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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

We Have To Shout Above The Din Of Our Rice Crispies

"Syn-chro-nic-i-ty n. synchronism of events that appear to be connected but have no demonstrable causal relationship."

So you've read about my little near-death experience last week (see entry below), and perhaps been wondering where things stand. I left work early on Thursday to go downtown and pick up a copy of the Incident Report filed by SPD, so that I could fax a copy of it to the insurance company, and also to get a check-up, since I was experiencing some moderate back and neck pain (prognosis: no whiplash, just a bit of post-accident stress trauma).

When I was handed the photo copy of the report, I noticed the license plate number of the offending vehicle had been entered incorrectly, and was instructed to contact the officer who filed it in order to get it corrected. Left a message for him at the East Precinct, then went home before my doctor's appointment later that afternoon.

I still hadn't heard back from the officer by yesterday, so figured I'd place another call this morning. On my way home from a meeting up on Queen Ann last night, I ended up taking a #3 bus, having just missed my #2 by about five minutes. The #3 follows a very different route from the #2, but ends up dropping me off about three blocks south of my apartment, instead of a block and a-half north.

As the driver made the turn from E. James St. onto 21st Ave, about two blocks before my stop, I happened to glance out the righthand window (I was sitting across from the driver next to the door), when - lo and behold! - what should I-Spy-With-My-Little-Eye sitting at the curb next to the bus stop, but a mid-1980's white four-door sedan! The bus headlights clearly illuminated the back end, giving me an unimpeded view of the license plate - 341-KZM!

"Holy cow!" (or something more colorful) I shouted, "that's HIM! Wait, let me out! LET ME OUT!" Before the driver thought I'd completely lost it, I very quickly explained my situation.

"Be careful," he admonished, as he opened the doors.

I hopped off the bus, and took a quick glance around to make certain nobody was hanging about. Didn't seem prudent to go over and start peering into somebody's car in front of complete strangers at 10:30 in the evening. Fortunately, nobody was in view, and the driver even held up for a few moments, just enough to allow me a quick visual inspection of the car before he drove off into the night.

Even if the license hadn't clinch matters, it was definitely the same car I had nearly had up my backside a few days earlier: same front grill, same dual square-lensed headlights, same color & style.

Definitely my perp.

I pulled out my cellphone, and considered calling 911 right then-and-there, but figured, since they wouldn't have the correct license on-record, they probably wouldn't do anything about it until the next day anyway. I tried to take a cam photo of the car, but despite the nearby streetlight it was too dark to get a decent image. Instead I jotted down the location and time on the back of a business card, and noted the address of the house in front of which the car was parked. No guarantee of course this was the actual residence, but at the very least, I knew if he didn't live there or at least on that block, he knew someone who did.

Needless to say, I walked the remaining blocks home in a state of - I guess aggitated elation. I now knew the plates were legit, as both front and back matched (I had initially briefly considered the possibility the car might be stolen, or that the perp might think to switch plates, but clearly that would have been giving him far too much credit) and given the time of evening I figured there was a very good chance I had his location pegged to within less than a city block.

But of course, this would never have happened if: A.) I hadn't rescheduled my meeting for a different time-and-location; B.) I hadn't missed my bus and decided to take the next closest route, rather than waiting for the next #2; C.) I hadn't been sitting where I had been; and D.) I hadn't been looking in exactly the right spot at the right moment. Considering that, if there had been even a slight change in any one of these conditions I never would have seen the car, it's enough to make one wonder - albeit only for a moment - if there wasn't some sort of Cosmic Causuality in effect here. Justice Will Be Served, and all that.

Or, more likely, I was just really, really lucky, and that's all there is to it.

This morning, I did finally manage to get through to Officer Williams, noted the incorrect license number on the Incident Report, informed him that I had seen the car, and gave him the location. He said he'd re-run the plates through DMV (naturally, they didn't match the vehicile description previously) and that he'd get back to me.

Now I guess, it's all about the waiting - for the police to inform me they've taken the suspect into custody, to do an I.D. presumably, and for the dealer to inform me as to the state-of-repair of "Little Nellie". Hopefully, all the pieces will click together in the next couple of days.

I'll keep you posted.

Posted byCOMTE on 12:40 PM

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