Monday, November 19, 2007

Another good job

A job from a while back, on one of the rare occasions I was free of paperwork and able to go out and get stuck in. Not a job of any great spectacle, but a fairly interesting one I thought.

It was a fairly routine night shift and I was leaving the petrol station when a call came out across the radio about an RTC, road traffic collision.

Any RTC that comes in at 3am the instant thought is: this could be serious. This time of night people tend not to crash their cars unless they're drunk or stolen.

I start running along, as does the other (sole remaining) response car. As I'm going, another update comes in that the occupants have made off towards the road I'm currently running down, blue lights reflecting back at me off the street signs. Well, at least it isn't a serious one. But why make off?

We take the left turn into the road the crash is on. Clock middle aged bloke walking along the pavement. We're still some distance off the RTC so we leave him and keep heading towards where it is when someone jumps out between two cars waving at us. The RTC is still nowhere in sight and my operator is about to tell him where to go (again- early in the morning, people quite often tend to talk drunken nonsense at us) when he breathlessly tells us middle aged chap we just saw, now just approaching the junction was in the car that crashed. He's followed him from the crash and is waving so animatedly he throws his phone 10 metres down the road. I see the other cars blue lights approaching and shout instructions down the radio.

One detained, just a touch tiddly. As in not actually able to stand up straight for more than about a second, complete with a swaying routine as though there's a snake charmer playing just the right tunes in his head.

Someone else has turned up to the crash scene. Theres a large head shaped hole in the passenger side of the windscreen. By now other calls have filtered through the 999 system and the passenger of the car was seen to head off covered in blood, again towards us.

We only have seen the one person here but I look down on the floor and sure enough theres a blood trail, a fresh spot every few metres. I call for the assistance of a furry land shark as he's going to do a much better job of following the blood trail down dark alleys than me floundering with a torch.

People at the scene have found some paperwork which seems to confirm boozy middle aged bloke detained, not sober enough to be able to think about giving a false name, was in the car. He can't be the passenger as he would have rather large cuts on his sweaty forehead, and the blood trail is on the opposite side of the road. Combine that with the first witness and he is coming with us to answer questions about drink drive and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

He proceeds to get a bit lairy because we won't let him go to the toilet. Sorry old fruit, you've been nicked for a drink drive offence. What you've got in your bladder could be evidence.

I heard he decided to not wait until custody and released his pressure whilst inside the back of the van. Which pleased the driver no end.

The dog van is now here and we're searching for the passenger. Our concern now is mostly welfare as by all accounts he's wandering round with a chunk of his head missing. We don't want to wait for a call in the morning from an alarmed resident finding a collapsed or worse dead man in his front garden.

Hairy canine follows blood to a path leading to 4 flats. Not sure which exactly which one our injured chap could be in though. We don't have a great deal of choice and start knocking on all of them. I was most impressed that people answered their doors at 4am. Not sure if I would. Anyway 3 of the 4 residents stumble bleary-eyed to the door.

Which leaves one.

Again, not a great deal of choice in the matter. One size 11 key later and we're in. And find chap lying in his bed with a mess of dried blood all over his head and covering his bed. One quick request to the ambulance people and we try to rouse him. Well, he got roused all right.

Talk about not being pleased to see us! I think anti-police would sum it up in a mild manner, especially after I told him I unfortunately had to kick his door in. Needless to say, he refused to tall us how he got this cut to his head and he advised the ambulance crews of his feelings for them with a range of adjectives that tended to start with the letter f.

Once he's signed the ambulance disclaimer we get his details and tell him we'll be in contact when he's sober.

As I somewhat doubt he would be the type to give a full and honest account of the events leading up to the injury causing incident (namely his even more pissed mate, in a car of dubious legality of ownership, drove straight into a parked car at about 35 mph) I now head off to find the original callers to get statements from them to put the arrested driver with now presumably quite uncomfortable trousers in the driver seat.

We return to the nick (via a coffee from the one 24hr place we have) to collate it all the statements, accident reports, damage reports etc for the morning shift to take on the case. The driver blew high 90s on the breath machine but needs to be interviewed about the failing to stop and that can't be done till he's sober. Which'll take about 10 hours, in the doctors estimate. Theres also questions about his legitimacy of driving the car.

The chap in the flat made me laugh. You've been seen to stagger away from a car crash where you've nearly put your head through the windscreen, but you have nothing but abuse for the people concerned enough for your health to track you down. Oh well.