The latest edition of “Blue Zone News” — HP Crime Watch’s e-mail newsletter — includes a scary story concerning a couple of college kids who lost track of their designated driver. The lesson to be learned here is, don’t ever offer a random stranger $20 for a ride:
In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Officers Cody Simpson and Jason Peacock responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Mockingbird Lane. Upon their arrival in the area, officers observed a white pickup matching the caller’s description in the 3300 block.
Officers checked the license tag of the pickup and were informed by Highland Park dispatch that the vehicle was a confirmed stolen vehicle. Officers conducted a felony traffic stop and three subjects were placed into custody. A black male subject in the driver’s seat initially identified himself verbally with a name and date of birth that was later determined to be false. A search of the vehicle revealed a Texas ID card with his correct name and date of birth.
When officers check this subject using his actual name and date of birth, they discovered he was wanted on two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault, two more felony counts of sexual assault of a child, one felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of organized criminal activity, and one count of bail jumping. The driver also had an extensive criminal history.
Officers later determined that the two white male subjects who had been passengers in the vehicle were in town for a college bowl game the next day. They had been at a local club and were separated from their designated driver. Realizing they were too intoxicated to drive, they walked to a nearby gas station where they met the black male driver of the pickup truck and offered to pay him $20 to take them to a friend’s home. They stated they had no idea the vehicle was stolen and had no idea the driver was wanted.
During the drive, they realized the driver was not taking them to the friend’s house where they were trying to direct him to go. They became apprehensive and fearful for their safety and picked a random house on Mockingbird as their destination and asked to be let out.
The outcome for the two young men may have been headed in a much darker direction, but fortunately that was not the end result thanks to a concerned citizen calling 911.