My Squirt Gun Almost Got Me Shot

This story takes place when I was still a teenager. At the time I worked at the local Pizza Hut. I had just left work, literally having just turned out of the parking lot, when the lights and sirens of a police car appear behind me. I diligently pulled over and waited for the officer to approach. He gets to my window and asks for my DL. As soon as I hand it to him he pulls out his gun and puts the barrel right between my eyes.

As a seventeen year old in the suburbs of Indiana I wasn’t exactly used to guns in my face, and after a long day of school and work (I was still in my uniform even) I wasn’t exactly expecting one. I followed his instructions to get out of my car, slowly. He then told me to walk slowly towards the back of my car, all the while his guns is trained on my head. When I get to the back of my car I’m told to stand spread eagle and to stay quiet. I still have no idea whats going on or why my life is being threatened.

The officer roughly searches me, even going so far as to slide his hand up and down my butt crack. After an invasive search of my person he starts rifling through my car. After a few moments in the back seat he pulls out a super-soaker and begins looking it over. He looks at me and asks, no joke, “What do you know about this?” As if he had just found a nuclear warhead in my back seat.

At this point I start to figure out what’s going on and calmly reply, “That’s a squirt gun, sir. One of my friends must have left it back there.” As the brightly colored plastic toy was obviously of no danger to him, he set it down on the road and continued rifling through my car asking me over and over if I had any weapons or other illegal things in the vehicle. The only thing illegal in my car was the nosy cop who had no right to be in there.

After realizing as much he put the water-toy back in my car and began lecturing me about having my lights on at night (his reason for pulling me over even though the sun had only just begun to set and headlights were far from necessary to see) and told me to remove the squirt-gun from my car if i wanted to avoid this situation in the future.

Now, I’m a pretty empathic person and can sympathize with and understand a great range of mistakes, but this? How can you mistake a brightly colored and wild shaped super-soaker for a legitimate weapon? Did he think I was smuggling an alien death ray? Because of that officer’s stupidity not only was a good portion of my day wasted, but I was subjugated to an invasive and humiliating search.

If I look on the bright side I guess I can say that at least this indecent was the one traffic stop. Usually no less than two more patrol cars will show up.

– Jacob

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