Ok, so Perry Mason was a lawyer and I was anything BUT yesterday, but as witnesses don't usually have NAMES in movies and TV shows, ya gotta cut me some slack.
On August 22, 2008, I was driving along Charleston Blvd and decided to go left on Decatur. I was behind one car with VERY dark windows in the left turn lane. The light turned green, and there was no movement of said car. I gave it a couple of polite seconds then tapped my horn lightly. Still no movement. I then honked louder. Nothin. Meanwhile, everyone is honking behind me and trying to change lanes, glaring at me as they scream past, etc. So, I put my blinker on and try, in vain, to change lanes. No one will let me. I sit WITH MY BLINKER ON through three changes of the light before some nice person let me into his lane and I got around the stopped car. As I drove by, I looked in and saw that the driver was slumped over the wheel.
My first (admittedly, jaded) thought was that he was drunk and passed out. Then I realized that he actually could be DEAD! So, I called 911 and reported it. After reporting the incident, I decided I wanted to know if he was dead or not (did I mention I'm the nosy sort?), so I came back around and parked in a parking lot across the street to watch. The police showed up and tried, in vain, to rouse the guy. Finally, just as they were about to break into his car, he woke up, got out of the car and tried to stagger away. Did I mention that his car was STILL IN THE ROAD?? Well, it was.
Anyway, once I saw the guy was alive, I left the scene and didn't really ever think of it again. That was August, 2008, about two months after we moved here.
This past May, I get a call on my cell phone and the guy says he is a LV City Attorney. I immediately flush and my pulse increases. What did I do? I wonder. He asks if I remember the incident on August 22 of 2008. Um. Kinda. Can you elaborate on what incident? So, he elaborated and I recalled what happened. Well, the lawyer wanted to know if he could subpoena me to testify against this guy when it came to trial on September 1. So, I agreed.
Ok, long setup to tell you that I went to court yesterday to testify against said sleepy drunk. I didn't get to testify at all because he copped a plea (love the courtroom jargon), but several really funny things happened while I was at the courthouse.
1. When I first got there, I asked and was pointed to courtroom 5C. I took the elevator up and stood outside the gigantic wooden doors of courtroom 5C. Hmmm, was I supposed to go in? So, I did. Inside the gigantic wooden doors of justice, were some glass doors through which I could see the judge and lawyers doing their thing. And on the door, there was a sign that said: WITNESSES WAIT TO BE CALLED BEFORE ENTERING.
So, I went back out the gigantic wooden doors of justice and sat down on a metal bench. I sat there a few minutes, then looked at the guy next to me and asked him if we are supposed to check in with someone. The guy shrugged and said he didn't know. Later, I discovered that guy was the guy I was there to testify against... oops!
2. So, I decide to go into the courtroom and talk to the city attorney who tells me to cool my heels on a bench in the back of the room. As I am the nosy sort, and as I am a BIG FAN of courtroom TV dramas, I am giddy with excitement at the thought of watching the drama in real life. The first guy is called up (not my guy) and he is a young man (20's) who is accompanied by his dad. The guy is accused of domestic violence and theft. As they stand up to talk to the judge, I have a perfect view of the dude's back. The dude is wearing a dark suit. I see something on the back of his jacket and I strain to identify it...it's the security tag from the store. So, this rocket-scientist is in court for THEFT and he STOLE THE SUIT that he wore to court. Hi-freakin-larious! I had to stifle the desperate urge to laugh out loud, it was so funny!
3. Next, they call another guy's name. The bailiff goes through a door and comes in with the guy. He's in an ORANGE JUMPSUIT and SHACKLES! I mean, he is shuffling in because his feet are in leg irons and he can't raise his hands because his hands are handcuffed to CHAINS around his waist! I sit up a little straighter in my chair. THIS is gonna be good. This guy must be in here for something exciting like murder or something cool like that. Nope. He had a marijuana pipe in his car when he was stopped for DUI. Aw man! I was hoping for something really cool.
All of that made for an interesting hour in court - as I said, I never got to testify which was disappointing, but it really was an entertaining and educational hour or so. The judge was a tough cookie - he was about to let my DUI guy off with probation until he noticed that this was not his first DUI. After that, the judge got mad. He hollered at the guy awhile, showed him a poster with horrific bloody pictures of victims of DUI accidents, then said," You know what, sir? Your sentence will be suspended all except for the first 10 days. Those first 10 days you will serve in jail. Starting now. Bailiff, take this man away please." And they hauled him off in cuffs! I can't imagine what he would have said to the first guy if he'd known he was sportin' a hot suit!!!
Just another routine day in Vegas, my friends.