Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2002 00:18:40 -0700 (MST)
From: thekoba  (K J WALSH)
Subject: ride along
Cc:,, snail , thekoba ,

Dear Joel,

I had been advised to report to the Squaw Peak Precinct headquarters no later than 1:45 PM for my 2 PM to midnight ride-along. Nonetheless I was kept waiting until 2:20 before meeting the officer with whom I was to ride, Oficer Chris Granado. He had been an officer for not quite three years, but he was not a novice to law enforcement. He told me that he had been a case worker for the Oracle campus of Arizona Boys Ranch for several years. He was familiar with the Nicholas Contreraz case. He had also obtained a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and had been in the Army. As he was fluent in Spanish, he was often called to assist officers who were interrogating Mexicans.

The first action was a stop related to running a license plate. He explained that when he wasn't on call, he often randomly checked on license plates in the computer to be certain there were no warrants on a license and no irregularities. This plate revealed that there was no proof of insurance on the car, so he pulled over the driver, a middle-aged white woman. The driver produced proof on insurance, so it was evidently a computer error, and Officer Granado advised her to telephone the Department of Motor Vehicles monday to correct the error. No arrest was made, nor citation given.

He was then called to check a report of a suspicious car on the other side of the precinct. Evidently the car belonged to the husband of one of the housekeeping servants of one of the homes in the neighbourhood, and again there were no arrests or citations.

Then he was summoned back to the east side of the precinct, 44th Street and Indian School, to assist in blocking traffic and assisting the investigation of a traffic accident. He only stayed a few minutes, as he found the police already there were enough to handle the job.

He was summoned to the vicinity of 40th street north of Camelback Road near the border with Paradise Valley to investigate a motion sensor alarm. He found a woman at home who said it was an accident. He asked her for identification to verify that she was the homeowner. I asked afterwards what he would have done had she failed to produce identification. He said he would have asked her to call someone who could verify her identity.

He was summoned to the vicinity of 28th Street and Indian School to serve an injunction against harassment to two people. He located them quickly and served the injuction, cautioning them that they were not to go within 50 feet of the complainant.

He stopped at a fire staton on Glenrosa near 32nd street to use the lavatory. He said that was standard proceedure for taking lavatory breaks in his beat and that sometimes he would use the fire station to do paperwork or make telephone calls.

He was summoned to the vicinity of 40th Street and Thomas to investigate a burglary. Two caretakers of a residence whose owners were away in Africa complained that there had been a break-in and one computer was missing. They said they suspected a neighbour with whom the owners had quarreled. Officer Granado spent about an hour trying to get fingerprints and otherwise reviewing the scene. He told me that the window allegedly entered was very dirty and that he could only get two poor quality prints from there.

He was summoned to 60th Street near Indian School for a domestic violence situation. After some searching, he was unable to find the correct address and advised the dispatcher of a "bad 20". After several minutes the dispatcher reported that the address was West instead of East on the street named, and therefore with the peculiar street system of Phoenix on the opposite side of town. Rather than have him drive to the west side of town, another officer from that precinct was dispatched.

He was then sent back to the vicinity of 28th Street nd Indian School to investigate a 911 call hangup. The resident of the apartment had been sleeping and took some time to rouse. He said the call had been accidental and that there was no emergency.

Then it was back to 48th Street and Exeter in response to a complaint that two young men had "solicited" a woman and threatened her with a simulated deadly weapon (hands in pockets claimed to be a knife). As the woman refused to talk to the cops, Granado simply searched the area in his squad car but found no one matching her description.

Then it was back across the precinct to 20th Street and Thomas to investigate a complaint of a loud party. He found one carport with ranchero music blaring. He spoke to those there in Spanish something to the effect that they should turn down the stereo. They immediately complied.

I commented that it was strange that he was sent back and forth like that and asked how many miles he put on his patrol car in a typical shift. He said about 50 to 100.

There was a suspected shoplifter detained at acy's at the Biltmore at 24th Street and Camelback. Store security had detained him, and an officer had arrived, but the suspect spoke no English, so Granado was summoned to interrogate him. Evidently he was found to have concealed a package of underwear in his pack and that it had somehow been damaged. Grandado told me that under interrogation he admitted he intended to steal the underwear and attept to sell it to try to obtain bus fare to visit his family in Californi. It seems an unlikely story to me, as there's little black market in underwear. His wallet was found to contain $60, which was more than the cost of the underwear. Store security said that if he would pay for the underwear and agree not to return, they wouldn't press charges. The suspect agreed, and the matter ended.

We took a dinner break, though he called it a lunch break. After eating, he spent some time writing an accident report for an accident that had occured the previous day. Evidently he was a little behind in his paperwork.

After that Granado was summoned out of the precinct to Central and Indian School to assist an officer in translating. He had detained a Mexican suspected drunk driver who spoke no English. The officer at the scene, Officer Meek, conducted the field sobriety test, while Granado translated his instructions to the suspect. His identity was checked for warrants, and it was found that he was wanted for misdemeanor assault. Granado also revealed that he had failed the sobriety test. He then proceeded to arrest the suspect, handcuff him, and search him and his vehicle. Arrangements were made with a relative to pick up the vehicle. Granado explained to me that the suspect was to be transported to the mobile DUI van at a church parking lot at 7th Avenue north of Camelback and that he would follow Officer Meek there in case the officer in the van couldn't speak Spanish well enough.

Thus I got to see how a DUI van worked. The suspect, Mr. Encinas, was taken into the van and asked to blow into the breathalyzer. The implied consent law had not been explained to him, nor had he been advised of his Miranda rights, but he willingly cooperated. The result was a blood alcohol level of 0.239%, well above Arizona's legal limit of 0.08%. There was some time wasted trying to verify information about warrants, priors, and driver's license status. Officer Meek was a bit green and hadn't crossed all his T's and dotted all his I's, and the DUI van officer was a bit testy about it.

Granado read Encinas his Miranda rights in Spanish and interrogated him. Eventually all the information was gathered, and Meek and the van officer told Granado he was no longer needed there. He asked me if I had any questions. I said, "Is it usual to mirandize and interrogate someone with a blood alcohol level that high? Surely when the suspect appears to be as drunk as that, there's some question of whether he understands what is being said to him and what he is saying. Would it not be better to wait until he's sober before interrogating him?"

Granado said that he understood my concerns but that policy required that everything be documented during the arrest process. He said that as he had some paperwork to do before going off duty at midnight, he was going to take me back to the station a little early. I said I understood and thanked him. I got back to the station shortly after 11 PM.

--Kevin Walsh

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