 Step Violator Contact, but this wasn't actually a traffic stop, and I had no evidence that the young man sitting there texting was actually a violator of any kind. He was actually free to leave, without answering my question. This was what we call a Consensual Contact. That he chose to roll the window down and speak to me without a stop command was his own decision.
"I'm, uh, waiting for a friend," he answered quickly.
"Oh, okay. A friend. Who is your friend?"
"Nadine, uh, um, Perez."
"Oh, a new friend! How old is Nadine, sir?" I inquired.
"A-about 16," he answered. You notice that hesitation? That means that she's 15.
"And where did you meet her?" I asked him.
"On the PlayStation Chat Board," he answered, and I believed him.
"And you were just now texting her," I said. He nodded. "May I see your cell phone?" I asked. He handed it over to me. I looked at his text conversation:
Her: "So, are you coming over, or not? I'm not staying up all night."
Him: "I'm leaving the house now, headed down Hwy 830 from [location 35 miles away]."
Her: "Where are you...??"
Him: "I'm coming around the loop toward you."
Him: "I'm now on Farm Road 1234, headed toward Smalltown."
Him: "I'm outside your house, parked on the street next door."
Her: "OK. I'm coming out in a sec."
Him: "Wait. Someone is coming down the street, really slowly."
Him: "I think that it may be a cop. If it's a cop, I am soooo busted."
Him: "OMG, it IS a cop. He's about to pass me. Oh God, he passed me and looked right at me!"
Him: "He's turning around!"
I asked him, "So? Let's go meet Nadine's parents!"
He got out, and we walked up to the door of the house. I knocked loudly on the front door, and found that it was standing ajar. A minute later the lady of the house answered. I introduced myself, and asked her if her daughter Nadine was permitted to have visitors at 1:30AM. She answered no. I asked that she go fetch her daughter as well. She returned with her husband, but no Nadine. Nadine was missing from her bed.
We found Nadine hiding between two cars in the driveway. She was in fact 15 years old. My young Lothario was almost 18. I demanded of him, "So you chose to take it upon yourself, to tempt this girl whom you have never met, into leaving the house and protection of her parents, after they were asleep? Just WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, MISTER?!!?" I glanced at Nadine's father, standing shirtless, wearing just a pair of pajama bottoms. For a middle-aged man, this guy was in great shape. His chest rose and fell a little bit too rapidly for the boy's safety. Big puffs of steam entered the cold night air from the man's lips. Nadine's papa was pissed off.
"I'm nobody," answered the boy. "Nobody. I don't know why I'm even here. If you will permit me, sir, I will go, and never come back..." He was beginning to babble. I filled out a Criminal Trespass Warning on my clipboard, and witnessed Nadine's parents' signatures on it. I had the boy sign receipt of it, and gave him and the parents each their copies of the document which ordered my young Lothario to leave the property and to never return, under penalty of being arrested should he return again.
My junior officer had by this time arrived, and asked if I wanted to do anything else with him. "Write him for violation of Restriction G on his driver license," I answered. The boy wasn't yet 18, and was driving after midnight for a social visit. The boy signed it gladly, declaring that he would pay the citation the first thing in the morning.
I think that it's important for parents to know who there children are dating.