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Hollister
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August 10, 2022

Breen Damage

The shortest, most embarrassing police chase ever
The police scanner is always on in the newspaper office, so we
hear the various police activity and fire calls that happen
throughout the day.
Traffic stops, medical aid responses, fire calls: it’s pretty
standard stuff on most days.
On Wednesday, a call came across that brought back memories of
my last interaction with the Hollister Police. It was about a
decade ago, but I still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach
when I heard the siren and saw the lights.
The shortest, most embarrassing police chase ever

The police scanner is always on in the newspaper office, so we hear the various police activity and fire calls that happen throughout the day.

Traffic stops, medical aid responses, fire calls: it’s pretty standard stuff on most days.

On Wednesday, a call came across that brought back memories of my last interaction with the Hollister Police. It was about a decade ago, but I still remember the sinking feeling in my stomach when I heard the siren and saw the lights.

This scanner call this week was from a police officer who had apparently pulled over someone on a bicycle. My incident was similar to that, in a different sort of way.

I was pulled over by a police officer on a bicycle, while I was in my truck.

It’s still embarrassing, all these years later. Getting pulled over is bad enough. Getting pulled over by a guy huffing and puffing after you on a mountain bike is way worse.

I was picking up one of my sons from Methodist Preschool on Monterey Street near the courthouse. I did a shoulder check behind me as I was pulling off the curb and then pulled into the street. As I turned right onto Fifth Street, I heard the sirens.

That couldn’t be for me, I figured, as I was going about 8 miles per hour at the time. I looked around and saw no other cars before checking the rear-view mirror and seeing that a police officer on a bicycle was roaring after me on his two-wheeled cruiser.

Had it been someone else in this half-block police chase, I would have laughed at the poor fellow being pulled over. Instead, I stopped my truck and was told by the officer that I had cut him off when I was entering traffic. It wasn’t so funny when I was the one getting the ticket.

I pleaded my case and apologized, saying that I did a shoulder check and didn’t see him riding his bicycle on the side of the street. It was to no avail. I took the ticket and prayed that no one downtown saw the guy in the F150 Supercrew getting pulled over by a guy on a Schwinn.

In hindsight, I wish I would have asked the cop if he had ever been in a chase on his bike, because I know he wouldn’t have had much of a chance against any motorized vehicle. Being the law-abiding guy that I am, I chose not to drive away from the bicycle cop. It would have been the lowest-speed getaway chase of all time. I think a street sweeper could have out-run that bike.

The ticket forced me to go to traffic school, which forced me to relive the embarrassment when I was forced to say what my infraction was. People chuckled as I told of my offense. I kind of chuckled as well, before remembering that this simple ticket was costing me a couple hundred bucks in fines and traffic school fees.

Since that day, I am more vigilant about bicycles and pedestrians when I pull away from a curb. I haven’t seen police on bicycles in recent years, so I doubt locals have to suffer the indignation of being lassoed by a guy on two wheels. It’s “wheelie” embarrassing.

Adam Breen teaches newspaper and yearbook classes at San Benito High School and is a reporter for The Pinnacle. He is former editor of the Free Lance. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

Adam Breen
A staff member edited this provided article.

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