PORT ARTHUR, Texas - It is cheering to know that the women of America are stepping up their efforts to match and even to best the country's men, including in arcane pursuits such as stealing police cars and leading cops on exhilarating high-speed chases.
As sport and leisure past-time, pilfering police cruisers is nothing new. As we recently reported, a Greely, Colo. man named Adam Segura, who was allegedly drunk, allegedly pinched a cop car and allegedly raced down a highway for a bit, after which he allegedly came to a halt at the entrance to a mall, where, alas, he was arrested.
Not to be outdone, a woman named Candace Broussard pulled a similar stunt late last month. Ms. Broussard, who hails from Beaumont, TX. (pop: 110,099 in July 2009), was arrested for creating a disturbance on the campus of Lamar State College - Port Arthur ("A Great Place to Begin"), according to a Sept. 24 report on the Web site of the Beaumont Enterprise.
Ms. Broussard apparently kicked up a bit of a fuss when police attempted to guide her into the back seat of a cruiser. So they cuffed her hands behind her back and sat her in the car, the engine of which, as it happened, was running.
The Enterprise reports that Ms. Broussard managed to maneuver her hands so that they were in front of her. This Mr. Segura also did. So at this point in the cop-car-filching competition, the two are pretty much even.
But in a daring move that requires no little skill - and which, therefore, elevates Ms. Broussard's alleged crime head-and-shoulders above Mr. Segura's - Ms. Broussard then slid open the screen separating the cruiser's front seats from the back ones. She wiggled her way through the foot-wide slot and into the front of the car.
Let us just pause here to say that, according to statistics that Blogspot is kind enough to provide, First of All has readers from as far away as Denmark (2), Canada (1), the United Kingdom (1), Lebanon (1), and, bewilderingly, Malaysia (1). (Evidently, they simply can't get enough of ironically re-interpreted odd news stories there.) We have a full ninety readers in the U.S., for a readership grand total of, it turns out, roughly ninety-six.
It possible that some of our U.S. followers hail from, or live near, the Port Arthur area, or are familiar with it. It is with them in mind that we mention that Ms. Broussard, having gained the driver's seat of the police cruiser, shot down Proctor Street and turned north on Woodward Avenue. She managed to hit what the Enterprise referred to as an "occupied vehicle at Lake Charles and Proctor...." No one was injured. In time, she raced up northbound U.S. 69, zipping along at speeds of up to 100 mph.
Presently, coppers managed to lay down spike strips, the second pair of which did the trick. Her tires shredded, Ms. Broussard inexplicably pulled into a Conoco gas station. (For our Port Arthur readers, it's the one at U.S. 69 and FM 366, a name which suggests a radio station in a distant galaxy far above the world, where the stars look very different today.)
It was there that she was re-arrested, according to a police source, quoted by the Enterprise, who goes by the arousing name of Major Raymond Clark.
Major Clark (no relation to Major Tom, who, incidentally, is herewith encouraged to contact Ground Control) told the Enterprise that Ms. Broussard has a history of mental illness.
He added that he had no knowledge of whether or not she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs - colloquially, drunk as a skunk or high as a kite, which, incidentally, Major Tom was known frequently to be. ("Ashes to ashes/Funk to funky/We know Major Tom's/A junkie....")
The mentally ill often excel in particular areas of life, and Ms. Broussard appears to be no exception: her stolen police vehicle of choice happened to be a Dodge Charger that, at that point, had been used for only four months.
The moral of the story is this: if you're going to steal a police car, steal a fast, new and sexy one. Doing so will give you something to tell your grandchildren, provided you are not strung out in Heaven's high, hitting an all-time low.