It is not so much what people say to law enforcement officers when they are asked simple questions during traffic stops, but rather how they say things. Do they sound intoxicated? Are they coherent? Do their words, for the most part, make sense?
Sometimes, though, what they say is so foolish it demands further inquiry.
Such was the case one recent afternoon along Interstate 75 north of Forsyth. A Monroe County sheriff’s deputy pulled over a new Chevy Camaro for following another car too closely. The man driving and another fellow inside the Camaro were said to be “extremely nervous,” according to the deputy’s report of the Oct. 3 encounter.
The driver’s hands were “shaking terribly,” and when he rolled down his window the deputy caught wind of what he described as “the raw odor of marijuana.”
The driver, 32, from Mitchell County in southwest Georgia, was headed back that way. He was asked what had brought him to the midstate.
“Who, me?” the driver said. “Just driving.”
He was asked where he’d been.
“Atlanta,” he said.
He said his niece was in school there. What school?
“Uh, Princeton,” the man said.
This puzzled the deputy. “Princeton?”
“I mean South,” the driver said.
“South?” the deputy, further baffled, replied.
In his report, the officer wrote, “I had never heard of that school.”
When again asked where his niece went to school, the driver muttered, “She got to, she got to, ummm, I just need my phone so I can call my mom.”
The man seemed to know the jig was up.
A subsequent search of his car turned up marijuana blunts and 5 kilos of meth.
Dispatches: On Oct. 17, a Jackson woman told the authorities that the day before, while she was shopping at a Dollar General store, someone went into the truck she was in and stole “a small case” of medication she takes to control her blood pressure and anxiety. . . . In the wee hours of Oct. 2, a 50-year-old Macon man was arrested for shoplifting after allegedly going into a Shell food mart in the 2000 block of Riverside Drive and cramming a bottle of 5-Hour Energy and four Slim Jim meat sticks into his pants.