I'm working on my sixth month as a resident of the great Rubber City known as Akron, Ohio and for as many times as I have moved I must say this is the weirdest venture up to this point. The most recent fun took place earlier this month.
On this weekend my girlfriend Christine (who lives in Columbus) was visiting. We had enjoyed a good day weather wise outside and had returned to eat and hangout. As she kicks off her shoes and settles on my bulky, yet comfy, couch I open the fridge to contemplate that afternoon's dinner. Within minutes the sound of sirens, police sirens, are blaring. No real big deal...you hear them all the time as the area surrounding my neighborhood isn't exactly Camelot.
I halfway ignore them, but then Christine indicates they seem to be getting closer. I too take notice and at that point the screeching of tires is coming from my street....the one right outside my first floor apartment. Christine says, "Hey I think somebody is being chased?!" I run to my front door just in time to see this dark red, rusty pickup barrelling down my street. The driver (who looks like he hit puberty just the day before) is driving with one hand on the wheel with the other lazily hanging out the window. His passenger, who is apparently none to happy about playing The Dukes of Hazzard, is hanging out the window from the waist up and his waving his hands in his best "Please don't shoot me!" imitation.
The Dukes of Hazzard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dukes_of_Hazzard
They slow down and they decide to turn at the next left. Bad move there gangsta boys! That left is the driveway to the parking lot of my complex and Mario Andretti's getaway attempt took him around the backside my building & right back onto the street from which they came. Even more amusing was that the pair of Akron Police Cruisers chasing them down did the exact same thing. I nearly started looking to see if Wile E. Coyote and the Road Rrunner were going to join in.
Mario Andretti: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Andretti
Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wile_E._Coyote_and_Road_Runner
As the delinquents shoot back onto the roadway ahead of them are four more APD cruisers, two Summit County Sheriff's Deputies and a paddy wagon. Apparently the "shortcut" gave the guys in blue enough time to make some headway. Though from the looks of the getaway truck it would have disintegrated once it hit 65 miles an hour.
Tweedledum and dumber have nowhere to go as the road is littered with armed officers. Their snappy, quick-decision answer to remedy the situation? Bail out of the truck as it continues moving. The doors fling open and both jump to what they hope is freedom. As the truck hits the curb and rolls into the yard of another apartment complex the driver is able to land on his feet and sprints down a flight of steps and disappears behind a building with a small police battalion giving chase. His passenger hits the ground, but knows better. He stands still with his hands in the air.
The unhappy officers tell him to lay flat, face first, on the ground with a few F-words inserted in their request. That's when one of the ticked-off pursuers digs is knee into the culprits spine and puts cuffs on him. Shortly there after boy genius returns in cuffs with an entourage of winded officers and deputies. He looks sick, almost as if he had drugs of some sort and to get rid of them he decide to swallow it all. The squad shows up and 20 to 30 minutes later all is back to normal.
The best part was that Christine and I sat and watched from the front door of my apartment like our own episode of "COPS". Before we decided to head in my neighbor, an older woman who was also gawking, says to us, "Can you believe that?" We agreed and was just about indicate those two punks probably need to be institutionalized. Just then my neighbor went to say something to the fact, "Those poor boys...those officers didn't need to be so rough with them or use that foul language. That's police brutality."
What!?!! These punks had just took police on a chase along residential streets at 60 miles an hour with no regard for their surroundings or others who were on the road. They even shot through an apartment complex parking lot like it was part of race course! And I'm sure they were being chase for taking part in some really good illegal activity. My neighbor moved on and Christine & I looked at each other like we had entered bizarro world and just met their leader.
The rest of the weekend went on without anymore police chases and I'm sure the teenage criminals are now spending their holidays either in straitjackets or among the best of Akron's locked-up gang population. I hope it was worth it. Goodluck explaining that on your resume in the coming years future Whopper floppers.
Akron and Summit County isn't short of fun times. Ohio's disgraced former Attorney General Marc Dann (sexual harassment of interns and cheating on his wife with one of them)...yep he's from this area...and just this week 42nd House District Representative John Widowfield of Cuyahoga Falls (in Summit County) resigned after it was discovered he used campaign contributions to buy Ohio State Football season tickets (over $3,000 worth) and sold them on EBay...for a higher price!! Scalping tickets bought with campaign contributions and pocketing the profit...that's working for the people man!
Marc Dann: http://www.akronnewsnow.com/news/itemdetail.asp?ID=19977§ion=news&subsection=politicsnews
John Widowfield: http://www.akronnewsnow.com/news/itemdetail.asp?ID=20524§ion=news&subsection=politicsnews
Six months down in Akron and the fun has just begun. Wow, I think some heavy drinking is in my future.