Being addicted to alcohol isn't all 'fun' at Rehabs, you know the daily basketball or softball and bullshitting around in lectures or group sessions. Most of us have at least 1 stint in jail. Two of the hallmarks of the addiction disease are: 1) we cannot stop after 1 or 2 drinks and 2) we do really stupid, sometimes insane things while under the influence. I use the term 'under the influence' instead of drunk, because sometimes after just a few drinks, not even at the 0.08 blood-alcohol content, we can do these out-of-character things.
Jail #2, was in Atlanta, in December 2005. Without too much background, just the facts, for some reason the cops there didn't like me. In my defense, the Atlanta and DeKalb County cops are known to have a few rogues in the force. Unfortunately, I had to deal with some of these rogues. And as I'll discuss, the fact that they were on a 'rogue' mission out to my house at 11:30 p.m. one Tuesday night in December is what saved me from being convicted or even going to a preliminary hearing for 2 serious felonies.
So, getting to the point, my wife is out of town with my son, and I'm home drinking and cleaning some of my guns for storage in the attic. I would not bring any guns inside the house while my son was home, he was only 2 at the time and it's just not a good idea in my opinion to have guns in the open with a kid in the house. Even with no ammo. I did always have a hidden pistol for protection, it was hidden inside a fake clock on the TV room wall, with the clip out of the gun but inside this fake clock.
And so, I'm on the TV room couch and cleaning this particular gun, it's a Romanian copy of the AK-47, it's technically called a WASR-10 (photo at right). It functions the same as an AK but it's not fully automatic. And I'm drinking beer, and maybe around 10 or 10:30 pm I just fell asleep or passed out. I was definitely under the influence. And at 11:30, I didn't know the time when it happened I'm woken up by this pounding on the door. It wasn't a light 'rapping' as one opposing counsel wrote. There was a Metro stop 10 minutes away, just bordering what we'd call 'urban areas'. The neighbor to the left, between my house and Emily's (Emily of the 'Indigo Girls' click here to see her on Letterman) had a bicycle stolen out of his locked garage, and maybe 7 houses to the left, that neighbor told me recently he'd had 10 break-ins in the past few years. This pounding on the door continued, again this was not knocking or a doorbell ringing, it was loud and forceful. And I woke up, and heard men talking. And I'm thinking,
someone is trying to break in. Really, at no time in my life has anyone ever banged on my door late at night. And my neighborhood has experienced several burglaries in recent months. It was a typical Atlanta suburban neighborhood, mostly attorneys and CDC scientists and doctors, even Emily, a Grammy-winning musician, who lived 2 doors down, click here to see Emily on 'Leno'.
So yeah, of course banging on the door and men talking, even a flashlight shining through the window, I'm thinking someone's gonna break in. And I called 911. The 911 dispatcher was kinda confused too, but after 7 minutes, she' radioing the cops on her beat, and all the while more pounding on my door, and my WASR-10 is setting on my TV room coffee table. And I'm getting agitated and tell the 911 dispatcher that I have an AK-47, and I'm gonna use it if these guys break in. I was under-the-influence but lucid and fluent, it was the adrenalin thing, it sobers you up really quickly. And I remember this very clearly, almost 10 years later. I'm thinking I need to tell that I'm armed with this gun, although I was going for my hidden pistol while talking, and putting in the clip, but I said AK-47, who knows why, maybe if I fired off all 6 rounds and missed I'd grab the WASR-10 and fake the criminals out although it had no ammo. So if the cops responded and see a guy with a weapon resembling an AK-47, I'm thinking yeah they'll know I'm the homeowner. It was a confusing thing, being woken up late at night in these conditions and my mind simply flooded with adrenalin and so I just reacted to the situation.
It turns out, the dispatcher told me after 9 or 10 minutes, there were not some criminals outside but 2 local cops who she said were there to 'talk to me'. Yeah, right, some cops decide at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday they needed to 'talk to me'. So, I got really angry now, the adrenalin was flowing, and told her I'm not coming to the door late at night to talk to any cops. She never mentioned any warrants or summons, only they were there to 'talk to me'. I said some profanities, exactly which ones I forget but told the 911 dispatcher that these cops better get off my property since I'm 'locked and loaded'.
I hung up. I probably drank a couple of beers, then went back to sleep.
And the next day, being hung over, I called in to work and told my boss I was sick. And just watched TV all day. It was December 7, 'Pearl Harbor Day', and I remember watching the History Channel all day. And I really didn't think much of the previous night's visit by the cops. Anyway, I drank beer all day, and around 4 pm went upstairs to take a shower, and fell asleep in my bed. I was woken up at 5:30 pm by my wife and 3 cops in flak-jackets, one of them pointing his pistol at me. Not to seem too 'cool', but I didn't panic or anything, I was surprised mostly to see my wife, I thought she was gone all week. And I'm saying, "What's up, what's going on," just matter-of-factly. And my wife said the cops called her and told her to come back and let them in since they had to arrest me for threatening them the night before, they said I threatened to shoot the 2 cops with an AK-47. So I do the 'perp walk' down my driveway in handcuffs, wearing a ski jacket, jeans, Lacoste shirt and shoes. Not your typical weekday scene in suburbia.
In jail (photo at left) I'm one of 4 white guys of 500 inmates, a real 'snowball in the coal pile'. And the black thugs are all asking me, "What you in for, Dog?". And I'm lying to them, said I'm in there for fighting or for a DUI, but really I was unsure of the charges, I was after all still hazy and somewhat under the influence. At the police station an hour before I blew just barely under a 0.08 on the Breathalyzer.
I'm feeling kinda foggy, and really tired. So I just told anyone who asked, "I was fighting," or "I got a DUI". They didn't believe me. When some of us were standing in line to get officially booked in, the officer read out what I was charged with, and the black guys behind me apparently overheard, "Threatening to shoot police officers with an AK-47". So, I got some instant thug respect. I mean, clearly I seemed like some violent dude despite the Yuppie Lacoste clothes, Rolex watch, and ski jacket. They mostly kept away from me, referred to me the whole time as the "White dude with the AK-47."
Then the 'thugs', mostly "wanna-be-thugs", you know all talk and no walk, were all asking me why I was gonna shoot the cops with an AK-47. But I just said simply what I thought was the truth, "Because they were knocking on my door late at night." I think this made me some kinda 'serious thug' in their minds, like I was some real criminal. They were in there for mostly bullshit offenses. Most of the black guys were in due to their girlfriends for whatever reason called the cops on them. But yeah, some armed robbery suspects, I don't remember any murder suspects or really violent offenders but I tried not to talk too much to the others.
One black guy, a young guy with dreadlocks, I kinda bonded with him as we were shackled together for our bail hearings. I felt sorry for him, he was an armed robbery suspect, only 25 years old, and on the van ride over to the courthouse he just put his head in his hands and complained, "Damn I'm just some punk-ass nigga gonna go do 10 years." If I'd been able to think clearer I'd have paid my attorney to represent him, I didn't think about this until the van ride back to jail. I had the money then to spare for this, was kinda financially well off in 2005. I always wondered about him. It's one reason nowadays I'm quick to offer help, financial or otherwise, to someone in need. Just hate feeling regrets like this when I could have helped somoeone in need. Maybe he wasn't guilty anyway? Just a young guy with bad luck. Maybe could have been a 'soldier' in the Revolution to come.
And I'm in jail overnight & all day the next day. My cell mate was this 18 year old Hispanic kid, busted and sentenced to a few days for marijuana possession. Apparently he was afraid of me, he took the razor blade out of his shaving razor while we were locked up, but I didn't threaten him or anything.
My wife bailed me out around 4 am on my 2nd night in jail. I remember this one 19 year old thug, who recently moved to Atlanta from L.A., and the entire time in there he talked about 'gang-banging' with the Crips and Bloods, kept calling me 'Nigga' the whole time, and he really was one of those wanna-be thugs. His grandma bailed him out, and so I'm walking to my car with my wife while he's walking with his grandma, and he's saying, "Please don't beat me Grandma!", and she did actually whack the kid. Talkin the talk, not walkin the walk, what would his Crips homies think of that scene, getting whacked by his grandma.
So what happened? I got suspended from work and lost my security clearance. I had a really good attorney, he got the charges completely dropped on the basis that the cops were at my house without a warrant or summons very late at night, in his words, "Clearly to provoke me." One of the deals with the prosecutor though was that I'd go to an Anger Management class and then Rehab, which is how I ended up in Rehab #3.
So, that's basically the story, but I never got my clearance back. I have an arrest record with 2 felony arrests on it. Just an arrest record, but employers check these out sometimes. I had to get a new job in a new industry, which was a long and hard ordeal. But I did it, with God's help, and I was again successful after a few years. But it was a trying time.