The Rod Blog

21 February 2006

The Uncertain Lineup

How would you feel to see someone sent to the gas chamber based upon your evidence? That’s a bit extreme, but what about if it was only a few years in gaol?

I was first-hand witness to a crime the other night, and these thoughts have come to me since then. Yes, the crime was minor, but it got me to thinking about how what would it be like to be called to a line-up?

I was just readying myself for bed when my attention was caught by a loud screech and thump. Our neighbourhood has aged a bit, and is now at the stage where there are noisy youths in noisy cars wipe trails of black rubber around the street. This was one of those, but the driver had parked his (actually his passenger’s father’s) car into the next-door’s trailer.

Now we had two quite drunk youths, obnoxious and possibly violent. And they did not want to face the consequences. I’ll spare you the detail, but it was all a bit sordid, with lots of shouting and drunken swaggers. If you’ve read my August 2005 blog “A frightening experience”, you’ll know that we’ve already had a near-violent encounter with a stranger, and you’ll understand why I was very wary of a repeat.

Eventually, our drunken boofheads managed to get their car going again, and shot off at high speed, doggedly pursued by a police van. Well, we thought, that’s the last we’ll see of them but, would you believe, they soon reappeared, and screeched up the dead-end street where we were standing. The blue-flash and siren was not far behind. A shower of sparks, a thud, and moments later there was the shouts and grunts as the coppers wrestled them to the ground. They’d buried their car into a neighbour’s garage door. At times like these, I have only sympathy and respect for the police.

Now, only minutes later one of the miscreants is being interviewed by police. I should recognise him easily, I was there for about ten or fifteen minutes with their boozy blustery behaviour. But suddenly the realisation strikes me. If this person walked passed me in the street, I don’t think I’d recognise him. What, not recognise a face? Honestly, I don’t know where my attention was, but his facial features did not leave a mark. And already I was confused about which one was driving.

Is it just me? I know I can be a bit forgetful, but the idea was a bit worrying. God help me if I ever have to do a real line-up, because frankly, I don’t think I’d trust myself.


  • You forgot to mention that they nearly ran over your darling daughter in the process.

    By Anonymous K, at 3:53 am  

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