My Christmas Eve in the back of a police cruiser.

We had an uneventful Christmas Eve Day. We lounged around the house, took a nap and watched a television program on The Christmas Truce, which is in and of itself an interesting story.

Looking back there is a string of events that lead to us being where we were, when we were. In no particular order here is a list of some events that changed the timing of our evening:

* The whole process of making our dish to pass took much longer than it needed to.
* I made the decision to bring soda, and to stop at Amoco near the house to get said soda.
* The gentleman in line at the register in front of us, who looked remarkably like Green Bay Packer Defensive Lineman Grady Jackson, was waiting for his son to pick out some candy. He let us checkout in front of him.

We pulled out of Amoco and up to the stop sign. A car had pulled up to the intersection to our right just a moment before we did. I waited patiently for them to go, after 10-15 seconds I decided they were yielding the right-of-way. They decided to go at the same time so I stopped and let them through. With that turn of events we wound up following the car instead of leading it. Luckily, in this case.

The car bounced between the center line and the shoulder. In the next mile and a half the car crossed the center line and moments later drove with the shoulder lane marker nearly halving the vehicle. We decided that the driver probably shouldn't be driving and called 911.

While I was on the phone with the 911 operator we came upon a church service letting out. Thankfully, the result was only a few nervous moments. I began to close in on the vehicle to get a license plate. Up ahead the speed limit dropped and the two vehicles ahead of the erratic driver slowed down expectedtly. The car in question did not slow down as fast as the vehicle directly in front of him and struck the vehicle. The victim pulled over to the left shoulder, I subsequently learned that nobody was hurt in the incident.

Instead of pulling over the erratic driver took off and zipped though the nearest subdivision. We followed the driver trying to keep a safe distance and named each road as we passed to the 911 operator. On more than one occassion the suspect vehicle sped of as if he were being chased. The first time he took off, I noticed that after a hill I saw a glow of tail lights, brake lights.

The thought crossed my mind that he may know that he was being followed and turn around to retaliate. Oddly though, he followed this pattern of speeding up and then coming to an almost complete stop three times.

In the end we followed him in a large loop coming back to a block from the scene of the original incident. The car pulled into a driveway and the driver got out of the car. Not wanting to be spotted we drove up 3/4 mi and turned around. We got the address of the house and fed it to the 911 operator.

Just as the operator got the address we noticed a squad car racing towards the house and then past. We turned in the same direction as the squad which was now turning around and coming back towards us. I rolled my window down and directed him toward the suspect car.

The operator gave me some instructions, thanked me and hung up. I gave a deputy my statement and after nearly 20 minutes in the back of the squad car we were off to our annual gathering at the Crowne Plaza to celebrate Christmas with my mother's family.

So, things fell into place. We did a good deed and have a story to tell. Nobody was physically hurt. The downside being that the suspect driver hid in his house and the cops didn't have cause to enter the house. Therefore they weren't able to deal with him tonight.

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