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Hit and Run Or Assault

Posted in Close Calls, Law Enforcement, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by HackingVegas

As my twitter followers know, I had another incident at work last week. This one pushed me over the edge and got me to try to get local media involved in order to better protect myself and fellow hacks in Las Vegas. It started with a typical fare pick up at a resort where I was taking the second half of a large group to the outlets.  As I was pulling down the driveway I had a van next to me. For no apparent reason he started to come into my lane. This is common so I tapped my horn a few times hoping he would correct himself. Instead he continued to try to run me up the curb into the planter. I laid on my horn as I pulled up to the stop light.

The driver of the van opened his door, jumped out and started to run to my driver’s door. I thought I was ok because our cabs have auto lock doors when you put them in gear. Little did I know mine were not working that day.  He grabbed my door handle and flung it open.  He was yelling at me asking why I didn’t stop at the stop sign behind us. I couldn’t help but laugh and said,

“I’m sorry my stop wasn’t good enough for you but what gives you the right to come at me the way you did?”

Well, I guess that wasn’t the best way to handle it because he responded by saying, “Fine! I’ll come at you like this”, as he took a swing at me. I leaned away from it and he missed. I was able to grab my door and slam it shut before he had time for another swing. I locked the door, hit the panic button on my camera and radioed into dispatch what was happening.

By now my fare is freaking out and screaming bloody murder. My dispatcher didn’t make things any better. When I called in, the dispatcher couldn’t get my cab number right if her life depended on it.  It took 5 times for her to finally repeat the proper number. I chalked it up to the crappy radios the company put in not too long ago. Then I told her what just happened and gave her a description of  the man, his van & his license plate number. Once again I repeated myself 5 times before she repeated the proper plate number.  At this point I’m getting pissed. I’ve given this person who is supposed to be there to take information from me a lot of things I couldn’t write and I was sure that none of it was taken properly.

After he drives off I pulled my cab to a side road and parked.  My Fare was scared but I was trying to explain that I needed a statement from them.  But just as one of them was willing to do it my dispatcher said that the police ran the plate and it came back as invalid. She repeated the number back to me and to no surprise  she had written it down wrong. I remembered all but one letter and knew it was one of 2 options. I gave her the right plate number with both possibilities and waited to hear back. She then came back and said that both Metro and the Taxi Authority (TA) were not going to respond but that the TA wanted me to go to their office when I was done so they can do the paperwork needed. My fare had enough and hailed a cab out of there.

I couldn’t believe that this lady caused two different police agencies to not respond. Twenty minutes later, a Metro Traffic Officer pulled up and I found out why they didn’t come. He was sent for a Hit and Run car vs car crash. Nothing in the call said there was an assault. He asked if TA was going to handle it and after hearing they were, he pulled off. When my Supervisor found out that the call said nothing about the assault he called the TA and filled them in on what was really happening. They still didn’t want to send anyone out and wanted me to just come to the office still.

So off I went…

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Hookers And John’s

Posted in Hookers, Law Enforcement, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by HackingVegas

I was sitting at a stop light waiting to turn left when my back door opens and someone jumps in.  I look in the rearview mirror and see what looks like the typical Vegas hooker. Before I could say anything she yelled, “GO! I have a few hundred-dollar bills and one’s yours if you just get me out of here”. Before I could do anything, I looked up right as a guy on his phone jumped on to my cab yelling, “NO, STOP! I have the cops on the phone. she just robbed me and they are on their way”.

This is nothing new for cabbies in Vegas. Every night we see hookers running out of hotels while being chased and hear them in the back of our cabs talking about the “last sucker” they rolled while he was showering or just not looking.  Personally, I think it’s funny. I mean if you are desperate enough to get a hooker and dumb enough to think you can trust her, then you deserve everything you get.

While the guy is yelling at me and trying to get me to talk to the cops, I see the hooker desperately trying to get out of my cab with no luck. I keep my child locks on so people can’t just open the door and run or into traffic at the airport. She starts going crazy again and even offers the $200 to just take her away from there.

I tell both of them that I’m not getting involved and that I’m just going to get off the main street and let her out. They can deal with it from there.  So I do just that, and watch as she tries to get into 3 other cabs. I signal for them not to taker her and they just lock their doors. She then runs into the hotel I pulled into so I pull off.  While waiting at the stop light to leave I see the two of them running back across the street. Just then a Las Vegas Metro Police Unit comes flying toward them. The cop stops and gets the hooker into custody.

Before the light could turn green my phone is ringing. It’s my dispatch telling me to stick around because Metro is going to want to talk to me.  I hang up and pull across the street to where they are and my phone rings again. This time It’s Metro’s Dispatch asking me to search my car for a wallet and $200 while I wait for an officer to come over to me.

To make a long story short, nothing was in my cab. I had to write a statement regarding this and they found the $200 under the girls WIG!!! I was laughing my ass of when I saw that.

If you take anything from this I hope it’s that you shouldn’t pick up a hooker. If you still feel that you need to pay for sex, there are legal brothels just outside of town.

Just Tell Me The Truth (WTF 3)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2011 by HackingVegas

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After being left to wait in (WTF 2) without anyone from my work backing me up I decide to start putting my information together before the cops show up. So I grad my statement that I wrote out and write down the description of the two guys. I them call upstairs to the dispatch office and ask for the plate number I gave and any other information they took down. That didn’t go so well.

I call up, which is now after their shift change and get the swing dispatcher. I ask for the information and he has a hard time reading the notes. He rambles on a license plate number that was too long. He gave me 11 characters. 7 is the max I’ve seen on a plate and in California I know that’s the case. So I ask if he’s reading the right note. He says yes that’s the plate number you gave.

At this point I’m already upset and I’m not in the mood for this stupidity. I inform him that he wasn’t there when I gave the plate and pointed out that plates only have a max of 7 characters and he just gave me 11. I then noticed that 2 of them were “CA”. Ok that’s the stare of the plate but there are still 2 extra characters in there. I decide that yelling at this guy is going to get me no where because he wasn’t the one the wrote it therefor he couldn’t give a damn so I thank him, hang up and go back to waiting.

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I look at the time and notice that it’s about 45 minutes from the time I called the cops. I know I’m not s priority but she did say someone was on the way and that I should stay where I was. So I call back to get an update. After confirming the information on the call she asks;

Metro Dispatch: did you leave? They coul….. What address are you at?

I gave her the address and she says;

Metro Dispatcher: Oh well they are on their way. You gave us 4710 not 5710 but now that you gave us the right address we’re on the way

Me: sorry miss but I read the address right off our sign. But ok as long as someone is on the way.

I go back to waiting. Another 30 minutes go by and still no TA or Metro. This is standard for the TA but metro is normally there in a reasonable amount of time. I give it another 15 minutes and call metro back. I’m now told they just gave the call to an officer and he should be there in 20 minutes. So back I go to waiting. After 30 minutes I call back for the last time and I’m told they are busy and that the call is still there. This lady tells me they haven’t been able to give it to anyone but when things slow she send someone.

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Once again I’m pissed. Three calls made and three different answers given. I then ask of I can just come down to file a report. She says yes and if I have a video or anything that will help I should bring it with me. I tell her to cancel the call and I’ll get the info and head down there later.

Trying to be nice I call the TA and let them know I’m leaving so they don’t need to worry about meeting me. They inform me that they were never on the way and that the cab was going to be inspected over night when they got around to it. If I need to file a report of an assault I need to call metro and deal with them.

I hang up on hem and start to try and gather the information I need from the company…..

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Is That All You Care About (WTF 2)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by HackingVegas

After being told to go back to the yard in “Who Needs a Door Handle” I did just that. I was only about 2 miles away so I was there In just a few moments. When I got there I didn’t see the road supervisor I was told to meet so I went into the shift coordinators office to ask what I needed to do. Per usual they didn’t know a damn thing about what was going on. So after I filled them in on what happened they asked why I was there. I told them I was told to come here and deal with it here. I asked if I need to feel out any paperwork and once again I got the response of, “I don’t know”. I found an incident report on the wall of information racks and took things into my own hands and filled it out.

After I was done the road supervisor finally showed. He asked for my license and the registration for the car. I gave him he stuff and waited while he filled out paperwork. I got a shift coordinator to download the camera while he finished. When the road supervisor was done he asked if I had any questions and was trying to wrap it up. I asked when the cops were coming and if he wanted my report of what happened. He really wasn’t interested in what happened. He said, “well I have what I need and the video will help us get them to pay for it.”. I asked about when the Taxi Authority is coming and if Metro was on the way. He said that the Taxi Authority should be on the way and if I want to file a report with Metro I need to call them. He said they were called and told about the car so they can use that in the clam for repairs.

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At this point I’m getting mad. I asked dispatch to call for metro and the Taxi Authority so I can file a report about the assault and it seems the only thing they care about is the car. This was made clear when I called Metro and asked if they could come take a report on the assault part of this. The dispatcher asked if this was part of the vandalism call at the hotel. I said yes and asked what was reported. She said they only gave them the make and model of the SUV and was reporting a vandalism. I asked if they knew about the assault and she said no. I then told her what happened and asked if they could come make a report. She said to stay at the yard and got the address. She informed me that someone is on the way. So I hung up, text the wife to let her know what’s going on and waited.

I’m a bit upset at this point and can’t believe the company could really careless about what happened to me and only was worried about the car. Maybe it’s just me but when I was in charge of field employees I made sure if something happened to them at work we did everything we could to help them. I mean they were my employees and were doing their job that made the company money. Yet I’m now all alone waiting with no support and no one to ask for help. So there I sit waiting…..

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Who Needs a Door Handle (WTF 1)

Posted in Close Calls, Driving Basics, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by HackingVegas

Yesterday was a bad day all around. But no bad day is complete without a cherry to top it off. This is going to be part one of a look inside the inner workings of the taxi industry during an “emergency”.

I pull up to the hotel to let my fare out and when I get back in the car to leave a black SUV pulls around me and stops. I give him a minute to figure out what he’s doing (car had out if state plates). The driver gets out and started to unload a ton of bags. I tap my horn to get his attention and point to the sign saying it’s a “thru lane”. He just kept unloading. I then lean out the window and tell him, “hey, this is a thru lane you need to pull forward to the side to unload your car so everyone can get thru”. Well that didn’t go over well. He grabbed the next bag and slammed it against my cab. Thankfully staff at the hotel saw what was happening and went up to the guy and asked him to not unload there and told him he can pull up to the side to unload.

He got back into his SUV and pulled down the driveway. I put my car in drive and off I went. As we get to the edge of the property he stops and puts his SUV in park. Next thing I know his two doors fly open and two guys jump out and run at me. I’ve seen this before so I know what’s coming. I hit the panic button on my camera and I start to roll my window up as the driver reaches my door. Before I can get the window all the way up he takes a swing at me. Thank god he missed and my window is now up. They start yelling and I yell back, “WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR DEAL? why don’t you get back in your car and get the fuck out of here”.

Well as I’m sure you’ve guessed, leaving was not what was on his mind. He wanted blood and wasn’t going to leave till he got it. He grabbed my door handle and in one swift tug ripped it right off the door. His buddy then got a freaked out look on his face and pulled the driver back to the SUV. They sped off and I switched my radio to “emergency” (as per company policy) and called it in. I started to follow him to get the plate number and make and model of the SUV.

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Once I got that he noticed I was behind him and started to run every red light for as far as I could see. I turned back around and started back to the hotel to wait for the Taxi Authority. Before I could get there my dispatch came back on the radio and said I needed to go back to the cab yard. I asked about the Taxi Authority and was told that per the road supervisor I needed to go back to the yard and everything would be handled there.

This isn’t out of the ordinary. The Taxi Authority does this a lot. I have yet to find out why but it happens so I started back like I was told.
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This mini-drama will continue for the next few posts. You can track them in order by the (WTF) plus a number at the end of each tittle.

Birthday Hack

Posted in Driving Basics, Home life, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by HackingVegas

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I’m coming out of my birthday weekend and the wife was determined to make it a fun one. She spent a lot of time figuring out what we are going to do. She made sure to clear my calendar for Friday night and Saturday. So on Wednesday when I started coming down with a bug I didn’t want to say anything. That night did me in though. We stayed late after our oldest son’s baseball practice so I could pitch to him while he worked on his batting stance. Thursday morning I woke up really not feeling well. I chalked it up to getting old and went on with my day. That night I found myself at the pharmacy getting sinus meds so I could sleep.

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Friday morning the wife was nice enough to let me sleep in and god I needed it. I woke up around 11am or so. I can’t remember the last time that happened. On the down side I felt like a Mack truck just ran me over and then backed up for good measures. I stumbled out of the bedroom and downed my pot of coffee with a handful of meds hoping this would help before the night came. I really wanted to go out and enjoy a fun packed night.

After doing the days running around, we came home to get ready. We fed the kids and the wife took me out to sushi. Krazy Sushi has the best selection of gluten-free sushi in town. The owners have been good to us from day one of going there. After the wife wheeled me out, we started toward The Tropicana Hotel. They have been re-doing the entire property and added an exhibit/show. “The Mob Experience” is a very cool walk through tribute to Vegas history and the mob. That’s where we were going.

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After getting to the hotel and walking down the steep stair case, we get our mob names. I was the Grim Reaper and the wife was Kid Twist. We had these badges that gave the rooms our info as we went though the first half. Unfortunately, this part was a disaster. It could’ve been awesome with a little more attention to detail. It felt like this was a temporary feature that was set up in a circus tent somewhere. The actors were disorganized and had a hard time interacting with us. The automated parts were not timed properly and started talking before we walked in the rooms. Doors that seemed like they should be closed were left open causing sound from one room to drown out the other room you were trying to listen to. Luckily, I was able to look past all of this and take in all the great info they were showing us.

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The second half of the exhibit was spectacular. Like a moment frozen in time, you walk into room after room of amazing artifacts and information galore. If you are a fan of the mob, Hollywood mob movies, or history at all, this is well worth the money. Finishing the experience with a shocking end to it all, I would recommend this to fans. If they work on the first half, they may have a hit for a larger audience.

After The Mob Experience, we walked around the Aria before heading downtown. We jumped in the car and that was the end. I couldn’t go on. I tried, I really tried. I wanted to go down the zipline on Fremont Street so bad but knew I wouldn’t have enjoyed it the way I felt. So despite the urge to want to push forward I threw in the towel.

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We were homeward bound and decided drinking at home would help everything. I poured my vodka and grapefruit and drank the sickness to the ground. I woke up Saturday feeling more human and decided it was going to be a birthday sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing else. It was the best birthday ever.

Popping Bottles in the Club

Posted in Driving Basics, Drunks, Hookers, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by HackingVegas

But let me be the first to say he’s no G6.

Ok let me start from the beginning. The other morning I was taking a bouncer to work at one of our reputable gentlemen’s club sleezy strip clubs. As we were driving down stripper row we see a guy come flying across the street from an alley that leads out of one of the clubs. The bouncer starts to laugh and says that I better stop the cab or I’m going to get hit by a couple of cars. Having a good idea of what he’s talking about, I slow to a stop in time to see two cars come flying out of the same alley without regard to who or what’s around them. They turn the same way the guy ran but he’d already ducked into another alley and behind a building.

I kept driving while the bouncer filled me in on what I just saw. He said the guy on foot just either stiffed a dancer or stole something. The guys in the cars were going to go beat the shit out of him to get the stuff back or make him pay one way or another. I believed every word (because it’s not the first time I’ve heard if this happening) and asked how often this happens. He said at least once in a weekend but sometimes more.

I pulled up to his club and dropped him off. I then headed straight back to the area where I had seen the guy on foot last. As I’m pulling down the street I see the two cars going back down the alley where they had come from and assumed that they never found the guy. I made a quick right where I saw the guy run and drive around looking for him. Right before I give up, I see him. He’s peeing on a pile of pallets in one of the allies. I must have scared him because he started running while trying to put his junk away.  I pulled down the ally and tapped the horn. He finally looked back and saw that I was a cab driver.  I motioned for him to get in and he did. At first he seemed unsure as to why I picked him up and was ready to jump out in a second. He was riding with his hand on the door handle and body leaning toward the door  for the first few minutes as I drove off. I broke the ice by asking:

Me: Long night?

Him: Oh god yes, too long and not what I wanted.

Me: So whats your story? I mean, I picked you up in an alley around strip club lane.

I was baiting him to see what he would come up with. We hear all kinds of stories as to why guys are wandering around this area at night when everything else is closed.  He sat for a second and then started telling me everything. It started as a night out with some buddies from high school. They were club hopping and ended up at Treasures around midnight (it’s now 6am).

One by one his buddies all left and he had no clue what time it was until one of the girls told him it was the end of her shift. She had to go. He asked the time and freaked out. His flight was in 3 hours and he had to get back to his room to pack.  On the way out he checked his wallet and noticed that he had no money left.  He then noticed all his credit cards were gone. At that point he freaked. After going to the doorman and being told there is nothing they can do for him, that it’s his responsibility to keep track of his stuff, he got mad. He came up with a plan. He was going to sit at the main stage as a girl was up there and just before she was done he would grab all the bills and run out.  He had no clue where he was but knew that he could find a cab somewhere.  The dance was almost over and the few guys left in the club got up to leave.

He jumped on stage and grabbed as much money as he could and ran out. On the way out he did it with style. He knocked over every chair and table he could and pushed two guys over at the door who were on their way out.

I was laughing my ass off at this point so bad I could hardly see the road.  He continued down the driveway and through the alley which is where I saw him first.  I stopped him there and said, I saw you there. I was driving by when you crossed the street. You got off that street just in time. The bouncers turned on the street just after you got off it. He started laughing at that point and then asked if he could use my phone to call someone.

We pulled up to the MGM, he paid up and got out. As I pulled off the property my phone rang. It was the number the guy had called. Come to find out, the guy dropped his phone on the way out of the club and the bouncers had found it. They called the last number, who was me, and started asking questions. When they called they acted like they knew me. When I told the guy I was a cabbie, he asked where Nate was. I told him I just dropped him off at the MGM. He then asked if I had gotten paid. I found this odd. Why is this guy’s buddy asking if I got paid? I let the guy on the phone know that Nate was on his way up to pack and should make the flight without an issue. That’s when the guy on the other end of the phone revealed who he was.

Guy on Phone: Thanks for all the info. We are on our way there but we’ll have to use the cops to do our job.

Me: What? Who is this?

Guy on Phone: I work at the strip club that he just ripped off. This guys isn’t going home if we get our way. We have film and his phone, he’s a dead man.

I just wished the guy luck and hung up the phone. I was never one to hang out at strip clubs but the few I went to back in the day seemed laid back and friendly. I would have never guessed this type of shit really happens and as offten as it sounds like it does. As far as Nate goes, I hope he learns from this and I kind of hope that whatever law enforcement gets involved, gives him a break. I mean come on, it takes some massive cojones to pull off that stunt.

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