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June 01, 2013

Seagulled Part 2: The Criminal

[The first installment of Seagull Lessons can be found here. I wanted to write these out when the event was in the past enough to be humerus, but not forgotten. And trust me, it wasn't very funny until recently]. 

"Did you throw things at the seagull?"

The first officer marched up to me with pen in hand and a small notebook spiral bound at the top. I noticed him writing down every word. I do not recall the exact interchange, but it went something like this.

"Yes officer I threw a water bottle at an entire group of them and I'm sorry it was a mistake and they were relentless in aggravating the kids when we bought popcorn and I didn't want to leave it laying there."

My point was to give him respect, explain what happened, apologize, and take on the consequences. And that's exactly what happened. 

"What's your name, birthday, and home address...? Okay stay here."

"Gee. That didn't sound good."

As he was writing it hit me - the deep throat heaviness of irreversible damages. But really? How bad could it be?

The officer spent five minutes interviewing every person within eye shot on the incident. Later I would find that a few of them mentioned our group and two of them particularly named "The guy in the black board shorts."

As he made his rounds another two officers showed up. There were now three police cars, each of them with engine running idle, lights flashing, and parked transverse to the other two. People strolling along the board walk congregated into a gawk fest, understandably so.

Immediately after that a grey van with DEP in blue lettering cut sharply across the open lot where sand meets pavement, coming to an abrupt ambulance style halt. A petite black gentleman practically ran to the back of the van, pulled out a red pet carrier, and fumbled around nervously in donning a pair of white latex gloves.

At that point  I surveyed the scene, searching for the person who pops up out of nowhere and says, "HA, you've been PUNKED."

"Anyone...Would someone please jump out and tell me I'm being punked?"

But alas, there kept being no one saying I'm being punked, no one popping up outside of the DEP guy. He scurried through the dune grass for some time before the officer asked where I placed the bird. As I pointed to lead the DEP to the vicinity, our eyes met. He hit me with a mild head wave and stern look of absolute disgust.

"Really I'm sorry officer...there was no intention to kill it...this was an accident."

One of the three officers who didn't speak prior to then puffed up his chest and became loud and in my face.

"If you would have killed a person by accident it would still be considered homicide."

After that I spoke no words. It was time to be quiet. The first officer took me to his car with the flashing blue and red lights. He pushed my head down in front of my family and friends and a slew of on-lookers. It was the first time I was apprehended or charged with anything more than a speeding ticket.

"So this is what it feels like," I thought as the car pulled away in the 5-minute ride to the police station.

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