Arrested Part One: Cuffed

I spent the morning yelling at kids, gathering towels, looking for sand toys, and yelling at the kids some more. It was a Beach Day. The plan was to meet the kids’ grandmother at the beach at 10:00 AM, before it got crowded and parking was impossible. We were, as usual,  running late. We backed out of the drive-way 15 minutes after the scheduled departure.  It was a costly 15 minutes.

police lightsI got maybe a mile down the road when I saw the blue lights in the rear view mirror.  “Which one of you brats isn’t wearing a seat belt?” I roared to the back seat. (“Brats” is a term of endearment.  Ahem.) The kids cried out in protest. I scanned the back seat and, sure enough,  all 5 were restrained.  I did a mental checklist.  My tags were up-to-date. I was wearing my seat belt. I hadn’t used my car in an armed robbery. I didn’t steal the car. I was flummoxed.

The police officer approached the car and asked for my license. Before he even looked at it, he asked me if I was Ms. Quinney.  That’s not a good sign.  “Yes, sir.”  He asked me step out of the car. Again, “yes, sir.”  (I am a very polite Southern girl.  Especially to police officers who know my name.)

“You are driving with a suspended license. How many kids are in your car? Do you have someone who can come and get them and your car?”

Wait.  What?

“Because I can’t allow you to drive this car anywhere and I’m going to have to arrest you.”

Wait.  What?

“Ma’am, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir?” It was a question because I most certainly did not understand. My husband was pulled over twice with a suspended license (don’t ask why, it wasn’t anything serious) and both times the officer impounded his truck and had somebody come get him. He wasn’t arrested.

“Somebody has to come get the car.  Normally, I’d impound the vehicle, but since you have the kids with you…” Oh.  Super cop was being generous.  “Can you call someone?”  I nodded and headed back to my car. “Miss, you don’t want to call anyone who might cause a scene.”

Well, that certainly left my husband out. I know that man of mine and he wasn’t going to let his wife be hauled off in handcuffs.  Again. (Yes, I’ve been in handcuffs before.  Read about that here.) I called my mother-in-law, who was convinced he was staking me out.  Why else would he run my plates?

stick family stickers

Highly suspect…

Turns out, Corporal James R. Hollingsworth (yes, that’s his real name and isn’t it fantastic?) ran everybody’s plates because what with the murders and America’s Most Wanted capturing escaped criminals all over this little town (true story), it’s an excellent use of his time. When he comes across a land yacht with 7 of those adorably cheesy family stick figures on the window, backing out of the driveway, he runs the plates, and sees suspended license for a “failure to appear in court” over a lame-o “no proof of insurance” ticket–which is absurd since in the state of Georgia, every cop can see if a person has insurance simply by running their plates–and there are five kids in the back, obviously equipped to go to the beach, and a hardened criminal frightened woman who obviously had no idea her license was suspended, he decided that, yes, she should be arrested and taken to jail immediately, with no regard for the overcrowded prison cells and the colossal waste of time it is since she won’t be held and they won’t even be able to collect bond for her crimes.  Or maybe he just didn’t like people who write in run-on sentences.

I called my friend to tell her the hilarious story. It wasn’t until I was talking to her that I remembered I was dressed for the beach. I would be taken to jail in my bathing suit, cover-up, and flip-flops with my greasy hair in a bun and no make-up on my face. My mug shot would be awesome.

The kids realized we weren’t going to the beach and the whining started.  “I’m going to jail and I would appreciate it if you didn’t cry because you can’t go to the beach!  How about a little perspective here?” That shut them up.

Billy (the 6yo) offered some advice. “Forget about the police. Just drive away.” When I didn’t start driving, he made a suggestion.  “Can’t you just punch the policeman in the face?”  I worry about that kid’s future.

Not what he used, but they look comfy.

The MIL arrived and the nice policeman took me to the side of the police car.  He opened the door (to shield the horrific and potentially trauma-inducing sight from the children) and asked me to place my hands behind my back.  He cuffed me.  “Is that too tight?”

“No sir.”

He put me in the back of the police car.  I was officially arrested, though he didn’t read me my Miranda Rights. Isn’t that, you know, a requirement?  You’d think Officer Hollingsworth, that most conscientious of peacekeepers, would remember that.  He drove away (too fast) and I realized that yes, indeed, the cuffs were too tight and that there is no way to get comfortable in the back of a police car with your arms wrenched behind your back and your knees jammed into the metal seat back.  On top of that, my glasses were inching down my nose, which is really annoying. I have back problems, too, and every bump gave me a spasm. It was miserable.

And then it got worse. My arresting officer started flipping through radio stations.  He found one he liked.  “Turn your knob to BOB 106.9!  Savannah’s home for new countryyyyy!”  The voice of Kenny Chesney oozed out of the radio speakers:

 “The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand with no bottom
And no shoes, no shirt, and no problems!”

Jostling around in the back seat of a police cruiser, en route to the jailhouse, I finally understood the concept of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

To be continued…

read to be read at

34 thoughts on “Arrested Part One: Cuffed

  1. Good grief! Really? I guess revenue must be really hard to come by in Georgia. Then again, it is in AZ, too. I’m completely terrified of the MCSO. I know just how bastardly the bastard that calls himself sheriff in our county is, and so would lose it a little if one got hold of me. They yelled at our neighbors just for inquiring why they were in their yard the other night. The offense? “Approaching an officer.” MCSO folks, in my understanding, would make excellent Gestapo if given half the chance, and I feel really bad for the people in my community who just happen to be brown (of any shade) because that bastard really hates the brown ones. %!#$#%$)*( Arpayaso. The local PD, nice whenever I’ve had to encounter them–mostly salt-of-the-earth-types just trying to take care of their community. Not so MCSO, they put bastard in both their job qualifications and duties, I’m pretty sure of it. (I’v never been arrested, though.)

    Anyway, sorry you and your kids had to go through that, again. States are hungry for money and those court appearances (and fines they generate) pay the bills.

  2. Criminal Justice Program
    Earn Your Criminal Justice Degree 100% Online at Franklin University

    This was the ad that ran on the page when I read your blog. It added to the absurdity of your situation. What a waste of resources! Especially if he didn’t read you your rights! I sure love to read your stories though!

  3. Erin’s a common criminal, OMG, no driving licence and driving a car with Brats 🙂 in the back, how could you, i never thought you would break the law.

    I hope they locked you up for the night and i cannot wait for the next instalment.

    Why was your license revoked, drink or drugs driving, dangerous driving ?? 🙂

  4. WELL……I’m sorry you and the kids had to go through this experience (especially on beach day), but I gotta tell ya, it certainly brought out your talent for putting things into words! Some of your best writing, girl. Don’t get me wrong, your blogs are ALL good; this one is just so hilariously written! Good stuff, girl.

  5. Okay, I just laughed so hard I snorted! How mortifying for you, but what an amazingly great story for another time.

    By the way, I read it to my BF, and he and I both agree – you write exceptionally well 🙂

  6. Oh no! That must have been awful. Funny now, but awful then! As a former cop, just as an FYI, the comment earlier about your rights is correct. The only time you are read your rights is AFTER you are arrested and you are being questioned. You do not need your rights read to you AS you are being arrested or even after if they don’t question you.

  7. Unreal! While I’ve yet to be arrested, I am confident my kids would react EXACTLY the way you described – whining, moaning, bright ideas, tons of questions, etc. – and I would lose my shit with them rather than with the cop (that may be a blessing?!). Looking forward to the follow-up!

  8. Lovely to see taxpayer money being put to good use by hauling off a mom of 5 on her way to the beach. What a story! I look forward to the continued part. I love the humor you inject into what must have been a quite tedious situation.

  9. Oh, my gosh! Not country! Arrest me if you must, but I would rather have ice picks drilled into my ears than listen to Kenny Chesney. And I am not even pretending to kid.

    I am so sorry this happened to you! Sometimes I don’t understand the legal system.

  10. Wow. You’d think they’d have something better to do than arresting someone with 5 kids in the car…
    I’m glad you had the humor left to tell the story like that!

  11. That. Is. RIDICULOUS!
    At first my heart was getting crushed thinking of your kids and the seriousness of getting arrested. But then when you got to the point where you described your beach wear and said that your mugshot would be awesome? I lost it. When you said that your son suggested punching the officer? I almost *died* laughing.
    You took a crappy situation and made it a very funny story! Great job!
    I also can’t wait to read the next installment, and I wish you the best of luck!

  12. What the crap? Good LORD! I just can’t imagine being ARRESTED for something so STUPID! Your description is amazing! Hilarious!

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