Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Owen's story

This is what Owen says started the whole situation in OT.
I still cannot believe what happened to me, last night. I walked over to Price’s convenience store for some milk, butter, eggs and bread, and was arrested for indecent exposure. By a police officer in plain clothes, who claims I asked him to have sex with me. Talk about ridiculous.

First of all, the man was not the least bit attractive. He looks like one of those puffy body-builders who give off the air of greasiness and psychosis. Seriously, I think he would have exploded if he’d taken in too deep of a breath, that’s how tight his skin was over his face and body.

Second of all, he was doing everything he could to make me notice him and think he was available for some fun. Seriously, it didn’t matter where I went along those long narrow aisles of overpriced goods, the moment I stopped, he’d appear next to me to “look at something for himself.” Then he’d cast me a glance and almost lick his lips to send out that age-old signal of “blow-job.” It actually spooked me, a little, so when I went up to pay for my things and he appeared behind e, before the clerk could begin ringing me up, I said, “I forgot something,” and scurried to the very back of the store to check in the coolers for...whatever. I just wanted him to leave.

When he finally did, I paid for my things, but he was waiting outside. As I exited, he approached me and asked me if I wanted to have some fun. That he was really horny.

I told him, “That’s not what I’m interested in, thanks.”

He frowned and said, “C’mon, I know you’re gay.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” I asked, more than a little peeved. Because I’m queer I’ll jump on anything that has a dick? What a stupid thing to say.

He kept following me, saying, “C’mon, man, I really need to fuck with somebody, tonight. I’m so fuckin’ horny.”

I began to get nervous. His insistence was beginning to seem more pathological than needy, and I suddenly remembered other gay men who’ve been beaten and robbed. So I stopped and started to return to the store, saying, “Dammit, I left my cell phone on the sales counter.”

I made myself smile at him and say, “Tell you what – let me get my phone and we can talk some more.”

“No need to faggot,” he said. “You’re under arrest.”

“For what?” I asked.

“Soliciting. Public indecency. Whatever.” All three words leapt from his mouth as if they were just waiting for release.

I pulled away from him, angry, telling him, “You’re no more a police officer than I am!”

That is when he held up his badge, saying, “And that’s resisting arrest.”

He slammed me against the side of the store, handcuffed me from behind and yanked me over to a new red Camaro, handing me the Miranda saying the whole way, even as I protested.

I was taken to the city jail, booked, fingerprinted, and put in a holding cell. No one else was around. I’d never been arrested before, so I can’t say for certain all jail cells are like this one – but it was vile. A toilet in a corner of the room, nothing in the way of privacy. A sink beside it. A table jutting from another wall with stools affixed to the floor. Two pair of bunk beds at a ninety-degree angle to them. Hardly “Architectural Digest.”

I was given nothing to eat or drink until seven a-m the next morning, then I was taken to another room where I was arraigned. And the Assistant handling the bail hearing for the DA’s office was this huffy little thing that looked like she could blow away if the breeze got to be too strong.

I was led before a judge as my trial numbers were read aloud. The moment the bailiff stopped, the ADA said, “People ask for one-hundred thousand dollars bail, your honor.”

“What?!” shot out of me.

“The defendant accosted a decorated police office, exposed himself and attempted to have the office follow his lead. When he learned he was talking to a policeman, he became irate and tried to storm away. Indications are he would be a flight risk.”

“That’s nonsense you honor!” I snapped. “The officer approached me and asked me for sex, and when I said no -- .”

“This is preposterous on the face of it, your honor. The arresting officer actually told the defendant to leave him alone in hopes he could just drive away.”

“Oh, you want to talk about preposterous?” I cried. “That I’d risk being beaten, robber, or even killed for something that looks like him!”

The judge finally told us to be quiet and asked me, “Do you have a lawyer, Mr. Taylor?”

“I do.”

“Where is he?”

“She was not answering her phone; all I got was her voicemail. But your honor, I own property in this town. I have no criminal history. No arrest record. I don’t even have an outstanding parking ticket.”

“Is this true, Ms. McKinley?” the judge asked.

“We haven’t fully vetted his background, sir.”

“Yes or no?”

“So far as we can tell -- .”

“That’s the same as a yes. I’m setting bail at five-thousand.” Then he slammed his gavel down.

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