I was recently accused of hit and run – me, the most careful and courteous driver in North America…. well, in Canada anyway.
On December 27th – the last Thursday of the month, when senior citizens get a 10% discount – I took the son along to carry, and went to a pet-food store in a nearby strip mall, to get bags of cat and dog kibble. I entered off the side street, and eased along the driveway toward the store, fourth in the line.
Looking ahead to my left, I spotted a parking space right in front. Hooray! Even for the son, those bags weigh 40 pounds each. Just as I started to turn my steering wheel, a young mother exited the store with two little daughters, one about 5, and the other 2, in hand, and a tiny dog on a leash. With her head down, and concentrating on them, she dragged them off the sidewalk and into the empty parking space.
I came to a stop. Still without looking up, she marched them out past the ends of the parked cars, and into the driveway. It was a good thing that there was no oncoming traffic. The spot I wanted was to my left, and they were now crossing the driveway to my right, so I started rolling forward.
As I got about a third of the way around, still without looking up, she changed directions by 45 degrees, and started dragging the kids toward me. I came to a stop again. When she got within 5 or 6 feet of the side of the car – about level with the passenger-side front wheel well – peripheral vision must have alerted her to danger. She looked up, saw me in front of her, and took a quick step back.
I waited for her to safely walk around the car. 👿 Suddenly, she exploded into profanity. “What the fuck! Where the Hell do you think you’re going? You assholes don’t need to be in such a fucking hurry!” I’m at a stop! And nice language for impressionable young daughters. Now, in the middle of a parking lot, she let go of the 2-year-old, and used her right hand/fist to pound her way down the body panels and windows, still screaming imprecations.
Well, that was interesting. There was obviously no chance for calm discussion. I’m crossways in the driveway, holding up cars that want to get in off the street, and now some that want to get past and out. I (finally) rolled into the empty spot, and headed for the store. “That’s it. Just walk away and ignore me.” She’s only angry because we’re not treating her as special. As I pulled the door open, “I’m five and a half months pregnant you know.” So that’s what set this off. “I’m gonna call the cops on you guys.”
When we came out she was gone, and I thought the fuss was over. We drove home. I did a few chores. A couple of hours later, the son was having a nap, and I was just thinking of having one too, when the doorbell rang. Keeping the puppies from leaking out, I opened up. There stood tall, dark and uniformed. That entitled, emotional little bitch – she did call the cops.
“I imagine that you know why I’m here.” I did. “I’m here to investigate a collision in the parking lot at the plaza.” I stopped him right there. “There was no ‘collision.’ The only time my car came into contact with her body was when she stepped forward and assaulted my vehicle.”
They must teach new police officers a particular method of interrogation. No-one could be that obtuse without training. I explained my version of what happened. “If you didn’t bump into her, why was she so upset?” I am not psychologically qualified to give reasons why the sanest of us do the things we do. “I don’t know – seasonal stress?? Parking lot rage?”
“She says she took a step backward. If you didn’t bump into her, why would she do that?” “She was startled! She was frightened? She was embarrassed that she’d put herself and her kids into danger?” “She drove herself to the hospital. If you didn’t bump into her, why would she do that?” Really??! With two little kids and a dog, she drove herself to emergency? “She may have honestly thought that I’d bumped her, when she remembered striking my car. Why would she make that claim? My best guess is that she’s a drama queen.” When I mentioned that she attacked my car, he asked, “She actually struck your vehicle?” Yes officer, several times, quite hard!
The son had heard me talking to him, and came downstairs. While I’d gone out to the car to get proof of insurance, he gave a corroborating statement. When I stated that she might be a drama queen, he mentioned how she had screamed about being 5-1/2 months pregnant, and was going to call the cops on us. He thought the incident might have been triggered by hormones. There was a momentary hesitation in note-taking, as if she had also failed to mention these things in her statement.
He offered me once last chance to admit my guilt. He said, “I guess if you thought that you’d actually bumped her, you wouldn’t have just driven off and left her?” But I didn’t ‘just drive off and leave her,’ I went into the store and spent 5 to 10 minutes conducting business. At no time did she follow me in, and in the presence of witnesses, claim that I had bumped into her, and what was I going to do about it. When I came back out, she was gone. “Uh, okay.”
Finally, he stated that he had to do an investigation into this occurrence, because there had been a formal complaint issued. Since it had happened on private property, and no-one had been injured, (Then, why was there such a fuss raised??) no charges would be laid.
This is the third false accusation that has been made against me in just over ten years. The son likes to watch dash-cam videos of accidents, often from Russia, ‘cause those drivers are CRAZY. Perhaps it’s time to think about having one installed in my car.