Justice, Cole Valley Style

Today I made peace with the fact that, yes, I am one of those neighborhood busybodies. Someday I will have the city complaint line on speedial. I’m okay with that.

It’s just that I have this innate sense of justice. And when I see the jerks of the world getting away with their jerkiness, it burns me up inside.

Here’s the story. Last Thursday night, as I was taking the pups on their last walk of the evening, there was the unmistakable sound of a moving car hitting a still one. A car alarm blared out and the dogs and I turned to see a purple Scion speed down Carl Street and off into the night. No note, no nothing. A hit and run. Bastard.

My car was similarly hit on Carl Street a few years ago and it cost $7,000 to fix. Insurance covered it, but my rates went up for a year. Probably some drunk idiot stumbling out of one of the bars and driving when they shouldn’t. Same thing happened to this poor car – it had been sideswiped from front to back. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for purple Scions.

Then, this morning, I saw the same purple Scion. I knew it was the same car because it had a dent and a broken taillight right where it hit the other car.

My mind raced. I could leave an angry note! No, better, I could etch a few choice words on the side of the car with my keys! No, better! I could go to the store, buy yellow spraypaint, and write HIT AND RUN on the side of the car. But I did none of those things. Instead, I took a photo.

Later in the day, I called the police and reported the license plate number and what I’d seen. Then I took the photo, added personal note to the people involved, made a poster, and put it up in several places on my street with enough tape to make it a huge challenge to remove.

Yeah, I’m a neighborhood busybody. But it could be worse. I could be a bastard who smashes into parked cars and flees the scene.

I know, I could be fighting global poverty or working on a cure for cancer or something. But those are problems too immense to think about. If I can bring a tiny bit of justice to my little corner of Cole Valley, that’s enough for me.

7 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 9:17 am

    Good for you!

    A few days before Thanksgiving a few years ago, I was rear-ended on the freeway and the assmunch who did it took off. A really good soul in the car behind the assmunch, however, was quick-thinking enough to jot down the plate. I can’t say I’d be so quick.

    Definitely appreciated the help from a total stranger though.

    (I am, however, curious about your insurance raising your rates on a claim that was no your fault. That seems both wrong and unusual. My policy, for instance, specifically won’t increase my rates in the same situation.)

  2. Michael 'Mickey' Sattler (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    Thank you, Derek!

    That’s just wonderful. Frontier justice applied as necessary. You’ve brought a tear of happiness to this bloggers eye :-)

  3. neil (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

    Very cool. Good on ya.

    Several years ago, I used to live above the Walgreens at Fillmore & Haight. One evening while I was watching the parade outside my living room window, a car came roaring up Fillmore and ran a red light into the intersection, where it smacked into a motorcycle, knocking him off his bike and smashing bits of it all over. It then tore off, continuing up Fillmore.

    All the pedestrian traffic (and me) watched, shocked, as the cyclist slowly got to his feet. As several people ran to help him, he started poking around in the debris. A few seconds later he triumphantly held something over his head: the car’s front license plate! Everybody cheered, knowing that not only was he relatively unharmed, but was virtually guaranteed justice.


  4. mattymatt (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:46 pm

    that’s fucking awesome. you rock. my car was hit last month in a similar fashion, and it was a total loss (maybe it was the same guy!) … so i say, what you did is better than fighting cancer.

  5. destiver (unregistered) on August 10th, 2005 @ 4:16 pm

    Nice! I have been “hit and run” a couple times, I got the plate on the last one :-) I admire you for doing this, hopefully the police took care of their end.

  6. Kevin (unregistered) on August 10th, 2005 @ 4:27 pm

    I wish more people like you were around. I will often leave contact info when I witness an accident (despite the inevitable multiple calls from insurance agents and lawyers for the wrong-doer). I’ve been in accidents where all witnesses vanished before law enforcement could show up. I’ve been in an accident on my motorcycle accident where rather than get help from witnesses, everyone left the scene (except the person who hit me, thank goodness). It’s sad, really.

    I wish you were on MySpace so I could “friend” you and give you a couple “kudos.” You have, for a short while, restored my faith that some small section of humanity still has a sense of honesty, honor, and justice. Good for you!

  7. Albert (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    xosa zuojszio

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