The Police Were Hot on Her Tail

My lovely daughter, Melissa, is a sweet girl. She is bright, funny, charming and very, very social. She rarely gives us much trouble – – but, she’s also 16. The age of 16 doesn’t come and go without a handful of little disruptions in life – – it’s like a turning point when, suddenly, the very sweet girl who used to want to spend all her time in her Mom’s lap all of a sudden doesn’t want to be SEEN with that same Mom in public. Oh the horror!

Actually, Melissa isn’t so much like that. While she doesn’t sit in my lap anymore these days, she does like to spend time with me and is quite comfortable ‘hanging’ out with her friends in our kitchen, where I get to listen to all sorts of juicy, meaningless teenaged girl gossip. She’s a good girl.

All of that being said, you’ll understand my surprise when I got a midnight phone call from our local police. Chris and I were in Connecticut, on our anniversary mini-vacation, and my cell phone rang at midnight. Of course, my initial reaction is one of pure dread – – in my mind, there’s only a few reasons why you would get a midnight phone call from the police – – and NONE of them are good ones. When I realized it was the police calling, I’m answering the phone – – but mentally, I’m packing our bags and trying to decide who to call first and how we’ll get an immediate flight away from the East Coast back home!

Hello – am I speaking with Melissa’s Mom?

*Gulp*…Yes, yes – I am her mother… what’s wrong? Is she OK???

As far as I know, Ma’am – but I need to speak with Melissa about an incident in which she was a part of earlier this evening. I have her cell number, but she’s not answering

But she’s ok, right? No one is hurt? What happened? What KIND of incident??

Well, I’m still investigating, which is why I need to speak with her. It involves a name-calling incident that occurred at the park this evening.

Umm, name calling? Really? Name calling? Was there a fight? Physical violence or something?

No, Ma’am.

Well, were drugs and/or alcohol involved?

No, Ma’am

Gang violence? Mass murder? Acts of terrorism? Anything other than ‘name calling’ ?

No Ma’am. Apparently, your daughter called another girl a “Bitch” – and then that girl called her a “Bitch” back and there were a few other names tossed back and forth between them. I will need to talk to Melissa to finish my investigation.

……. . . . . .

So… it’s midnight on a Saturday and you are investigating something that amounts to school yard bickering between two teenaged girls in the park? No one hit anyone. Everyone was sober. There were no weapons. No one’s hair got pulled, or toe got stepped on — no one was threatened with their life. What we’re talking about here is an official police investigation over someone calling someone else a Bitch?

Ma’am – I’m not done with my investigation. If you would please tell me how I can get in touch with your daughter, I will have more answers for you.

…..

Fast forward to 2am – the phone rings again. It’s the same policeman, who has now completed his investigation. We’re talking CSI: Wisconsin, here. Very, very official stuff.

I’ve completed my investigation and will be issuing your daughter a ticket for Disorderly Conduct. There is a court date in July, it is not mandatory, however. You can choose not to attend the scheduled court date and opt to pay the $85 fine, the choice is yours.

Oh.. I am positive we’ll be attending the scheduled court date. Will you be there? Because my husband and I will be very interested to sit and listen to you explain to the judge about how you spent 2-3 hours on a Saturday night investigating a ‘name calling incident’ between two teenaged girls.

We’ll be sitting in that court room waiting for the drug dealers, drunk drivers and wife beaters have their moment in front of the judge – – and when my daughter gets called to stand in front of the Honorable Him, or Her, I think I’ll have to video tape the ridiculousness of… “Melissa, you are here today, before the judge, charged with Disorderly Conduct for calling Alicia a bitch – – how do you plea?” THAT is YouTube-worthy.

I mean, what IF Alicia IS a bitch? I’ve raised my daughter to be honest. Can we get some character witnesses in to verify that Alicia is, indeed, a bitch. Perhaps if we brought in a Mental Health expert and had Alicia undergo psychiatric testing and if that expert witness confirms that she is a bitch – will Melissa be off the hook?

I can’t believe you spent 3 hours investigating name calling. This is embarrassing – – not for ME, but for YOU… big bad city cop spending his Saturday night conducting an official investigation for something that, had it happened in school, she probably would have gotten a slap on the wrist for – – at worst, after-school detention.

How about this? I have $100 in cash in my purse right now – – what if I called YOU an asshole.. how much would that cost me? I just want to ask, because I’m thinking that it might JUST be worth it!

Ok, so I didn’t really SAY that last part…I said it on the inside, though.

I suppose I could be more contrite. After all, I didn’t raise my daughter to have a potty mouth. But I did raise her to speak the truth and I know her well enough to know that she didn’t just randomly call the girl a bitch, just out of the blue. Something happened in that teenaged-drama-queen way that happens when you’re 16. Maybe I should be more serious about this? Maybe I’m not quite grasping the severity of the situation??

Todays name caller is tomorrows serial killer? Or something.

I’ll need to think on this some more and see if I can dig deep and find the outrage I should be feeling about my daughter calling another girl the dreaded *B* word.

All in all, maybe my daughter will think twice before she opens her mouth to curse at another human being ever again. I’m sure there is some larger lesson being doled out and learned within all of this – – and if I, as her mother, completely thumb my nose at the authority of justice in this town.. what kind of lesson am I passing on to her?

I’ll tell you what, though – – I go to sleep every single night with the comforting and reassuring thought that the fine men and women of the West Bend Police Department are keeping my streets safe from name callers. I cannot tell you how I used to sit up at night.. unable to sleep, for fear that someone… somewhere…is being called a name.

27 thoughts on “The Police Were Hot on Her Tail”

  1. LMAO :d, well on the bright side, the crime rate in your area must be really low for a police officer to be *seriously* investigating a name calling incident. I mean, come on, name calling?

  2. You know why the big, bad city copy was investigating the matter? Because he’s not allowed to chase real criminals for fear of being sued by them. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

    “what if I called YOU an asshole.. how much would that cost me?”

    LMAO at this though! Perhaps you could phone him up now and ask in person, or test the water at the court? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. @Paul – seriously – it IS a very tempting thought. I would probably be thrown in a jail cell and held for contempt of court, I’m sure. The idea weighs heavy, though. . ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Tolumi – I know, right? Name calling! Seriously. I’m considering the thought that this whole thing was a prank call LOL

  4. Is there any way of getting hold of the local crime statistics over that weekend? It might make for an interesting article in the local rag. ๐Ÿ˜•

  5. That is pure insanity. I had no idea you could get in such trouble for name-calling. It does put you in a hard position though, because with kids so much more is “caught” than “taught” and how you respond to authority in this matter sure will make an impact on her, esp. at her age. I still can’t believe he called and scared you to death at midnight. Wow.

  6. Astro – – did I know you knocked up the Mrs. again?? Did I forget about this??? You know – old age and fading memory and all…. ?

  7. Randa – you’re right.. it is a fine line to walk with kids that age. I mean, isn’t this the most ridiculous thing? But at the same time – you don’t want to convey the message that it’s ok to laugh in the face of authority.

    Yet, on the other hand – – not all people in positions of authority are right – – so it’s good to teach them to use their own heads… but they also need to know which battles to fight. Some battles aren’t worth it, in the end… because authority has this nagging way of getting really ugly when not respected.

    Oy!

  8. Man, never heard anything like it… But as you seem about as upset as I’d be I guess this is not a typical US jurisdictional policy or something… Quite honestly had to laugh, but I imagine I’d be pretty furious about it being in your situation… Oh my gosh… Right now I’m imagining a special court being created just for people calling each other bitch… Bitch court… And they’d haven their own TV channel as well… oh wait, I guess that’s what you call talkshows…

  9. Definitely never seen or heard of such thing before. Your daughter is like any other normal teenager around the world. (I’m a teenger myself and I do slip out a word or two).

    That’s totally normal these days, and I really think that’s stupid of the police officer. I believe nothing will happen on court, the judge will probably laugh and that will be it.

    Anyway good luck, try not to be frustrated about this, (can’t imagine how hard that is, because of the stupidness of the situation).

  10. That is all kinds of hilarious. I’m tagging this in my del.icio.us links, which means it will appear on the website tomorrow morning.

    So, is there any real crime in Wisconsin, or do the police just harrass little girls?

  11. I believe Arlo Guthrie once spoke of a similar situation:

    I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
    ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
    sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
    ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
    kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.”

  12. @Charles Betz – it’s ok to laugh.. it is kind of funny in a frustrating sort of way. I don’t *think* this is typical of law enforcement in the US, at least I’ve not ever heard of such a thing.

    I like your idea of “Bitch Court’, though – that’s rich ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Robbie – a teenaged perspective is always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree, it is typical of teens these days.. Hell, it was typical of teens when I was one, myself!

  14. Dave – thanks for hooking me up with del.icio.us ๐Ÿ™‚

    To answer your question – No, I think there isn’t any real crime in Wisconsin. There just can’t be if they treat something like this as a priority on a Saturday night!

  15. This has taken over as the most absurd police story I’ve ever heard, replacing my own experience:

    When I was 17, I got pulled over for (allegedly) running a red light. I got two tickets that night: one for the red light and one for not having the registration (it was my mom’s car). The cop told me I could fax the ticket in with a copy of the registration and not have to pay it, which I promptly did the next morning. This was in October.

    The following June, I was home from college. I got a letter in the mail informing me a warrant was issued for my arrest for failing to pay the registration ticket. I then had the odd scenario of having to drive down to the police station to post bail for myself.

  16. Pingback: Sugar Ray Dodge » Blog Archive » links for 2007-06-30

  17. Didn’t you know that name calling is a gateway crime. I heard that a girl about your daughters age called a girl a name and a couple months later she jaywalked across the street. If they would have thrown in jail right at the time of the name calling incident there would have never been the more serious jaywalking offence.

  18. Beyond ridiculous !

    I one had to leave work to attend an official school meeting about my daughter because she talked too loud during lunch. I was so upset.

    Some times its fun to be the parent.

  19. Lawrence Hughes

    What about first amendment rights? I think it definitely is your daughter’s opinion of the other child. I’m a teacher and that word, though discouraged, is not even considered a cuss word.

  20. Totally not funny. I googled the question “can you get arrested for calling someone a bitch” an your article came up. I was checking bc an officer just threatened to arrest me for it. Someone hit my car in a parking lot (embarrassed to say, I’m 28 not 16 and maybe should have used “nicer” words . But hey, we’re in America and I can use my words) the security guard at the company would not let me get a word out so I say can I talk please and she told me not to tell he to shut up, so I responded “no reason to be a bitch” then she told me to call 1-800-Kroger for additional assistance. Really, that us not enoughh numbers. The officer told her to walk away and that I could look the information upton the Internet. Then she told me not to go back I the sore to talk tithe manager, and the “officer” followed up by telling me I’m lucky he is not arresting me for disorderly conduct and I need to get in my car and leave. Really, never once did I raise my voice oracle a scene in the parking lot. How was I disorderly???? Someone hit my car! Well Kroger security guard, I do plan on calling corporate and officer I plan on filing a formal complaint. Thank you both for not assisting me and Turing me into the villain even though I started out a the victim as my car was involved in a hit an run. Embarrassed by the city if Atlanta police department!!!!!!!!

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