Wednesday, October 13, 2004

To Serve, To Protect

The other night we had a problem at the hotel that turned into a very frustrating experience and has caused me to have even less faith or trust for our police officers.

Since the hurricanes we have had alot of out of state workers staying at all the hotels in the area. They work during the day and it seems, drink all night. One large group we have are all Mexicans. You can see them with beer in their hands at all hours, even first thing in the morning. They drink huge quantities of beer and we can load the dumpster 3 or 4 times per day with beer bottles. This is a little off subject but I find it amazing that anyone would drink that much. Even water.

A couple of nights ago our security was dumping some trash at 3 in the morning and noticed a group of them laughing and one of them by a pickup truck. He heard the air rushing from the tire and they saw him and ran into a couple of rooms. It turns out they slashed the tires on 3 cars owned by their company. I called the police and we waited. And waited. And waited. In the meantime I tried to locate the supervisor and finally woke him up as the police pulled up.

The first to pull up was a woman. The other was a (bald) man. They asked who owned the cars and there was a little confusion over that because they were personally owned cars used for company business. Well, that became the focus of the investigation from then on. We kept wondering why they were not interested in the guys who slashed the tires. They sat in their cars for 30 minutes radioing information and filling out paperwork. When we tried to talk to them about the suspects they just blew us off. My security guard and I took the company supervisor to try to find the guys who did this. We opened a few doors, talked to them and found five guys who were the ones who did it. One of them was in bed with his shoes on. We rounded them up and had to wait until the police were done whatever they were doing. I couldn't wait any longer and went back to the office. The police called me to ask me some questions about the supervisor who was out there. I answered them and when I went back out to talk to my security - he said the police ran his driver's license. Why? He works for the hotel. They still were not dealing with the suspects, some of which had disappeared.

Needless to say we were very confused. We called them to report some slashed tires and now they are ignoring the suspects and investigating us. We could only surmise they were afraid to confront the Mexicans for some reason. If he or I had slashed any tires we would be in the back of the cruiser by now. Two more police cruisers pulled up and the guys got out. Pause.

My security guard is a huge man who walks with a cane and carries a firearm (He has a federal permit). He shaves his head and he looks like you don't want to mess with him. His favorite thing to do when someone threatens to take his can and beat him with it (it happened twice at the hotel) is take his cane in his left hand and hand it to the guy and say, "Here you go" and he lifts his shirt just enough to see the gun. That ends the confrontation. He was not armed while the police were there just for the hassle factor. The point is he is bald and I've known him quite a while, long before I started seeing some others guys shaving their heads. Another guy we know started doing it and now it seems like everyone is doing it.

To continue. The first thing I noticed was that both of these officers were bald. I found that hilarious. Sorry, but when everyone starts doing something like that it begins to get pretty lame. We now had 3 bald cops here. None of them were interested in doing anything with the suspects. We finally realized they were not going to do any arresting or anything with them. We told them we wanted them trespassed. We do this sometimes and the police are very cooperative about it. The hotel doesn't want you on property, you leave. Now. They go to the room, they tell them the deal, they make sure they leave. If they come back they go to jail. Period. We get some paperwork to that affect.

Not these guys. They had an officer who spoke spanish and he was laughing and having a good ole time with the suspects while filling out the paperwork. We watched the whole thing. None of them had any ID's and none of them had a home address. Texas or Mexico was all the address they got. A couple of them started walking away towards another part of the hotel which they were not staying and my security brought this up to the officer who proceeded to rudely tell him to mind his own business, they were going to get their belongings. They did come back but didn't have any belongings. When they were finished they let the suspects go back to their rooms, gave us the paperwork and left. It was about 6am. We just looked at each other in complete amazement at what we had just seen. The suspects just disappeared into a vast sea of Mexicans and we can't really be sure of which they are. There are about thirty rooms, perhaps more. Even the supervisor doesn't know them all, too many people work for him. For all we know they gave bogus information too. I thought out loud how long we would have to wait before we called the police again and have them come out and arrest them for not leaving. We ended up not calling. It would have been a huge mess trying to find them again, if they would even try.

The next day he had to call the cops on another room (white guy) and the officer came out and did his job exactly as advertised. Boom, boom, boom, he was outta there.

The next night one of the Mexicans who we trespassed came back to beat up another guy and they called the police out. The officer (not bald) saw him on property and watched him walk next door and disappear. He drove his cruiser around but didn't see anyone.

We are still working on this and we found 3 of the names still on the company payroll sheet.

No one is protecting you.

PS: This would only get worse under Kerry, so don't even think about going there.

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