Tag Archives: police
April 14, 2010

Ecuador: Scariest Ride to Baños

The view out the back of our ride

There was a wall of rock on one side, a 300-foot cliff down to a dry riverbed on the other.  Alicia and I were sandwiched into the back of a pickup truck with our rented bikes, gripping its sides as a car battery and broken glass slid around our feet.  Our driver seemed to be chatting with the three other men in the cab while he raced up the Andean mountain road.  Our tires literally squealed on the pavement as he drove us, more often than not, into the oncoming lane.  It occurred to me, while rounding another blind curve, that going over the cliff was the least of our worries.  At that speed, sitting in the back of a pickup, any accident was likely to be fatal.  I thought: This may be the scariest ride of my life.

And that was before they pulled out their guns.


October 12, 2006

Police Action

Police LightsOn my way home from work the night before last, I pulled up behind a green pick-up truck next to Dehart’s. At first, nothing appeared out of the ordinary. We were just two cars waiting at a stop sign for a gap in the traffic.

When the gap came, the truck in front of me didn’t pull out. Huh, I thought. Seemed like enough room to me.

When the next gap came a moment later and the driver still didn’t make any move to pull out, I tapped my horn a couple times, as light and polite as I could manage. I peered into the cab to see if he was engaged in conversation with another passenger, but I could only make out one silhouette.

When another gap in the after-work traffic finally appeared and the brake lights on the pick-up continued their ignorant red glow, I leaned on the horn. I thought maybe the silhouette moved a little, but I couldn’t be sure. At any rate, the pickup certainly didn’t.

I checked the rear view – no one behind me – and threw my Jeep into park. I got out and walked up to driver’s side door, thinking something must be seriously wrong. If there was a problem with the vehicle, why hadn’t the driver gotten out or at least waved me around? The thought of a heart attack crossed my mind…

As I walked up, I noticed the window had been rolled down. The driver was slumped over, chin resting on his chest, eyes closed. Shit, oh, shit.