My Good Deed for the Day

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. I had the afternoon off and decided that I’d make a nice dinner for my wife. Took the Jeep because it’s too beautiful out not to. Picked up all of the ingredients for a salmon dinner. Paid, then loaded up the car and started out of the lot.

While coming out of Wegman’s parking lot I saw a thin man wearing a white tank top, dark shorts, and dark sunglasses running as fast as he could holding a backpack and a dufflebag. Another heavy set man in a blue shirt and jeans chased after as he tried to make a phone call. I assume he was calling the police. Wegman’s employees watched in the background. By this time the running man with the back pack was halfway across the parking lot headed towards the woods. I knew something was up, I just didn’t know what. So, I  figured I’d follow the guy. I started to do that, and realized in my piece of crap Jeep there was no way I could follow him far. I decided that I’d head out to Street Rd. and wait for him to come out of the woods onto the highway. That would be an easier way to track him.

I pulled over on the side of the highway about 100 yards away from where I assumed the running man would come out of the woods. Funny thing is, he didn’t come out. After waiting a few minutes. Still not realizing why the man was running, I decide to backtrack through the side streets behind the Wegman’s shopping center. I’m thinking if I see the man, I can use my Nikon Coolpix (the only camera, besides the iPhone I had on me) to make a frame or two of the running man and hand it over to the Police if the guy got away. Making my way slowly on Neshaminy Street, I saw the man hiding behind a bush. He had run at least 400 yards at this point at what looked like top speed. I imagine at this point he was exhausted.
I picked up my Nikon Coolpix (note to Nikon: this camera sucks when you need to make a picture quickly) and it hesitated. Now I’m past the man. I know he saw me, but didn’t see the camera. Picture opportunity gone.

I drive a block away, thinking I’ll hang and keep an eye out in case the man splits. Now I’m hearing sirens. Very Loud Sirens. I call 911. Dispatcher asks what county I’m located. I recall thinking “what the hell do you mean what county?” Apparently, the cell tower I hooked was in Montgomery County and she couldn’t tell where I was calling from. I tell her Bucks County. She puts me through. As I’m waiting for Warrington Police, I see an officer driving towards my car. I flag him down, tell the dispatcher I’ve got an officer on scene. The officer pulls up and asks if I’ve seen a running man in a white wife beater and dark shorts. I say yes. He’s hiding in the bushes on the right about 75 yards towards the main road.
The officer backs up his patrol car, turns around and heads in the direction I’ve directed. He stops about 50 yards down the road, not 75. He didn’t go far enough. Shit! I followed the patrol car and pass him as he’s searching the area. Think they’ll catch him.

I stop at the traffic light at Neshaminy and Street Roads. Here I am thinking the guy is back in the woods and the officers, who by now have the woods covered on both sides, would flush him out. Then, in my rear view mirror, I see the patrol car 25 yards behind me. In between the running man is speeding towards my direction. He’s trying to make the light before it turns red, and he is stuck on our side of the highway. I’m not armed. I don’t know if the running man is armed.  The police are in the woods, out of my visual range. I had to get the Police officers attention somehow. Make some noise quick. They won’t hear my yell. Think fast! He’s almost at the highway. He’s going to get away!! I started honking my horn as long and as hard as I could to get the attention of the Police and bring them out of the woods back into my visual range. I’m doing this and hoping that they’ll get my message. HE’S HERE!! COME QUICK!!
HE’S GETTING AWAY!! All of that from a stupid honking horn.

It worked. In my rear view mirror, I see the officer running to his car and jumping in with lights flashing.
Only problem is. The running man by now is across the street. I can assume at this point that  he was unarmed. If he was, I’d have been car jacked, and he’d be long gone. Although, maybe he has better taste in cars and didn’t want to jack a piece of crap Jeep. Now the traffic light is red. I’ve lost sight of him. Screw it! I’m not going to let him out of sight! Stupidly, I didn’t want to run a red light. I decide I’ll turn right (west) and then left (east) to get back onto the highway, then make a quick right to get back onto the road the running man had crossed over to. NOT A GOOD IDEA! I’ve never heard so many screeching tires. Or for that matter, that many people yelling…YOU ASSHOLE!!  Although, some of my students might agree. The running man is kind of jogging now. He’s on the left side of the road, and I’m on the right trailing. A man in a truck slows down across from the running man. Points at him. And the running man stops. Police are pulling up on scene. Get out of their patrol cars and draw their weapons upon the stopped man. Tell him hands up, get on the ground. He does just that. They got him.

I pulled over to chat with the police and ask if they need me for anything since I witnessed the running man coming out of Wegman’s. Yes. I handed him my card then proceeded to leave. He stopped me for a second and said, “Was that you beeping the horn.” I said yes. It was me. He said “Thanks.”

Hopefully, my wife appreciates this story. Through all of this, my salmon spoiled while sitting in the sun in back of my Jeep. – WTC

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