Entries in arrested (1)


The Right to Remain Silent (Or not)


We all have fears and a few years back one of my biggest fears became reality.

I know it’s shocking, but the summer I turned 21, I partied (a lot). I lived in an apartment on the Detroit/Redford border with my friend Ed and although we only lived in the sub-basement abode for eighteen months, we made enough memories to fill a lifetime.

We both had full time jobs and for being in our 20’s, we were both fairly responsible. That is, until the weekends. Once the clock struck Friday night, our motto of “work hard and play harder” kicked in.  We went from “those two nice boys in 3A” to some weird combination of Bevis and Butthead meets The Hardy Boys. Not only did we get into trouble, we searched it out. We did everything from steeling a billboard, because we thought it would look great on our living room wall, to dealing Caffeine Pills and cleverly marketing them as Speed. Our Guardian Angels must have been working overtime, because I haven’t a clue as to how we survived.

One weekend, however, we decided to take it easy. There was a park a couple of blocks away from our place and since it was the first warm weekend of the season, we decided to just chill out and hang there instead of our usual “party like it’s 1999” routine. So, rather than picking up our normal fifth of 5 O’clock Vodka, we opted for a couple of California Coolers instead (remember it was the 80’s).

After we drove around a bit, we parked the car, opened up our wine coolers and started strolling around. Because the weather was so great, the park was exceptionally busy. There was even a big keg party going on that we debated crashing, but for some reason, we were both in a rare non-party mood. As we both sipped our coolers and chatted about the latest episode of The Facts of Life, I noticed an old beat up beige Chevy with two men inside it begin to drive very slowly along side us. “I wonder what they want”, I said to Ed, knowing that I wasn’t being paranoid because I was sober. “Probably nothing” said Ed, “it’s just coincidental”.

As we continued our discussion about whether or not Jo or Mrs. Garrett would ever come out of the closet, I was relieved to see our coincidental stalkers park their car and finally stop following us. “There, see”, said Ed, “they were just looking for a place to park”. Before I could even say, “you’re right”, I found us both  being frisked (not in the good way) and handcuffed (again, not in the good way). With my hands shackled behind my back, I screamed “What is going on? Who are you and what do you want?”  “We’re cops”, said one of the mean, out of shape gym teacher wanna-be’s, as he pushed me toward their car. “I don’t believe you”, I yelled, and with that, he flashed me a badge, asked if that was enough I.D. for me and we were thrown into the back seat of their car.

At that point in my life, I had never been to Mexico, but I was sure they were kidnapping us to sell our organs. I was really attached to my liver and wanted to keep it, so I desperately looked for a way to escape. Unfortunately, with my hands being bound, I had no choice but to  become their hostage.

They told us we were being arrested for drinking in public. “Drinking”, I said. “First of all, I didn’t know drinking was illegal and even if it is, I hardly think a half of a California Cooler constitutes drinking”. Besides, there is an entire keg party going on, why don’t you arrest them?” I asked. “We’re going back for all of them,” said the other mean man, “there’s just so many of them that we need a wagon”. “Great”, I thought, “not only am I going to jail, but it's going to be overcrowded”. This was not going to turn out well.

As we made our way to the station, I eavesdropped on the conversation going on in the front seat between Starsky and Hutch. “Maybe we got the wrong guys,” said one of the coppers. “Yeah, but there’s nothing we can do about it now”, said the other, “we have to arrest them”. As they continued to discuss mine and Ed’s fate, I gathered enough information to realize that although we weren’t the culprits they thought and they arrested us for the wrong reason, they still had to follow through and book us for something to save their asses. So, seeing that our only crime was having open intoxicants in a public park, that had to be it. 

Seriously, of all of the reasons I should have been arrested in the past, this is what does me in? Walking peacefully in the park on a Saturday afternoon while discussing a sitcom?

WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who have never been arrested, all I can say is I don’t recommend it.

The first thing I had to do was hand over my belongings, including my wallet, watch, rings, sunglasses and keys. Then, we were both fingerprinted, had our mug shots taken and made to surrender our shoelaces. I don’t know why, but for some reason, this sent me over the edge. There was something about taking my shoelaces that made me feel less than human. Up to that point, I thought this misunderstanding was going to be cleared up as soon as our fingerprints cleared and they realized we were just two nice guys from 3A. But there was something about handing over my laces made me realize this was quickly turning into a made for T.V. movie starring Ralph Macchio.

In order to keep my lace-less shoes on, I had to shuffle over to the pay phone for my one and only call and face the dilemma of whom it would be to. Do I call my brother who would think it was funny that his youngest sibling, who was afraid of the crossing guard, was now in a Detroit City Jail? Or do I call my mother, who would panic at the thought of her son marrying a cellmate named Bubba? 

I opted for mom.

“Hi Mom, you’ll never believe where I am”


 “No, no, mom, I’m not at a sale, I said I’m in jail”


“Yes, that’s right mom, jail”

“Yes, that’s what I said”,

“Well, they made a mistake”


“Listen, mom, all that matters right now is getting me out of here, O.K.”

“No, Ed didn’t make me do anything wrong”

“Yes mom, I know not to eat the food”

“No, I don’t need any toilet paper”

“Just come down here and bail me out…O.K.?”

“Love you too”


As I was ushered to my cell, I passed three or four holding tanks with two or three people in each. “Please”, I thought, “please just have it be Ed and me”. I knew I would never survive being someone’s bitch. Then I saw it, my room for the night. It was sparsely decorated and a bit cold, but it was private. “Thank you”, I said, nearly kissing the guard. He looked surprised, as though no one ever said thanked him for being arrested before. “I appreciate this so much”, I continued as he locked me in. “By any chance, do you know where my friend is?” I asked my hero. “No” was all he said, before he disappeared.

“Pssst.” I heard from the next cell. “Ed?” I asked. “Yes” he whispered and then I saw his hand waving at me as he reached between the jail bars. We were right next to each other. “Are you alone too?” I asked. “Yes” he replied, “they must know we wouldn’t play well with the others,” he said. Laughingly, I agreed.

Since all we could see was each other’s hands, we played a few games of Rock, Paper Scissors and talked about what a great story this would make one day.

“I think I’m going to try and sleep for a bit”, I said, thinking it may make the time go by faster. Just as I shut my eyes I was alarmed by the smell of cigarette smoke. “Is someone smoking in here”, I asked Ed. “Yes, it’s me”, he said, “can you believe it, they let me keep my cigarettes” I couldn’t believe it; they took my shoelaces, but let him keep his cigarettes and his lighter!

“Dude? Gotta another?” a new voice suddenly said from out of nowhere. “Sure”, said Ed. “Thanks” said this unknown criminal. “My buddy wants one too” said the convict. “No problem” said Ed. I couldn’t believe it; Ed was making allies with the other prisoners and I was being left out. That was just like him, always being the popular one. “What are you in for” Ed asked them, “robbery” lied the killer. I couldn’t take it anymore, “Don’t talk to them!” I demanded, “They are bad news”. “Shut up” yelled one of the ax murderers, followed by, “tell your friend to be quiet or else”. Feeling brave and safe with iron bars between us, I retorted “or else what?” What came next haunts me to this day. The hoodlum whispered to Ed thinking I couldn’t hear him, “Dude, when you get out, you have to walk by us, be sure to tell us which one is you and which one is the sissy, because we are going to throw pee on him”. PEE? I can handle a lot, but having pee thrown on me isn’t one of them. “Ed, if you tell them which one of us to target, I’m going to….”and suddenly, my friend the bailiff cut me off. “You guys need to be quiet now, we won’t have any rioting in here”. “Rioting? Strange choice of words”, I thought and highly unfair, especially when I’m the one who’s told to pipe down and they’re the ones threatening to super soak me with urine.

It’s a strange feeling not having any windows or a watch. You haven’t a clue how much time passes, so when the bailiff told me my bail had just been posted, I had no idea what time it was, I was just thrilled to get out of Alcatraz.

Now this is where you'd expect me to say, " and we all lived happily ever after", but that didn't happen.......


Being only 21 and having a record of “Disorderly Conduct” wasn’t going to help me with my career choices, so I decided to argue the charge.  Ed’s cousin was an attorney and agreed to help us pro-bono. He met with us a couple of times and thought we had a good chance at getting the case dropped. He assured us by telling us that there was a good chance they wouldn’t even show up on our court date and that our case would be dismissed. So with full confidence we decided to fight on.

Since there were two officers and two of us, it made sense that there were two court dates. Ed’s was the day before mine and went flawlessly. Just like his cousin said, the arresting officer didn’t show and his case was dropped.

Then came my turn………

In my case, I guess “pro-bono” meant not showing up to court. To start my day off, Ed’s cousin called me in the morning to tell me he wouldn’t be able to make it due to an emergency at home. “But not to worry”, he said, “The guy isn’t going to show anyway”.


Not only did he show, he argued that I was in the wrong and my record should stick. After a couple of minutes of his throwing me under the bus to the judge,  it was my turn.

“JEFFERY DAVISON?” announced the judge in a very large and booming voice. “Yes, your honor”, I said in a very dry and weakened voice. “DO YOU ALSO GO BY THE NAMES ANDREW JAMES, JOE GREENE AND TYRONE JOHNSON?” Thinking I was on Candid Camera, I chuckled “No, your honor”. I seriously thought this was all a joke, I mean did he really think I looked like a Tyrone? Then he said “WELL SOMEONE WITH YOUR NAME ALSO USES THOSE OTHER NAMES AND IS WANTED FOR ARMED ROBBERY AND ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON!”




Seriously, what are the odds that someone would use those names plus mine as one of their alias'?

This was my biggest nightmare: Arrested and thrown in prison for 50 years due to a case of mistaken identity. You know how they say your life passes before your eyes at the time you die? Well, that didn’t happen; instead, I saw the opposite. I pictured myself spending 50 years doing hard labor, marrying Bubba and finally being released in 2034 as a lonely and broken 70-year-old man not knowing how to even fly a car.

The judge told me that I had to be re-fingerprinted. “THEN WE’LL KNOW FOR SURE IF YOU ARE NOT ALSO ANDREW, JAMES OR TYRONE!” said the towering shadow in an even larger and more echo-y voice.

By now, I was petrified and sweating profusely. I didn’t even know fingers could sweat, but guess what? They can. They sweat so much that my fingerprints kept smudging and they couldn’t be read. “Sir, if you don’t stop sweating, we’re going to have to put you into the holding cell”, said the fingerprint specialist person as she pointed to a door with a small hole covered in jail bars that had ten angry hands clinging to them, while beckoning for someone to join them.

The thought of being thrown into a holding tank with the real Andrew, James and Tyrone frightened me so much that I think my mind realized it was literally do or die time. I was suddenly thrown into some fantasy land. It was really weird, I closed my eyes, took three deep breaths and when I opened them; I swear I saw Cagney and Lacey in the corner of the room giving me their thumbs up. I immediately stopped sweating and was able to complete my fourth and last attempt at fingerprinting, thus proving my innocence.

At the end of the day, I was cleared of the Assault With a Deadly Weapon/Armed Robbery charge but found guilty of the original Disorderly Conduct charge, and I couldn’t have been happier.

The following Saturday was another picture perfect day- sunny, 80 degrees and no humidity and I went to the movies.