I'm going to tell you all the story of how I ended up in jail. I always laugh (possibly at my stupidity) when I look back on it, but it's not something that traumatized me or anything. Warning: if any subject matter that involves drugs bothers you, you probably do not want to read this.
I was 22 and living in an awful mess of a house with some guys I had only known for a few months. I had met and started dating the boyfriend less than a week ago. Two of the guys and I had gone to the Bronx a couple days prior to pick up some ecstasy, which we tried the night before and liked, so we were going to get more.
The boyfriend and I were sleeping it off on the futon in the living room when we were woken up by the police. They informed us we had to get the hell out because the house was being condemned (we knew it was coming, the plumbing had been broken for weeks and the upstairs tenant left all her stuff in the apartment, including a fridge full of food and tons of dirty dishes). We weren't sure what to do at this point. My car had just gotten out of the shop after being stolen and crashed (that is another disaster of a story that involved more stupidity, a lot of drugs, fleeing from the scene of an accident, and sexual assault), so I did not want to drive it again to the city.
The boyfriend (who had only been my boyfriend for 3 days at this point) offered to drive. So he and I and our 2 friends piled into the car and set out down the Palisades Parkway to go to the city. It was dark at this point and we lit up a blunt and smoked as we drove. Right at the NY/NJ border, he decided to show us his fire lights (he was a volunteer fireman). They were only on for 15-20 seconds before he turned them off.
Then we heard the sirens and saw the lights behind us. The boyfriend pulled over right next to an exit ramp. The police officer immediately asked him to get out of the car and questioned him out of earshot. Another police car soon pulled up behind the first one.
My black friend was pulled out next for questioning. He was soon cuffed and sat on the guardrail next to the boyfriend. During this time, my latino friend asks me what he should do with the ounce of weed. I told him to stick it in the sleeve of his down jacket because maybe the police wouldn't find it then.
I was pulled out of the car next. Needless to say, I was not nice to the officer. He was even ruder to me after he ran my license and found out I had a prior for assaulting a police officer and was on probation. He cuffed me and made me lean against the hood of the car, away from the guys, and in sight of his dash camera.
My latino friend was searched next. They did not find the weed in his jacket. He was not cuffed but told to stay against the guardrail. A third police car pulled up and they got to work searching the car. Apparently, at some point, my friend with the weed threw it into the ditch behind the guardrail.
After about 30 minutes, one of the cops found the weed. We knew at this point we were screwed because we were in NJ (in NY, marijuana is decriminalized-you get a summons and a fine, not arrested). After another 20 minutes or so, they supposedly found acid in the car (I am fairly sure to this day that it was planted there by the 3rd cop-they searched and searched and came up empty-handed for so long. And my boyfriend swears there was no way there could have been a stray tab of acid in the car-I believe him).
So we were packed into two police cars and taken to the nearest police station. We spent the night there. They only had one holding cell, and they put the 3 guys in there. I was stuck handcuffed to a bench right next to the desk. They kept trying to tell me to go to sleep, but that was not happening, mainly because I was chained to the bench and had to crush my handcuffed wrist if I attempted to lay down. At one point I asked them to uncuff me since there at least 4 police officers within 5 feet of me, but that wasn't an option.
I was allowed to call my dad, and he did not believe me when I told him I was arrested. He hung up, then called back and realized it was a police station. Then he told me I was on my own. My boyfriend's fire chief came to the station to tell him he was no longer a fireman and took his gear. Then the car was impounded.
Early in the morning, we were taken to county jail. They offered us bagels for breakfast before we left but I told them I didn't want shit from them. Once again, I was placed by myself, but at least it was in a holding cell.
I was fingerprinted and strip searched (seriously, if you can avoid it, you do not want to be strip searched-having a burly female guard tell you to spread 'em, squat, and cough is not fun). Then they took photos of all my tattoos for a database.
Then I had to take out all my piercings and when I couldn't get my 2nd hole jewelry out (they were stretched too at the time), they got some pliers and ripped them out of my ears (seriously, it was pyrex and I couldn't remove them-wtf was I gonna do with that?) And taking out my first holes? Stretched lobes are kind of gross with no jewelry in them. I don't take them out, ever (well, unless I'm changing to another pair-I even clean them while they're in my ear). They ended up with a whole bag full of body jewelry from me-10 total from ears, 2 from nose, 1 from lip, 2 from navel, 2 from nipples. I looked a little like an empty pincushion when they were done.
Then I waited in another holding cell with 2 sobbing, annoying women for a few hours. I laughed at them the whole time-seriously, you're grown and you did something to end up in jail, don't be a baby about it. The holding cells were all glass, so I could see almost all of the men's cells. I kept waving and blowing kisses to the boyfriend and my friends in their orange jumpsuits at the opposite end of the room.
When I got my mugshot taken, I found out my bail had been set at $12,000. Ouch. My charges were Possession of Controlled Substances (Lysergic Acid), Possession of Marijuana Under 50 grams, and Hindering Investigation (although I am not sure what I did to hinder anyone).
I went back to my holding cell and waited for hours to go up to the main part of jail. They gave me a nasty bologna sandwich that looked like it would give me food poisoning so I didn't touch it.
I saw the guys get taken up to jail and felt really alone for the first time. Boy, it was only going to get worse. I finally got taken up to the women's part of the jail. Then I found out I was deemed a danger to others (due to the assault of a police officer on my record, which was dropped, btw, and shouldn't have even popped up in the first place). I was informed I couldn't wear the jumpsuit and had to wear this until I could see a judge on Monday (and it was Friday).
|Sorry, this was the only photo I could find of one of these|
It was not a normal isolation cell. There were 4 sets of bunks (all empty-I was the only one there) and a toilet and a shower. Like I said, it was all totally open, and it also opened onto the guard station, so they could all easily see me. I finally asked someone if I could at least have a suit with good velcro if I was stuck like that, but no one cared. So I took the damn thing off and used it as a mattress and slept, totally naked with women watching me on the other side of the glass. It was so bizarre.
My parents finally took pity on me and went to a bail bondswoman. I was sleeping on my velcro suit when a guard woke me up by telling me that somebody loved me. I was given a normal jumpsuit to change into and walked to a room where I got my posessions back. I spent a bunch of time putting my piercings back in, except for the 2nd holes in my ears (which were a mess from the jewelry getting ripped out) and one nostril, which had closed up. I changed back into my street clothes and went out to see my parents.
I saw the boyfriend's dad in the process of bailing him out (which is amazing, since his dad is never around, and screws everyone over). He looked at me like he wanted to strangle me. I told him to tell his son to call me as soon as he could (I was actually more concerned at this point how the boyfriend fared-he had just turned 18 and did not have the experience with people who broke the law like I did).
They felt bad when they saw me. I hadn't showered, my hair was a greasy mess, my ears were swollen and gross, and I hadn't eaten or drank anything in over 48 hours. So they took me to a restaurant, and let me tell you, that was the best burger and fries I had ever eaten in my life.
I got a lawyer and so did the boyfriend. I offered to take the charges for everyone, but since I was already on probation, that would have landed me back in jail for a long time (actually, I would have ended up in prison for a few years). The other two guys we were arrested with couldn't afford lawyers or bail and spent a few weeks in jail. Well, one got bailed out by his family after 2 weeks, the other was released on recognizance. My boyfriend ended up pleading guilty to the charges and just got probation. It was because he was the youngest of us all and had no prior criminal record (well, there was the getting caught growing weed in his bedroom when he was 14, but he was a minor so it doesn't count). After his probation was up, the charges were sealed, so he still effectively has no criminal record.
After everything calmed down, we all thought the whole thing was kind of funny. And the boyfriend and I decided that if we could make it through jail and criminal charges together 3 days into our relationship, we could probably make it through anything. So far, that has held true. We've made it through having 3 babies, getting CPS called on us out of spite (I guess that's yet another crazy story I have), moving 5 times, and dealing with a ton of sibling issues (both mine and his).