Perry Smith | 1st Responders’ Tales: High & Dry in the Worst Way

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By Perry Smith

Sunday Signal Editor 

Welcome to the first edition of “Real Stories from the SCV’s First Responders,” where we take a break from our regular community news programming to bring you some of the valuable lessons we gleaned from the men and women who have sworn to keep our streets safe.

Names have been withheld to protect the identities of the unfortunate souls who wind up in this column, and the first responders who put their lives on the line, as well. 

Please enjoy, and if you’re an active or retired law enforcement officer, firefighter or a paramedic with a great story to share, please reach out using the contact information listed at the bottom of the story. 

And also, enjoy: 

Not legal, even with a prescription

Our first story is from a few years back, before California voters decided to legalize marijuana use. 

But legalization wouldn’t have necessarily saved this individual from earning the disapproval of local law enforcement. 

It was the middle of summer, and a pair of teens who had just left the courthouse in Valencia decided to partake in some rather “recreational” usage of marijuana, while leaning up against a glass wall of what appeared to be a nondescript office building right across the street from the courthouse.

It just so happens that the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Detective Bureau also fits such a description. 

The two underage teens lit up a marijuana pipe, and quickly drew the attention of the detective who was sitting in the office watching events unfold from the comfort and confines of an office chair — while the reflective glass made it impossible for the youth to see the detective on the other side, there was little obstruction to the view of the law enforcement official watching the teens light up just outside.

It sounded like a pretty open-and-shut case.

A few excuses to avoid:

“I had to go to the bathroom.” 

— Ed. Note: They’ve heard this one before. Even if this is true, it’s unlikely to garner any sympathy, from any law enforcement officer, anywhere.

“I was driving downhill.” 

— Ed. Note: Why on earth would that make a difference to anyone? You are required to follow all posted speed limits and wear your seatbelt, regardless of whether you’re traveling uphill or downhill.

“I’m pregnant, and I was worried I was going into labor.” 

— Ed. Note: Ladies (at least, we hope only ladies are trying to use this excuse), if you plan to use this reason for speeding, be prepared to then accept an ambulance ride. Should you refuse the ambulance ride, you should expect to receive a ticket. 

Perry Smith is the Sunday Signal editor. Anyone who would like to submit a story for consideration in this column can contact The Signal at 661-287-5599, or at [email protected]

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