College Kids Saved by Highland Park Police

The latest edition of “Blue Zone News” — HP Crime Watch’s e-mail newsletter — includes a scary story concerning a couple of college kids who lost track of their designated driver. The lesson to be learned here is, don’t ever offer a random stranger $20 for a ride:

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, Officers Cody Simpson and Jason Peacock responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Mockingbird Lane. Upon their arrival in the area, officers observed a white pickup matching the caller’s description in the 3300 block.

Officers checked the license tag of the pickup and were informed by Highland Park dispatch that the vehicle was a confirmed stolen vehicle. Officers conducted a felony traffic stop and three subjects were placed into custody. A black male subject in the driver’s seat initially identified himself verbally with a name and date of birth that was later determined to be false. A search of the vehicle revealed a Texas ID card with his correct name and date of birth.

When officers check this subject using his actual name and date of birth, they discovered he was wanted on two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault, two more felony counts of sexual assault of a child, one felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, one count of organized criminal activity, and one count of bail jumping. The driver also had an extensive criminal history.

Officers later determined that the two white male subjects who had been passengers in the vehicle were in town for a college bowl game the next day. They had been at a local club and were separated from their designated driver. Realizing they were too intoxicated to drive, they walked to a nearby gas station where they met the black male driver of the pickup truck and offered to pay him $20 to take them to a friend’s home. They stated they had no idea the vehicle was stolen and had no idea the driver was wanted.

During the drive, they realized the driver was not taking them to the friend’s house where they were trying to direct him to go. They became apprehensive and fearful for their safety and picked a random house on Mockingbird as their destination and asked to be let out.

The outcome for the two young men may have been headed in a much darker direction, but fortunately that was not the end result thanks to a concerned citizen calling 911.

13 thoughts on “College Kids Saved by Highland Park Police

  • January 6, 2011 at 9:40 am
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    i am so glad the students are okay.

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  • January 6, 2011 at 9:41 am
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    These guys had to be from Tech. No way Northwestern kids would do something that dumb. Glad it worked out ok. Good work, HPDPS.

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  • January 6, 2011 at 11:27 am
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    Smart kids do stupid things. Thankfully this ended well. Lucky kids!

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  • January 6, 2011 at 11:30 am
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    Not that I always made the smartest decisions in my youth, but how drunk do you have to be to think that was a good idea? I realize cabs are tough to get on NYE, but come on! Glad they got out of it safely.

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  • January 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm
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    If you “sober” enough to realize you are too drunk to drive, then you should be able to also determine that you shouldn’t hitch a ride with a stranger you met at the gas station.

    Maybe it was a “who can we get some pot from?” type deal that ended up not going the way the visitors to the big city thought it was going to go?

    In the end, thank goodness for the alert call to the cops. Every time I’ve called the police about something (that always ended up being nothing) they reiterated again and again that it was better to call than to be sorry you didn’t.

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  • January 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm
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    Agree with Southern Gent. Northwestern kids take cabs across campus (it does get rather cold there)so they would have cabbed it home.

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  • January 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm
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    DB never trust strange people you don,t know i have seen bad things happen from that.

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  • January 7, 2011 at 6:18 am
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    Dumb on multiple levels. I can sympathize with the feeling though as we had a small get together at our house on NYE and two of the couples called cabs at 1:00 which did not arrive until 3:30. According to one of their cab drivers there was a strike or partial strike going on that night. Sounded like it was a one night “feel the pain” strike if that was true?

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  • January 7, 2011 at 8:14 am
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    @ Avid – Yes, the small cabbies were protesting that the big cab companies with compressed natural gas systems get to cut in front of the line at Love Field.

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  • January 7, 2011 at 8:55 am
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    Nice job HP officers! That’s good excitement for this area. Now get back over to the Middle School and do something about all the apaced out moms yapping on their phones and running stops signs in the school zone!

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  • January 7, 2011 at 9:15 am
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    uhh, misspelling above….Spaced, not apaced.

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  • January 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm
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    There was indeed a cab strike on New Years Eve. Our group was trying to get from a house in Lakewood to a party downtown. We called about 10 different cabs, and our calls were either never answered or we were told they were on strike.
    While these students made a bad decision in asking a stranger for a ride, I think we should (quietly) applaud them for not getting behind the wheel, as many other college students are wont to do.

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  • January 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm
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    scary!! smart and responsible to find a ride and not drive drunk, but UNBELIEVABLY stupid to get in a car with someone you don’t know. so glad the police intervened and nothing bad happened. yikes!

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