Near misses while being pulled over

A Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputy watches for speeding motorists on Copper Hill Drive. SIGNAL FILE PHOTO

Ed. note: The names of some of the innocent (and a few guilty) parties have been changed to protect their identity. 

Your heart starts to race as you see those red-and-blue lights flashing behind you, and you begin panicking (possibly, perhaps, even muttering a few choice words) as you pull over to the side of the road. We’ve all been there.

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll be pulled over at some point in your life. Sometimes, you feel like you have a case to make — and other times, there’s not much left to say.

Though it may not seem funny at the time, here’s a few memorable stories from some who have made it through their ordeals with law enforcement unscathed — or not.

‘I’m late’

It was after midnight when Greg and his buddies were headed home one night. Though the light was red as he came up to a deserted intersection, he looked around to make sure no one was there and kept going. 

“As we crossed the intersection, I saw a truck, and I knew immediately that it was a cop,” he said. 

Sure enough, the truck turned the corner and lights were flashing behind him. 

In his panic, Greg made up a story about having to catch a flight to Guatemala, which his friends went along with. After taking their IDs, the officer comes back with a smile. 

“He said, ‘Boys, it’s your lucky day. I’m going to let you go because I know my wife would kill me if I missed a flight,’” Greg added, chuckling. 

‘I forgot something’

“I was driving on Whites Canyon, and I’ll admit I was speeding,” Sue said. 

She had been one her way home from Ralphs and she realized she had left the bag of dog food she had just purchased at the bottom of her cart, so she was headed back rather quickly to get it. 

When she was pulled over, she told the officer her story.

“He gave me a look like, ‘Yeah, right,’ but then said, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’m going to follow you back to Ralphs, and if that dog food is there on a cart, I won’t give you a ticket,’” Sue said. “Lucky for me, the dog food was there. The policeman got out of his car, put the dog food in my trunk, said, ‘Have a nice day,’ and left.”


When being pulled over for “allegedly speeding,” Ryan was asked if he knew how fast he was going. 

“I said, ‘Honestly, I have no idea.’” Ryan said. “He just gave me a blank stare and told me to slow down. I’m not sure he knew, either.” 

Heart attack

As he drove to Lake Tahoe for the weekend with some friends, Caleb had his cruise control set to just over the speed limit. 

Along the drive, he and another car had been keeping speed with each other, but before he knew it, he realized the other car had slowed significantly.

Looking back, Caleb saw why as lights began flashing behind him. He immediately started cursing his luck and hitting his steering wheel, fuming as he pulled over to the side of the road. 

The cop, evidently messing with him, continued past him before making a U-turn at a nearby break in the highway. 

“It’s still a running joke with me and my friends to this day,” he said, shaking his head.

Not distracted enough

There’s a residential neighborhood near John Burroughs High School in Burbank where a number of stop signs sit barely 100 yards apart. 

While running late to work one day, Jade sees the motorcycle officer who is usually sitting there waiting to catch people is pre-occupied with giving someone else a ticket, so, naturally, she thinks she’s safe. 

After flying through her third stop sign, she sees the motorcycle cop behind her, lights flashing. 

“‘I know you saw me after the first stop sign, and I was going to let it go, but you kept running them, right in front of me, while I was giving a ticket,’” he said to her as he proceeded to write her up. 

Repeat offender

Raychel was 16 or 17 and she had just gotten her driver’s permit, so when her mom asked her to drive her to Target, a 5-minute drive away, she was very excited. 

“While driving, a cop pulled up behind me and flashed his lights, so I proceeded to panic, of course,” she said.

The officer told Raychel he thought the vehicle was stolen as the car’s license plates didn’t match the car — a problem her mom was very aware of. 

“So, I give the officer my freshly-printed permit and told him it was my mom’s car, who was sitting right next to me,” she said. “Once the officer sees my mom, he said, ‘Haven’t I pulled you over for this before?’ To which my mom sits in shock, and I’m holding back a mixture of laughter and tears.”

Rather than give Raychel a ticket, he instead decided to give her mother an incentive to fix the issue, taking out a screwdriver and unscrewing the plates before letting them leave.

“My mom has since gotten new plates,” she said, laughing.

Dumb and dumber

Though no particular story came to mind, one law enforcement officer shared a story of something he said happens all too often. 

When a suspect is arrested for being under the influence they are often released and in need of someone to pick them up. 

Many times, that person who comes to get them is also inebriated. 

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