I always found it interesting how simple traffic stops could lead to serious felony arrests. Example: drug busts, fugitive felony warrants and one incident where I arrested 5 idiots in a stolen Lincoln Continental out of Anchorage. This was an older, "the boat" style, of car. I was running radar at 5:30 in the morning, trying to stay awake after all the bar traffic had made it home and picked up this Lincoln doing 80 mph in a 35 mph zone as it came into town. This was going to be a costly citation and a possible Driving While Intoxicated arrest. When they finally pulled over I called in the vehicle's plate number and told the dispatcher I had 5 occupants. I also had my belt radio with me and turned it on as I approached the vehicle. I checked the trunk to make sure it was closed ( this was something they teach you at the police academy, but I had also learned it at the California Highway Patrol Officer Survival Training Course. They had a special car rigged up with traps that were used to severely wound or kill officers during traffic stops. One such way was to have a gunman in the trunk ready to spring out and shoot down the officer. Through the various traps I was killed like 5 times that week). Now I counted two in the front and three in the back, all behaving as if I'd caught them with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. I then received a call over the radio advising me through our 10-code of how the vehicle was stolen. I now had my right hand on the butt of my Smith & Wesson .357. I told everyone to sit still with hands on the dash or hands on the back of the seat in front of them. I then had the driver step out and commenced a pat down weapons search. I knew I would be arresting him for driving a stolen vehicle and was putting him into handcuffs. My dispatcher was good and she was already calling my lieutenant, who was the day officer, to respond as back-up since I had 5 adults to content with. One young man, about 20-22, sitting in the middle of the backseat made a fast move with his right hand to inside his left side jacket. For this he received the full view of the barrel end of my revolver and I slammed the chest of the man I had in cuffs into the car. The young man carefully and slowly removed his hand, which was wrapped around a screw driver. He came pretty close to being shot for a screw driver. All said and done I had the driver for driving a stolen vehicle and the others for riding in a stolen car, which is a lower grade misdemeanor. Still, it was enough to arrest them for and allowed me to search their vehicle. With the lieutenant's arrival I soon found an assortment of tools on the backseat floor, along with bags of quarters- a couple hundred dollars worth. I received permission to open the trunk- which surprised me, but being stolen I would've searched it anyway. Here I found ( I had to count it all later), another $800 plus a few extra in quarters. I later got full confessions from two out of the five men, which told me they had hit 4 laundromats in Anchorage and broke into the machines. They had come to Seward to change the quarters in at our banks and then planned to party. Once all the deals were made with the District Attorney for pleading guilty to all the charges, the older three received 18-months and 3 yrs probation. The younger ones received 6 months and 2 yrs probation and they'd serve their sentences separated from the other three. I had high hopes for two of them this would be the end of their criminal life, but I am sure the others would be in trouble again. Their criminal records showed prior arrests for theft.
This photo at the top of our blog is a couple years old now and of course the lovely lady sitting beside me is Mona. Now working on our 35th year of marriage. I am about 105 pounds lighter today and I look a wee bit older. The small white critter on my lap is our rat terrier. Officially she is named "Ufie", pronounced U-fie and no, I didn't name her. Unofficially, about this time period she gained the nickname of Bear-killer, for saving my life when a black bear sprang out on me from 15-20 feet away and I had nothing but my walking stick and Ufie. Seems that Ufie forgets how small she really is and went right after that bear, chasing it for nearly half-a-mile. One swing of its paw would've ended that dog's life, but she was determined and I figure that bear had no idea what that white animal, all teeth and loud noise, truly was. I fed her and extra treat that night. Now everyone knows the tale of Bear-killer. She has sense danced with a very large cow moose, chasing it off the property and keeping from being stepped on. I do have to admit that moose was trying real hard not to step on the dog, either. Almost like an animal ballet. Ufie also goes after certain men who do not smell right, especially when she is protecting the new baby in the house. The military began using these small dogs as bomb dogs, to enter small spaces to sniff out explosives and they have some very strong noses. Good ears too. The 4 canines all seem to know when I'm popping open a can of cat food, which they prefer over the dry dog food. Our poor cat never has a chance to finish its food before the dogs come running up the stairs to get to the cat food first. Now the cat is bigger than two of the dogs, but she's jittery and runs off. Enough about dogs and cats, except to say I never thought the day would come when I would allow dogs on my bed. I almost have enough room to sleep in. 3 of them love to sleep on my lap, while I am watching TV. But I do have to admit, petting the critters brings a degree of relief from the pain I am in. Whine!
Living in this valley, our family has had a lot of encounters with moose and bears. The area plays host to the grizzly, brown bear and black bear. Not to forget the moose. With moose you simply have to get out of their way. For several years we had a cow moose who gave birth to her calf on the back of our property. One year she brought the new born up to the front yard and presented it to us by way of the living room window. The calf was gorgeous, legs shaking and mom was still licking her off. But it was time to move along, as we also had coyotes and some wolves in the valley. We've only had one visiting lynx, but all I found were the prints, while my next door neighbor witnessed the critter up in his trees. I have only seen one lynx in the wild and that was for only a minute or so before it vanished into the woods. This is another reason I love this state- the wild of it and that sense of danger at times to get the blood moving. Lower 48 is dangerous, but that's from the people and traffic. And never-never believe the old-wives tale (I always wonder who used that adage the first time), that one should climb a tree to escape a bear. That doesn't work, at least not in Alaska. The bears climb quite well, or the big fellows knock the tree down. One of the larger brown bears shot in Alaska was killed by a frightened young boy who was chased up a tree by this 11 plus footer and the bear was climbing right up behind him. The boy was carrying a .22 revolver on his hip and he pulled it out and holding onto a thick limb with one hand he began shooting at the bear in hopes to scare it off. Amazingly, one of the .22 rounds entered the bears eye and traveled into its brain from an estimated 8-9 feet away, killing the bear. I've heard it said the boy stayed up in the tree until his family found him and if I recall this was back in the 1960's.
Now our northern bear, you avoid this enormous one at all costs because he looks upon us as part of his food chain. This is the polar bear, who will go out of his way to hunt man and has done so countless times. He will break into homes, vehicles or chase down a running man. I saw a mounted polar bear that measured a few inches over 13 feet tall. That reaches the nightmare standards. While visiting the Los Angeles Natural Museum back in the mid 60's, they displayed a 14 foot Brown bear taken on Kodiak Island in the 1940's and referred to it as ....I cannot recall their word but it meant "mutation" for being so large. I've never forgotten those two bears. The grizzly we had here I estimated at maybe 8-900 lbs and possibly 7 and maybe 8 feet tall. Real NFL linebacker of a bear. We saw that its paw prints were larger than dinner plates and farther across than my wife's men's size 10 winter boots. Thankfully she, yes it was a sow, didn't like the sounds of my shotgun as I tried hard to chase her off. I didn't want to kill her, I simply wanted her to move along. They killed a 10 plus foot brown bear a few miles right off the highway this last spring. Me, I'd rather watch the critters. My hunting days are long over and my year of trapping was an amusing experience to say the least.
I wanted to close with a few news briefs:
Senegal sees its first confirmed Ebola case, making it the 5th West African Country with confirmed cases of the virus. Death totals have exceeded 1,500 according to WHO.
The United States has now started arming the Lebanese, (Muslim home to a strong militant faction that despises the US), with weapons, ammo and equipment. Aircraft have started landing in Beirut, Lebanon. If you recall this is where all those US Marines were killed by Islam fanatics- over 200 Marines.
NATO tells Russia to halt its "illegal" actions in the Ukraine, as pro-Russian rebels seize control of a coastal town. Russians move sophisticated weapon systems into the Ukraine, who now accuse Russia of now downing one of their jet fighters with a Russian missile.
Britain raises their international terrorist threat level from "substantial" to "severe".
5.7 magnitude quake strike Greece, but no reports of major damage.
Mt. Tavurvur in Eastern Pa-pun New Guinea, on the Isle of New Britain, continues to erupt, forcing evacuations and re-routing international flights. The volcano last erupted in 1994, destroying the community of Rabaul.
President Putin of Russia issues a dire warning- Don't mess with nuclear Russia.
Canada voices its readiness to defend its Arctic against Russia if necessary in response to Russia's military expansion into the Arctic.
Los Angeles County confirms its first West Nile Virus death for 2014. They've had 20 confirmed cases thus far this year, down from the 165 cases they had in 2013. Orange County, right across the line, has confirmed 2 deaths this week. State of California confirms 129 cases of West Nile Virus for this year.
Southern California has received 3 more earthquakes in the 3.5 range. But these are not perceived as aftershocks from the San Fransisco quake.
President Obama blamed our country's woes on our social medium. Apparently if people didn't know about the bad news they would feel so bad. But it goes both ways Mr. President. It was the Social Medium/radio to Internet that got you elected. Its also our preparedness that helps us be ready, which began with "One if by land and two if by sea" and those three gallant riders who rode through the night giving warning the British had landed. It was this same medium a prior President used to fire up a nation when Pearl Harbor was bombed. No, you cannot have it both ways. Still, our nation's reporting needs to be honest and leave the pro or negative stuff to special magazines. People have come to expect the REAL news from our papers, but in this current administration we have seen the worst in dishonesty and strong evidence of corruption by both parties. Our politicians have simply forgotten who put them in those seats. Instead of voting for their states, they vote by party. Obama got elected with our country showing only 36% of voter turnout. As so many have said, I guess we got what most of us deserved by not taking the time to come out and voting.
Have a very nice day. Me, I am headed for Seward