I was in New Jersey
visiting relatives and on the cusp
of having to select a college
My parents, realizing we were not far away, decided we'd go visit Princeton
, to at least
get the drill of visiting a college down. After the tour
, and a stop in town, we were waiting in our white
Taurus station wagon
to turn onto a tree-lined road when we noticed two children and their mother
towards us. Knowing the propensity of a child on a bicycle
to veer erratically,
my father waited for them.
The boy, who was no more than eight years old, was first.
Riding a small BMX bike, he rode towards us. Closer he came without braking,
until his bicycle
hit the passenger side of the car, his helmet striking the hood loudly
as momentum caused his body to continue moving forward.
The first words he said to us were "I'm sorry," and I believed him. His mother and sister
rode up as we turned off the car and checked the damage. He had left a small dent in the hood, which
was no big deal. We made sure that he was okay, checking for a concussion, and they continued upon their way.
Not wanting to run any risks, my father called the police so that he could file an accident report.
A police officer arrived, took down the story, and then said, "Well, I guess I can't charge you with anything."
This shocked my family, as nothing criminal had occurred -- we were trying to do the Right Thing by
contacting the police. This would be the start of my
reduced opinion of law enforcement, which would lead eventually to an unflattering view.