Friday, December 07, 2007

Hit & Run

Originally posted: December 12, 2006 - Tuesday

Friday night, I was riding through Dupont Circle in D.C. with two of my girlfriends. We had just come back from seeing the White House Christmas tree and having Mexican and margaritas at Lauriol Plaza. One of my girls lives in Glover Park and to get from Adams Morgan to her house, I decided to pick up Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont. As we're going through the circle, a man in a BMW X5 is laying on his horn, trying to cut in front of two men in a Jaguar. My friends and I are laughing. What is his crazy ass really trying to accomplish with all the horn blowing?? But, it's becoming clear that the man in the X5 is getting more and more agitated as the men in the Jag refuse to move.

Just then, two men walk behind my car and in front of the X5. The traffic gives way just a little bit and the man in the X5 takes off. Before I saw what happened, I already knew that one of the men would be hit. And, I was right.

The front of the X5 hit the man in the black hat square in his middle. And the X5 kept going for a few feet before the pedestrian fell off the hood and into the oncoming traffic. At this point, all hell breaks loose in my car. My girlfriends are screaming. I am screaming. Pedestrians on the street are stopping and staring. The man who has been hit, gets up slowly, calmly, and walks to the driver's side of the X5. His friend follows closely behind. I start to drive away because I have no idea what is about to pop off, but I know that I don't want to be in the vicinity when it happens. One of my friends in the car, who had recently lost a friend to a road rage incident, urged me to get moving. So I hightailed it out of there. I am still watching things unfold (out of my side view mirrors). I see that, before the men reach the driver, the light changes and the X5 speeds past my car, through the circle and down Massachusetts Avenue.

Now, I'm a lawyer, so it's in my nature to gather evidence. Before the X5 got through the next traffic light, I committed the license plate number to memory. The passengers in my car sat in silence, letting things sink in. I felt bad. Like someone should do something. I was five seconds away from turning the car around and going back to see if the injured pedestrian needed help. But, then I thought, there are people whose job description speaks to exactly this kind of incident. I told my friend in the front passenger seat to call the police. She dialed 911. She did not put the phone on speaker, but I could hear the dispatcher loud and clear. "911 emergency… HELLO?!?" The woman was speaking very loudly and addressed my friend with a very nasty attitude. Soon, the woman's voice lost its volume and my friend began to report what we had seen. I could only hear one side of the conversation at this point, but it went something like this:

Friend: I'd like to report a hit and run accident.

Me: (whispering) A pedestrian was struck on Dupont Circle

Friend: (repeating) A pedestrian was struck on Dupont Circle

**pause**

Friend: No, I didn't hit anyone. I witnessed someone else hit a pedestrian on Dupont Circle

**pause**

Friend: It happened about ten minutes ago

Me: Five minutes ago

Friend: (repeating) Five minutes ago

**pause**

Friend: No, the man got up and walked away. I mean, I think he was ok, but the car just hit him and sped off

**pause**

Friend: Well, the reason I am calling is because we have the license plate number of the car that hit the pedestrian

**LONG pause**

Friend: Well, what if the pedestrian calls to report the accident?

**pause**

Friend: Ok, thank you. Good night.

My friend never gave the dispatcher the information. I ask her what happened. She says that the dispatcher said that nobody else had reported the accident and that she had "no place to store the license plate information". So, she didn't even want to hear it. WTF?! A man… an innocent pedestrian… was hit by an SUV and knocked into traffic. I have the information that can help you find out the identity of the driver of that SUV and you don't want to take the information… because you have NO PLACE TO STORE IT?? If the pedestrian does decide to ever report this incident to the police, he won't have all the information necessary to locate the driver. I'm quite sure he didn't have the time to jot down the make, model and license plate number of the car that mowed him down.

We sat, for the second time in complete and total silence. We were dumfounded that a 911 dispatcher, a person who is supposed to assist police in making sure that justice is being served, would not want information that could possibly help police locate a very reckless driver. Not only was the woman incompetent and uncompassionate, she was ghetto… and rude!

So, there you have it. The best (White House Christmas tree, margaritas at Lauriol) and the worst (incompetent 911 dispatchers, reckless drivers, impossible traffic) of the Nation's Capital.

BTW, we kept the license plate information just in case. Not sure what we'll do with it.

Just had to share…

1 comment:

Dimendaruff said...

just un friggin believable!! geez :(