Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Chevron Gas Station, Corner of S. 240th & Pac Hwy S.

I thought I was done this week but passing a Chevron station this afternoon brought back an unfavorable memory.  This incident happened at least ten years ago, perhaps longer but obviously remains as fresh as an unfortuante fish rotting away on a salty pier on a sunny day.  I think you will realize why this memory disturbs me, this being a very short story about a kidnapped woman and the Seattle police department.

Getting a call to the station, an extremely frightened woman dashed into the taxi.  She was headed back to where she had been kidnapped near S. Graham and 28th S. on Seattle's Beacon Hill near what was then called Old Holly.  Maybe in New Holly these kind of incidents don't occur.  I certainly hope so. 

The woman, who was in her early 30s, had for some reason entered an acquaintance's car, which proceeded to take her minus any and all permission on a drive south of Sea-Tac Airport.  At the first opportunity she leaped out of the car at a red light and fled into the gas station.  She just wanted to go home. 

On the way back I encouraged her to call the police but it was clear that she wasn't going to do that, letting the criminal or criminals escape all responsibility.  After hearing her harrowing tale I decided to call the SPD myself after dropping her off.

Parked in front of  a local mom & pop grocery, I waited for the patrol car.  I always dislike waiting for the police because they can take a long time, reminding me again that taxi drivers are not a high priority.  Maybe because I said it involved a kidnapping my wait was short.

The officer, really a kid in his 20s told me that he would not do anything though I gave him a thorough description of the incident, making it clear that the victim wasn't reporting the crime fearing retribution.  No, he repeatedly said, he could do nothing.  I gave him her address and that was the last I heard of the situation. 

To this day I still don't understand the cop's attitude.  Perhaps if it had been his mother or sister he would have responded.  Or maybe not, his training telling him that further investigation was unwarranted.  These things happen all the time.  Everyone knows that.  Much too mundane to take his interest.  She hadn't been murdered or raped.  Now something like that might have interested him.  Or maybe not!  I am sure he had tickets to issue.  Or donuts and coffee to consume.  Or instead I will leave it to your imagination.  Nightmares are pleasant!

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