Several years ago, before mother passed, she thought to come down here in Florida to live out her days with me. I love my neighborhood and started looking for a place. Just a block away, there is a two level cottage that looked cute. It was a beautiful, balmy day and I got dressed and went to meet the landlord. I was early, not knowing how close the place was. I left the house with only my keys.
A car passed and slowed down. I thought he might have been the landlord, but he was looking for some action. Of course, I brushed him off. I felt the time was passing too slowly and asked a bike driver what time it was. Then...a horde of masked police descended on me. I was shocked. I asked why they were bothering me and they said they had been alerted to some terrorist activity. The frisked me. They put me in the capture car and took me away, along with the bike rider.
We drove around and picked up some other girls.
As events unfolded, it became clear that the police were doing a sting. As much as I love the complex I live in, it is a gem in the middle of some unsavory activity. We are on the border of the east side of a main highway. There are lots of motels, and our two bordering streets are known for hookers and drugs. The eastern part of this section of town is the historic district. Lots of unique and older Mediterranean houses. The hookers were out of hand and neighbors had complained prompting this sting. I think the driver who propositioned me and was rejected was working with the police to help them clean up the neighborhood. The bike rider had been in trouble for drugs prior to this arrest.
This adventure found me in jail. No one read me my rights. I was processed and put in a cell. I must have lost my mind. I screamed. I yelled. I cursed. Eventually I was put in solitary. I continued to be crazy until I passed out. Everyone else was quiet. They had gotten their meds, were relaxed and ready to sleep.
I felt like I must have fallen down the rabbit hole. When I was brought before a televised judge, the hookers told me to plead no contest or I would be in for more days. I had a cat that needed to be fed, I didn't have my blood pressure medicine and no one knew where I was. I hadn't gotten a phone call. I pleaded no contest just to get out.
When I collected my stuff, I did get a phone call. I called my friend to come and get me.
This whole experience was hardly believable. I never leave home anymore without my ID even if it is just around the corner. I can't believe how offensive it is to be arrested for no reason. Yes, I should not have resisted arrest. I don't understand that. I felt like I was being raped by a band of masked men. Scream and fight when you are being raped. At least that is my ingrained behavior.
People said I could have sued the police department. I decided against that. I would never have peace if I did that. I love the little beach town I live in. If I sued, I would have to leave the state!
It has taken me years to write about this event. I sometimes see some of the hookers I was locked up with. The police station is just up the block, right across from the shopping center; all hookers, all drug peddlers and all the police know each other and everything continues as usual, except for a once in a while sting. I am sure the arresting officers see me. I don't recognize them since their faces were hidden.
I don't often think about this or remember it. I love our little complex, the people who live here, the landlord, the cats! I am much more careful not to stay anywhere for too long. And always carry my ID!