Cafe Witness

Friday, July 21, 2006

Low-Impact High Speed Chase

All work has been brought to a grinding halt by the high speed chase taking place on CNN right now. A white male in his 50s, suspected of armed robbery of a Houston dry cleaner, has been embroiled in a high speed chase for the past two hours. CNN has been following the event from a news helicopter feed, via KTRK and is featuring commentary from Mike Brooks, a law enforcement expert.

I'm not sitting in the TV room here at Crazy Mocha, but I can see it through the glass on the balcony and have been watching with a bizarre interest for most of the past 45 minutes. So have at least five other people, all of whom have more important things to do but, like me, feel a perverse interest in what happens to this guy in the white truck. It's kind of like the OJ /Al Cowlings white Bronco chase of a dozen years ago (feel old now?), only this one has a more maverick tone to it.

For one, this guy didn't kill anyone (that we know of). For another, he's aggressively (if futilely) trying to escape, hitting other vehicles and trashing a golf course in the process. He may not be much for planning or direction but his technique is impressive.

Most interesting, unlike the OJ chase, I think most of us would be okay if this guy got away. Sure, there's a sense of injustice if that happens, but I could chalk it up to a charming outlaw sticking it to "The Man." Granted, I have no idea if the guy's charming, if he's injured anyone or if he's a child support dodger, but there's always that universal sense of community that accompanies any account of a fugitive from justice -- who among us sides with The Man?

Ooops. There goes one tire...

Now another.

And now the water.

One of the baristas just asked me, "What do you think he's thinking in there?" Surrounded by cops with guns drawn, truck stuck in a huge puddle between freeways, likely to be locked up for the next decade in the Texas penal system?

One word: autobiography.


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