Late one night, a Highway Patrol officer was dispatched to a rollover traffic collision (T/C) on a winding canyon road. When the officer arrived, he found the car resting on its roof and the driver (we’ll call her Cindy) sitting on the roadside miraculously uninjured. Cindy was very drunk and had the car keys in her purse, but she insisted she was not the driver. The officer had his doubts on this, especially when he saw how the lipstick smeared on Cindy’s face perfectly matched the lipstick imprints on the driver’s side airbag, which had deployed during the T/C. According to Cindy, she had been drinking with a new acquaintance named Wayne and it was he who rolled her car. Wayne fled after the collision. The officer wasn’t buying it and after she failed the field sobriety test, he was fixing to arrest Cindy for DUI. At that point Cindy pulled out her trump card and mentioned that not only had her new boyfriend fled after the crash, he had brutally raped her too. This put a whole new light on the situation and the officer was obligated to transport Cindy to the local hospital for a rape investigation.

Here in California, it’s the sheriffs department who investigates criminal incidents in the county area, so my office was called and a deputy responded. Cindy was very uncooperative and refused to submit to a rape kit, but she did provide further details of that night’s events. The woman recounted how she and her new boyfriend Wayne had been to several bars drinking beer and tequila. She was drunk, so she allowed Wayne to drive her car. At the last bar, they got into an argument and were thrown out, which enraged the boyfriend. While driving over the canyon road, Wayne pulled the car over and forcefully raped Cindy. He then drove further down the canyon road, flipped the car and fled the scene before the police arrived. From her description of the rape site, the deputy determined this crime occurred in a neighboring city jurisdiction (oh happy day).

When the officer from the other city arrived, a little dispute erupted. There was a question if the described rape site was actually in that city after all. Sergeants were called and another dispute erupted. It was finally determined that the sheriffs department would handle the rape after all. The city officer was almost home safe when he came across a pedestrian versus auto T/C. The injured pedestrian was none other than Wayne, the runaway car-crashing rapist whom Cindy had described. Hurt, drunk and belligerent, Wayne’s story was that he had gotten drunk with Cindy, they were kicked out of a bar and it was Cindy who rolled the car. She was driving like a maniac and near scared him to death. Wayne stated he was uninjured in the rollover T/C, and was just trying to get home and away from Cindy. It was not a good match. When asked if he had raped her, Wayne’s comment was, “Are you kidding, I’m not that drunk.”

What a mess. Anyway, to make a short story long, Wayne went to the hospital and Cindy went to jail. Sometimes I wish they would outlaw alcohol for all the trouble it causes. But what am I complaining about. If nothing else, it’s job security.

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