Twenty-Six Minutes

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away... if you're lucky.

The political pulse of America has always fascinated me. Reading about politics, watching political debates, writing about politics, they have been a lifelong passion.

Today is different; I feel the need to lay bare an unraveling of the social fabric that, I'm pretty sure, will touch us all. Apathy is defined as not caring, and America is suffering from an epidemic of national apathy. Perhaps nowhere is this national apathy more evident than in our justice system.

Let me be specific. This is real and I have it on video. As proof,  while maintaining some privacy, I am sending still photos from the video to the Editor. This summer I am supposed to testify as a witness in a civil matter, a vehicle crash at an intersection.

As I was going to bed, and my home was dark, someone began beating on my door. He yelled that I needed to come outside so that he could talk to me. I did not open the door.

He refused to identify himself. He was told to leave and he continued pounding on my door, ringing my doorbell, and calling out my name, for about 10 minutes before finally leaving.

The guy kept claiming that he needed me to step outside, saying, "I need you to come out so I can talk to you about your professional services."

Maybe it was the knife he was carrying, that can be seen in the video, but I just didn't think he wanted to hire me.

Let's keep that knife on the outside of that door, shall we?

He tried looking through one of the windows. This is shown in the video, too.

After he left my door, I learned that he had parked in front of a neighbor's house. As of today, I do not know his identity or if he was alone. That's a key point, was he alone?

Here was my thinking during this matter:

  • Keep the door closed. Opening the door would make me a willing participant and more vulnerable to attack; both physically and legally.
  • Why was he here? In the first seconds, I assumed that he was a salesman for roofing or similar, desperate to make a sale. When he called out my first and last name and my wife's first name, I was pretty sure that he was not here to give free roof estimate.
  • His voice tone was sarcastic and patronizing.
  • I told my wife to do the talking, which she did from a position of cover. Why? Because I was near the door, prepared to respond if he forced entry and I didn't want him to know where I was waiting.

The police were called early into the encounter, and 26 minutes later the police arrived. It took so long for the police to arrive that I retrieved some papers the guy left. They were a subpoena for my deposition regarding the traffic accident for which I already was scheduled to be deposed. Fundamentally, during the event I didn't have enough information to know what was unfolding.

If he was a legitimate process server delivering a subpoena, why did he not call me? I would have accommodated his schedule.

If he was a legitimate process server, why did he not have the paperwork in an envelope with my name on it? After all, wouldn't he want to keep the documents he delivered organized for each of the intended recipients?

The 911 operator and police did not seem to take it seriously, until the police saw the video. After the police left, I began notifying the appropriate attorneys by text and email.

Two of my neighbors appeared frightened by the incident. I assured them that the matter was under control, but one neighbor remained unconvinced.

My adrenaline only allowed me 3 hours of sleep that night. I had to get up early and drive out of town to work with other people who were expecting me. Though I only had time for one coffee, my anger kept me alert throughout a long, physically active day.

During the day after, I learned that the individual at my door was hired by a defense attorney for a corporate vehicle owner being sued. Since I had been receiving and replying to emails from the same attorneys about when and where I would be deposed, for two weeks before this incident, I believe this was meant to intimidate me, a witness.

The attorney who hired the guy claimed that he was a rogue, unprofessional, process server. However, that attorney refuses to identify the "process server. I Further, he never used the words, "process server" or "subpoena."

Another lesson I learned was that nobody gave a @#$%&; most of the attorneys were apathetic. The day after the incident, I was told by one of the attorneys that none of the attorneys intend to notify the Court.

In the summer of 2020, Americans saw near daily riots occurring across the country. The rioters were seldom prosecuted. Some Americans were outraged. So what? The rioters, looters, and criminals, were ignored by authorities in much of America. Has the situation improved since 2020?

You don't need me to tell you about the crime and violence occurring daily in many American cities. New York City has become famous for prosecuting victims who fight back against their attackers. Are Portland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Baltimore, or Memphis, safer?

Who wants to go for an evening stroll to get some fresh air in Chicago? Maybe you would like to dine downtown in Philadelphia?

I could have ordered a pizza and had it delivered before the police arrived.

Did the 911 operator assign a low priority? Were the police overburdened? Did the police assign a low priority?

911 is an abortion and should be reformed or abolished. About 10 years ago, while on the way home from a shopping mall, I witnessed a serious, multiple-car crash on a highway. Apparently, two unrelated witnesses in other cars called 911. I called 911, too. We were told to hang up and call another number because the crash occurred on a county boundary. While we waited for the 911 operators to get their thumbs out of their rear ends, someone alerted a nearby fire station. The firefighters heroically responded without waiting for the county line to be surveyed.

Many years ago, an off-duty police captain stopped an armed robbery in progress in a local store. He instructed the clerk to call 911, which she did. 911 dismissed the call. Multiple calls were placed, including by the police captain, to no avail. I don't remember how it was resolved, but it took about 1 1/2 hours before on-duty officers responded. It made the news, but nothing changed.

If you live in my big Blue city, you are on your own, no one will arrive in time to help you.

When you only have seconds to stop a potentially lethal encounter.

The police in my big Blue city are only 26 minutes away!

Friendly Bear is a staff writer for  Read other articles by Friendly Bear or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

For most of rural America the police are at least 30 minutes away, of course the residents know this and if thing go sideways the police in those areas are strong Second Amendment advocates.

July 26, 2023 9:03 PM

Excellent point, Mark. Like you, I totally support the 2nd Amendment.

October 21, 2023 9:34 PM
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