Military and Police

Bad Dope, Better Dope, and Parachutes!

What happens when, while you’re high on bad dope, you decide it would be a great idea to get in your car and drive in search of good dope? Well, you get what happened to one man recently.

Cops arrested a man, who’d admitted to being high on methamphetamine, and booked him into jail on several charges. The suspect told the officers he’d gotten high on bad dope, and he’d gone out to find some better drugs.The suspect’s drug-induced crime spree included stealing a semi-truck, crashing through fences, escaping from soldiers dropping from the sky, and nearly getting hit by an airplane before finally being captured by MPs.

Quite a dope-tinged hallucination, eh? Not so fast. This mind-altered suspect’s account may be more accurate than you’d think. During an interview after his arrest, the suspect told the cops he wasn’t happy with the quality of the drugs he’d taken, so he headed out from Olympia to Tacoma to find some “better dope.”

Northbound on I-5 toward Tacoma, his car ran out of gas. The suspect managed to get to an exit where he got out and was now on foot. However, the bad-guy gods were apparently smiling on him. In a nearby technical college parking lot sat an unoccupied semi without a trailer. The keys were in the ignition and the engine was running. No good union criminal could resist such serendipity. Naturally, he stole the truck. One problem though: The suspect had never driven a semi.

In the same way it is easier to fly a plane than to land it, the suspect got the truck to go, but he couldn’t quite figure out how to get the truck to stop. Unable to brake, the suspect saw a fence off the roadway. He said he figured hitting it might at least dump speed. He swerved, aimed for the fence, and hurtled through it. Then he careened on, smashing through two more residential fences before plowing into a fourth, more substantial fence. The truck finally stopped.

The suspect got out of the vehicle and took off running. He stopped when he realized he’d left his wallet and I.D. in the truck. He figured the cops would find out who he was and search for him. He spotted a cluster of buildings nearby, figured it would be a better place to hide, and ran toward them.

Hiding next to a building, he knew he was really in trouble when he looked up and saw four parachutes floating down toward him. He figured they’d been sent to look for him. By this point, he realized he was at an airport.

(Credit: Facebook/SOF Support)

Now, for what you may have already guessed and what the late Paul Harvey would have called “the rest of the story.”

The last fence the suspect had crashed through belongs to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Unaware he’d inadvertently breached a U.S. military base, the suspect, still high on bad dope, was on a mission to avoid capture. Apparently, not only didn’t he have commercial vehicle training, it was obvious he had no Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) training either. In fact, when he ran across a runway to escape the descending soldiers, he said he was nearly hit by an airplane.

Unknown to the rattled suspect, attached to those parachutes were U.S. Army soldiers taking part in Special Forces training on the base. The plane that nearly hit him was a U.S. Air Force C-17, which was also taking part in the training.

JBLM military police arrested the suspect as he was attempting to break into a locked building. The suspect admitted he was high on methamphetamine and regaled the cops with his adventure.

After a computer records check, the MPs located an outstanding warrant for the suspect out of Idaho. Not great at driving a big rig or eluding the cops, it seems he was an experienced criminal. The warrant was for “eluding police, assault, violating a no-contact order, theft, and burglary.”

After transferring custody, deputies transported and booked the suspect into the Pierce County Jail charged with vehicle theft, malicious mischief, and driving with a suspended license. I have a feeling there may be a few federal charges he can add when he tells his cellmates the story about the time, while high on bad dope, he went in search of good dope.

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including Is There a Problem, Officer? and the upcoming De-Policing: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. He served as a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and as a precinct mountain bike coordinator. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys riding his Harley and hiking and cycling with his wife who is also an English major as well as a retired firefighter.

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