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How It All Turned Out (Long)

Category: Rated G, Shaggy Dogs

By Alan B. Combs. I have several times commented that I work in the Stadium Office during U. Texas home football games for minimum wage and the war stories. This is one of my favorites.


In November 2001 I posted the following tale (alt.callahans) about my nomination for the annual Darwin Awards. Several folks corrected me in that the perp actually survived the episode, and therefore, by definition, was not eligible.

The Daily Fishwrapper posted the results from the trial. I resubmit his application. He will be in jail long enough to assure non-suitability for passing on his genes. Well, I suppose I could be corrected here. Some people are just so really hard up….

:-)


My Nomination for the Darwin Awards (November 2001):

I assume most of the Folk are familiar with the concept of the annual Darwin Awards. This is an award given, usually posthumously, for those that have given most excellent service to the human gene pool by removing themselves from it.

I have to tell you about the person I would nominate this year. As background, you should know that I work in the Stadium Office during University of Texas Football games. It might sound impressive, but we are mostly a communications link and gophers. We deal with all many different emergency situations, most silly and trivial, and some not. I have done this for over twenty-five years, now. I do it for the War Stories and minimum wage.

My nomination deals with the first football game after the World Trade Center tragedy. There was more security in the stadium than there has ever been before. When I arrived several hours before the game, there were bomb-sniffing dogs going over everything. There were police and security folks everywhere. Department of Public Safety troopers, City police, County sheriffs, Campus officers, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms people, Alcoholic Beverage enforcement officers, and rent-a-cops of all flavors were there. No one really knew what to expect (and the overtime must have been humongous), but there really was a feeling of safety everywhere. The only people that suffered were the ones that traditionally smuggle booze into the stadium. Security searches took care of them.

Having set this stage for you, “What does this have to do with Darwin Awards?” you might ask. Well, just at the beginning of the fourth quarter, a drunk in a high-rider pickup hit a traffic officer on the North side of the stadium. This is not why I am nominating him, however.

After hitting the officer, the fellow fled in his pickup truck and turned left on the street by the East side of the stadium. He didn’t seem to notice the fact that this street was one-way in the opposite direction. Next, right in front of the stadium, he ran over a lady officer on her motor-scooter.

(So that concern for the officer doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story, she went under the pickup and because of its high ground clearance, it didn’t do much damage. They took her to the hospital and she is doing fine.)

Did I mention that there were a great many police there that evening? Let’s see, this turkey hit one officer, fled the wrong way up a one-way street, and ran over another officer right in front of a large crowd of folks. Can you imagine the “Officer Down” call that went over radios throughout the stadium? It was not totally unlike stepping on a fire ant nest, an effect that was very similar. This is not why I nominate him for the Darwin Award, however.

After running over the lady, he took off again in his pickup, continuing the wrong way up the street. Because it was the wrong way, he got totally bogged down in traffic a block later. It was then that the officers who were chasing him on foot caught up with him.

After all of this, two consecutive hit-and-run incidents on two police officers, just outside a football stadium with more security than you would believe possible, going the wrong way on the street, and being chased down in his pickup truck by officers on foot, he very, very strenuously resisted arrest. That! That’s why I nominate him for the Darwin Award.


The following appeared in the April 2003 “Daily Texan”. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty, and me.

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Georgetown man found guilty of hit-and-runs
Man to appeal 20- and 15-year sentences for assaults on UTPD
By Newbie Reporter (Daily Texan Staff)
April 25, 2003

“A jury in the 390th District Court issued a guilty verdict to PERP on Thursday, April 10, for the hit-and-runs of two UT Police Department officers a year and a half ago.

“PERP, 30, of Georgetown, received one 20-year sentence for the aggravated assault of Second Victim, a UTPD guard, and one 15-year sentence for the aggravated assault of First Victim, a UTPD officer. He will serve the sentences concurrently and is eligible for parole in 10 years.

“Melissa Williams, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said she believes the jury decided to issue a stronger sentence because PERP committed a double hit-and-run.

“The number of potential victims nearby also could have influenced the verdict, she said. The hit-and-runs occurred near Royal-Memorial Stadium during the evening of a UT-Texas Tech football game.

“I thought it was a very fair verdict under the circumstances,” Williams said.

“But Jamie Balagia, PERP’s defense attorney, said the outcome of the trial was far from fair. A psychiatrist testified during the trial that she diagnosed PERP with biploar disorder after the hit-and-runs occurred.

“He had taken depression medication before, but it was not specifically prescribed for bipolar disorder.

“We were absolutely stunned by the sentence,” Balagia said.

“The defense, however, did not plead insanity to the two charges of aggravated assault. PERP did plead no contest to a third charge of resisting arrest.

“PERP had no recollection of the course of events that occurred that night, Balagia said. He was not intoxicated when the hit-and-runs occurred.

“On the evening of September 29, 2001, PERP hit First Victim while driving a black Dodge pickup in the opposite direction of traffic on Robert Dedman Drive, a one-way street.

“PERP did not slow down as he approached the officer.

“He was going the wrong way on all those streets,” First Victim said.

“He continued onward to the 2200 block of San Jacinto where people were beginning to file out of the stadium. The pickup truck struck Second Victim while she was on duty, causing her several injuries including a broken ankle and a concussion.

“Earlier that day, police issued PERP a citation for running his truck through a park gate in Georgetown.

“About 80,000 people were in the stadium that day, said Donna Maga, the UTPD sergeant in charge of the investigation. PERP drove his car down San Jacinto as the game was drawing to an end.

“The defense will file a civil appeal and a motion for a new trial. Balagia said he hopes to contact the district attorney to negotiate a different sentence.”

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