Thursday, July 23, 2009

Would You Like A Felony With That?

If recent news stories are any indication, there would appear to be a bit of confusion regarding the protocol at fast food eating establishments. Lots of people seem to be incredibly unclear on the concept of what is and what is not OK. Therefore, in an attempt to minimize any more future missteps, I'm going to try to explain this whole thing in the best way that I can. Now, while not an incredibly complicated item to learn it can get tricky for some folks. But interestingly enough, it can also be quickly mastered if you just apply yourself! So fret not little softheads who are probably having someone else read this to them, fret not.

Here we go. Feel free to take notes if you'd like.

In general, 911 services and/or law enforcement should almost never be used in regard to your order at a fast food restaurant. In fact, I'd conservatively estimate that 99.995% of the time you should have absolutely no need for the police in regard to your order. I know, I know! It seems like there are SO many things that can go wrong with ones order. (How many times do they get it right on the first try? They can't really hear very well when you're shouting into that clown thing in the drive-thru.) It would seem almost (but not quite!) logical to wonder how law enforcement can NOT get involved when dealing with fast food fare. Oh, and if you're IN law enforcement, don't think that this doesn't apply to you, because it does! I'm here to tell you it most certainly DOES apply to you as well. It's just unfortunate that a one 29-year old Derrick Curtis Saunders with the Aurora Police Department in Colorado wasn't aware of this before he brandished his weapon because his order was taking too long.

What now?

Correct. From the folks over at
CBS-4 in Denver we learn that the District Attorney in Arapahoe County will be charging Saunders with a host of offenses after he allegedly pointed his gun through the window at a McDonald's employee because he felt that it was taking too long for him to get his order. It was apparently around 3am and if you've ever been at a fast food drive-thru at 3am, you know that they're not exactly known for their speed and attentiveness. Granted, I've never seen inattentiveness that has warranted brandishing a firearm at someone, so I'm not condoning this sort of behavior. I'm just saying, I understand. To a degree.

And while Saunders is a cop, we have to remember that his assignment is the overnight shift at the airport. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm merely saying that there might be a specific reason why someone in particular is assigned to the overnight shift at the airport, a place where there aren't very many people that one would have to interact with.

There isn't much to the story, other than a guy with incredibly poor judgment. Saunders and another officer had placed their order in the drive-thru and then when they drove up to the first or second window (because you can never tell which one they mean and it's almost always the wrong one that you end up at while your food is at the other) and then had to wait for an amount of time that is unspecified, but clearly too long for our hero. That's when "...one of the officer's flashed his police badge and pointed a pistol through the drive through window in a threatening manner, before driving off without paying."

Tell me, what would it look like to point your pistol through the drive-thru window in a "non-threatening manner"? Of COURSE it was in a threatening manner! It's a GUN! The very essence of a gun IS supposed to be threatening! Who is that for?



Oh, all right! That's enough! Where was I?

The odd part of this story (aside from all of the gun pointing) which is not explained in the multitude of accounts is that this example of excellence in idiocy took place on May 21, 2009, but they're just now filing charges against Saunders. Why so long? Maybe they were just trying to ascertain that he wasn't the Hamburglar. Or perhaps the badge had the employees confused at first and they thought they had been threatened by Officer Big Mac. I don't know what the delay was and God forbid if someone "reporting" this story actually answered that question. Sadly, there isn't a mugshot or booking photo of this genius yet. But all in due time, I'm sure.

The DA will be charging Saunders with something called felony menacing. He'll also be charged with "prohibited use of a weapon, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct", that according to the
The Denver Post. Felony menacing appears to be a Colorado law in which someone "knowingly places someone else in fear of imminent serious bodily injury." Basically if you try "to make someone believe they are going to get seriously hurt (at that moment and) not at some future date" then you're a felony menacer. Ironic that the menacing has to imply something is going to happen right at that moment, and yet it's two months after the fact before the charges were filed. And just in case you were thinking that he could say that alcohol was involved, being drunk is no excuse for felony menacing and you can't even TRY to use that as a rationale as to why you felt that the best way to speed up the drive-thru workers at Mickey D's at 3am was to point your gun at them.

So to recap, please don't involve or include any form of law enforcement or emergency services in conjunction with your lending your patronage to a fast food eatery. I don't care if you got an apple pie and you had ordered a cherry pie. I don't care if your fries are warm and limp instead of hot and crisp. I don't care if you have to wait for your food at 3am. Leave the police AND all guns OUT of it. Especially since you're just setting yourself up for trouble simply by just using the drive-thru because in the words of Joe Pesci from Lethal Weapon 2 "They f*** you at the drive-thru." Eat at your own risk.

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