Bill Says: Well, first of all is the announced birth of our newest and 13th grandchild. Claire Rowyn Casselman was born to James and Becca last night in Arizona. She is the second grandchild to be named Claire, the first being Micheal and Halley's oldest daughter. Reminding me of how my 1st cousin William and I share the same first names, but I was first. This is also our second grandchild to be born this summer, with Bella Sue Williams having been born to Micah Sue and Brady. It will probably be a while before the next one pops out. Anyway, congratulations to father, mother and especially to Claire for a job well done.
Back to the Seward Cases: While working here in South Central Alaska I found myself quite busy with traffic stops. The Seward Highway, which ran south from Anchorage was quite busy and especially in the summertime. I was averaging at least 15 traffic stops per shift and if running radar, that number increased to nearly 30 stops. I had my own established set of rules while running radar. I didn't bother to pull anyone over unless they were doing 15 mph over the posted limit, unless their driving was erratic. This gave them 5 mph, myself 5 mph and 5 mph for leeway. Most often, if the driver admitted to his or her error, or had a real good excuse, they got off with a warning. Unless it was their second time with me. If they were contrary, argumentative or even hostile, they got a ticket. I was out there to enforce the laws, not be a tackling dummy for their taunts and insults.
One time, while operating radar at 5:30 in the early morning on the main highway I picked up this speeding older model Lincoln Continental doing 80 mph in a 35 zone. I pulled them over after a one mile chase, called in the plate number to the dispatcher and my location. I found 5 men in the vehicle and they were acting pretty nervous. I then heard over my belt radio that the vehicle was stolen out of Anchorage. One of the men in the back seat shoved his left hand inside his jacket, but before he could pull it back out he was staring right at my revolver. Idiot was trying to pull out a screw driver and nearly got shot for it. The dispatcher had called the lieutenant, who was due to go on shift soon and he responded as back-up. I arrested the driver and passengers for joyriding in a stolen vehicle, a misdemeanor , ( Class A for the driver and Class B for the passengers). But as we removed them from the car to be patted down and handcuffed for the ride to jail. I noticed two large bags of quarters in the floor of the back seat; over $300 worth. In the trunk I also found a pry bar. First to break was the youngest man, who told me of how they had broken into three laundromats in Anchorage and then broke into the machines for the quarters. I ended up turning them over to Anchorage PD detectives for the felony counts.
During another traffic stop for a suspected DWI, the driver kept gesturing for me to come closer to his driver's window, saying he was hard of hearing. But I had arrested this man once before for a weapons offense and knew better than to trust him. So I opened his door and pulled him out, he had to do the field sobriety test anyway and low and behold here was this .22 caliber rifle positioned at his feet and against his seat and the barrel pointed toward where I would be standing if I had come any closer. The weapon was loaded with .22 magnum rounds and would've done serious harm to my chances in having Micah Sue born.
I ended up with quite a few fights on traffic stops; no one enjoyed being arrested for DWI or drug offenses. I had women swing at me, a couple offering sexual favors, one or two drivers who offered money and all often threats of having me fired. But some just came out swinging. I had one such fight at the end of my time in Seward involving two highly doped up me, ( on speed mostly) and we fought for a recorded 10-minutes before my back-up officer arrived on scene. They had a loaded 12 gauge shotgun in their truck and I was attempting to keep them from it. It was 7:30 in the morning and I had chased them for 5 miles out of town at speeds approaching 120 mph. Work traffic was coming into town and thankfully there was not an accident. These were some rough and tumble brothers from the community of Hope and they did not want to go to jail. So, the fight was on. I'd get one into the car and then rush over to keep the other one from reaching the shotgun. Then when I got him under semi-control and tried to get him into the patrol car, the other brother would kick out with both feet and I'd be dealing with both of them again. I did over $500 in damage to my patrol car, using one brother's head to dent a front quarter panel. They had tried to toss me into the flow of oncoming traffic, but I finally got my arm around one and put him into a chokehold, while I had my legs wrapped around the waist of the other in a scissor hold. I felt like a pro wrestler in a tag team match. Oddly enough, not one soul stopped to give me a hand and I believed something like 30-40 cars had passed by. I was nearing the point I might have to shoot one of them, stupid enough to have left my nightstick in the patrol car and my mace had no effect on them- only got my eyes filled with tears in the process. Trooper Jerry arrived about then. Good thing, I was tired out.
Grandma is needing me so that's it for now. God Bless!