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“How could I have been so stupid?” I asked myself. I used to be a perfect person: perfect attendance, perfect grades, perfect life. And now, now it’s all gone. Everything I’ve ever worked for – gone. My name is Dylan. I am 19 years old and a junior in college. Three nights ago, I would never have guessed that I’d be where I am now. I hate being in jail. How did I get here, you ask? Well, it’s a long story, but if you really want to know, this is the tale of the day I got arrested.
Tuesday was like any other day. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home, go to sleep, and start all over again. At least, that’s what I thought that morning. I was on my way to the university for my Composition class. I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, and I was starving! I stopped at a nearby gas station. I forget the name. I walked in and grabbed some snacks and proceeded to the checkout. The total was $9.25. I thought that was interesting considering that the date was September 25. As I left, I noticed a guy that was wearing the same jacket as me. I complemented him on it and he did the same.
I was about five minutes away from school when I saw blue flashing lights behind me. This officer had been a couple of cars behind me for a while. I pulled over to let him pass, but instead, he pulled over with me. I began to panic as I tried to figure out what I had done wrong. Are my taillights out? No, it’s daytime, he wouldn’t notice that. Was I speeding? I think I was going the speed limit of forty-five miles per hour. What could it be?
Suddenly, there were two other police vehicles surrounding my car. The first officer, Officer Mullins, opened my door while another pulled me to the ground.
“Put your hands behind your back!” he yelled. I tried to ask what was going on, but no one was listening. I was thrown into the back of a car and driven to the county jail.
I thought I was going to talk to an officer about what I had done, like I’ve seen in the TV shows. Instead, I was immediately put into the holding cell where I am now. I’ve been here for about an hour. Just then, an officer came to the door to escort me to the interrogation room. The room was not what I had pictured. It was basically the same setup as my holding cell, just a bit bigger. There was a table in the middle of the room with two chairs, one on either end. There was also what looked like a cassette player on the table. I guess that was the recorder.
The officer, whose name was Bill, sat me down and asked if I felt alright.
“Yeah, considering,” I said. He chuckled and I thought “This is no laughing matter, I’m in jail.”
“Do you know why you’re here Mister…?”
“Warner” I said.
I tried to keep my cool. “No sir.”
“Did you go to a convenience store this morning at 7:30?”
“Did you buy anything?”
“Yes sir.” I was beginning to wonder what he was getting at. He paused, seeming a bit confused.
“Was there anything that you wanted that you couldn’t pay for or didn’t want to?”
“No sir.” I said. Is he implying that I stole something from the gas station?
“Are these the items that you “bought”?” He held up a Ziploc bag with the snacks that I had gotten.
“Yes sir. What am I doing here?” I couldn’t take it anymore.
“We got a call from the store that you visited this morning about a theft.”
“And you think I did it?”
“When we asked the manager what the suspect looked like, and she described “a Caucasian male, about 17 or 18 years old, wearing a blue, hooded jacket”,” he said, reading from the police report.
I started to tell him about the guy with the same jacket. Just as I started there was a knock on the door.
“We’re busy,” Bill said.
From the other side of the door, a voice that sounded like Officer Mullins said,
“There’s been a mistake.”
Bill looked at me and then got up. He stepped out of the room. I sat there wondering what this “mistake” was, and why it was so urgent.
Just then, Bill and Officer Mullins come in.
“We… uh… We’re very sorry about this Mister Warner.” Mullins said.
Bill continued, “Yes, it seems that there was another person at that convenience store that was wearing the same jacket as you. Apparently, the manager of the store only saw you come in and the thief from behind.”
As I was walking out of the jail, I walked past a room with windows and saw the guy that I had run into at the gas station. He turned his head and glared at me. He stood up, hands cuffed behind his back and started to walk toward the window. He looked angry. All of the officers in the room jumped on him to restrain him. I just turned around and ran to the door.
No one knows about that day; not even my parents. I still remember it as if it happened yesterday. I hope that I will never experience anything like that again.