By Michael M. . . . In late March of 2018, I received a phone call at ten-thirty PM on a Sunday night, purportedly from the County Sheriff’s Department. The caller informed me in an officious manner that they had a warrant for my arrest, issued by a local Superior Court Judge for failure to register as required by law. I replied rather matter-of-factly that I have, indeed, registered as required by law, and recited to him the time and date of said registration, as well as the name of the police officer who processed it. The fact that I was holding a photocopy of the paperwork in my hand as I spoke to this person on the phone helped to fortify my outward indignation, even as I felt a growing knot of dread in my stomach.
He was nonplussed, and countered, “You may have registered at the local police department, but you were also supposed to register at the County Sheriff’s Department as well. You didn’t. You’re non-compliant. Do you want to come down here and get this straightened out right now, or do I need to send an officer out to your place to put you under arrest?”
Whoa, I thought. That got ugly really fast. Maybe just a little too fast. I decided to try and slow things down a bit, so I could better take stock of what was happening here. I said, “No, no… There won’t be any need for that. I’ll be glad to come down to the Sheriff’s office to straighten this all out. But, you know, it’s eleven PM on a Sunday night. Couldn’t I just come down first thing in the morning and take care of this matter?”
“No,” he replied. “Look, you can come down on your own right now, or I can send a car out to pick you up and bring you in wearing handcuffs. It’s your choice.”
Well, I thought. Since you put it that way. I asked for the address of the Sheriff’s Department, and he gave it to me. I googled it as we spoke; it checked out. I asked for his name and noticed a momentary hesitation in his voice before responding. “Why do you need my name?” he asked.
“Well, for starters, the terms of my parole require me to report any contacts I have with law enforcement to my probation officer. And besides, I need to know who to ask for when I get there.”