Bachlor Party in a U-Haul: Valley
Police Department, Spring 1990
"Officer Shelton, Do you see anything wrong here?"
a pleasant Friday Evening in early June. On the weekends, we typically
had more than one officer on patrol. Don Shelton was cruising in
his patrol car as Five-Five, while I was doing the same as Five-Four.
(Yeah… That’s car 54…)
7:30 or 8:00 PM, I pulled in to a parking lot along US-275 to take
care of some paperwork, and watch traffic. A short time later, a
large U-Haul Rental Truck, the kind with the large box that extended
over the roof of the cab was traveling west on US-275. What was
odd was the banging sound coming from the truck. It was almost like
live stock in the back of a cattle truck! This would require some
the vehicle over, and made contact with the driver. He was an 18
year old young man, who appeared very apprehensive. He provided
all the necessary credentials and paper work, but he was clearly
nervous about something. I asked him, “What are you hauling?”
Just some furniture and stuff…” the kid replied.
else? I mean, something’s making a heck of a racket back there!”
kid says, “Oh! There’s a dog back there!”
over the top of my glasses, “A dog… Really? That must
be one heck of a dog to make that kind of noise.”
Shelton, “Five-Four, Five-Five?”
me at a traffic stop, Route 275 and 64. Suspicious activity.”
acknowledged, and arrived within two minutes. In the mean time,
I asked the driver to step out of his vehicle and to come to the
back of the truck, out of traffic. With Don standing by, I explain
to the young man, “Ok, you’ve told me that you’re
hauling furniture and ‘stuff’, and that the cause of
all the noise coming from inside the vehicle is being caused by
a big dog in the back of the truck. Right?”
kid nods in agreement.
need you to open the back of the truck.”
kid pleads, “Do I have to?
other option is we impound the truck, and tow it to Omaha until
we get a court order. Your call.”
kid shuffles his feet, “Well... ok…”
and I have no idea what to expect as the kid is releasing the latches
to open the doors. We don’t know if an animal is going to
bust out, or if he has Rambo waiting to ambush us, so we’re
both standing somewhat to the side in a protective stance with our
hands on our weapons.
kid swings the doors open to reveal four gentlemen seated in lawn
chairs around a small beer keg. One shouts, “Hello!”
going on guys?” I ask.
of the guys hops out of the truck, and explains, “Well, that
guy over there is my Brother, and he’s getting married tomorrow.
The Kid here is our designated driver. He’s taking us to the
bars and strip joints in the area. I guess you might say this is
our rolling bachelor party for my brother!”
procedure we get ID’s from everyone, and run them for wants
and warrants. Everyone is clean as a whistle!
and I are trying to keep a straight face. I say to Don in an official
voice, “Officer Shelton, I don’t see any problems. Do
you see anything wrong here?”
says Don. “I don’t see any problems at all!”
hands all around, offer congratulations to the Groom to be, cautioned
them to all be careful, and sent them on their way.
Purple Sage Law Enforcement