Measure for Measure – Act 1

An overview of a phone call at 7:10 a.m. Monday June 21, 2010 to the Hanover Police Department, Hanover, N.H.

I called in, identified myself and referenced the past Saturday’s ‘incident’ to the officer taking calls. I asked for the location of the keys to the Odyssey. The voice on the other end asked me for more information to reference the ‘incident’…the names of the officers involved. I told him that the officers never identified themselves to me so I didn’t know.
The voice then said the keys were at the station under the vehicle owner’s name and could only be picked up by them. I explained that the officers left the driver’s side window down, it had rained and it was a cloth upholstery interior. Also, anyone could reach in, unlock the door and steal the car and or its contents. I explained that the vehicle was not properly secured. I asked if they would please go and put that window up. The officer curtly said, “No.” My words were falling on deaf ears and when I tried to say a few something more he hung up on me.

An overview of the phone call at 7:12 a.m.

I called back asking to speak to the Chief of the Hanover Police. I was directed to his voicemail. I left a message referencing the call just a minute ago and also mentioned this was the second time I called. I asked for him to please return my call so I could speak with him about these matters, expressed thanks, and hung up.

A Comedy of Errors – Act 3

Sunday June 20, 2010

I wake up early, around 8:00am or so.  Maxwell and I start out on our morning jaunt, heading up Green Street, to Allen Street and then on Bank Street towards the Junior High School.  We make it as far as WISE and I stop there, looking in the door.  They’re closed.

I start heading down the stairs.  I hear the door behind me open.  I know the woman and she comes outside to talk to me.  I tell her what happened and a few minutes into it. the woman planting flowers around the corner appears and offers to take Maxwell for a walk.  I share the prior night’s events, every detail I can recall.  She listens. She says I can use her office.

The gardener walked Maxwell around the building a few times and hands him back to me.  Just as we are about to go inside, I see a tiny figure standing inside the door.  Maxwell, of course, gets very excited at the presence of another dog.  Once inside though, the two dogs assess each other.  Circling each other, sniffing.  They start to play.

I head upstairs to use the woman’s office.  She suggests I call the Attorney General and contact Hanover’s Chief of the Police.  She has a meeting to get back to.  Maxwell follows me up, assesses the room, then trots off a little while later downstairs.  I call the Hanover police and ask to be connected with the Chief of Police.  He’s not in.  It is Sunday.  I leave a voicemail.  I call the Attorney General’s number but there is no answering service to leave the call.  I call an alternate number, and a man’s voice answers.  He says he’s with the Security.  I ask him if he’s ever worked for the police before.  A lot of people in Security have and he says. “Yes.”  I tell him about what happened and ask if this is normal police procedure.  He tells me, he doesn’t know.  Then says, he never worked for the police.  I thank him for his time and hang up.

I go and look for Maxwell.  I want to get out of there and decide to take a friend’s suggestion.  I walk over to a law office on School Street crying.  The office isn’t open yet so I sit down at the end of the walkway, my feet on the sidewalk.  I call my friend Gary, the answering machine picks up, I leave a message.  I sit there.  Crying.  My phone rings, it’s Gary.  I tell him about what happened.  A man parked nearby and standing outside his car thankfully keeps his distance.

The door to the law office opens and a man walks out asking me if there’s anything he can help me with.  I tell Gary, where I am and I have to go.  He says he’ll call later.  He’s got a meeting to go to.

I walk up and introduce myself.  I graduated high school with the man’s daughter.  I tell him about the situation and prior evening’s events.  He tells me to get three things, write down every detail, get a copy of the police report and my doctor’s note.  I thank him and walk back to my friend’s house.  There I call another friend who is a lawyer.  She had helped me before and been the Justice of the Peace who married my ex-husband and I.  She listens and says that the lawyer who had advised me the night of the incident made an error.  A possible breach in confidentiality if he was advising me of what to do if he had identified himself as a lawyer.  She gives me the name and number of a gentleman to call who deals with police brutality cases.  I feel despair.

I sit down at the computer and begin typing out what happened.  I get to the part where I get into the police car and I cant go on.  I can’t focus.  My stomach is clenched and Steve gets me to eat a little something.  I wander around the house.  I call my friend, Pete and leave a message.  I ask him what his favorite color is.  I need to get out of the house.  My head hurts just thinking about all of this.  I need to get away from the house.  I decide to finish the morning walk.  It’s around noon.

We head out, walking up Green Street to Shaw, then to Bank Street.  We walk by the junior high school, past where the Riverdale Store used to be.  Past the field I had played T-ball and Little League in.  It was a long time ago but the field still looks the same.  We head left onto the Heater Road.  I feel detached from reality.  When Maxwell and I reach the intersection to cross over heading towards the Mount Support Road I don’t stop.  I don’t look.  I pray for a car to hit me.  I just don’t care.  A dangerous frame of mind to have.  And as I approach the four-way intersection where I’ll take a right I think about my friend, Maidie.  I’m supposed to meet her and hang out today.  A follow-up to her graduation from Nursing School Party.

I call her then my friend, Miriam and ask her what time she is heading to Norwich to Maidie’s.  She says she’ll pick me up.  She’s already on the road.  I ask her to meet me on the other side of the walking bridge at the first gas station.  She agrees but when I arrive, I get the feeling she’ll be a while so I walk on past to the Listen Center where I work.  A new job but I decide to just pop in and get  coffee.  I’m dying for a cigarette.  I hate that feeling because I quit March 17th.

I talk to my manager and some of the others there telling them what happened.  I can’t help but talk about it.  I’m still shell-shocked I suppose.  Love my new job.  The people I work with there are lovely and I gladly call them all friends.  I never did get to that coffee.  Instead, I make sure Maxwell gets lots of water.  It’s hot out there.  Miriam calls me and I head out.  I get in the back seat and ask if she or Horus has a cigarette.  They’re planning on stopping at Dan & Whit’s, thank god.  And on the way I fill Horus in on the details.

We get to Maidie’s and it is just a perfect hot sunny day.  Everyone is getting ready to go down by the river swimming.  They were just waiting for us to get there so we can all eat.  Everyone is starving, we eat and eat good.  It’s nice to be with friends.  We all head down to the river to swim.  It’s nice to have my mind distracted.  I have some good friends.  My friend, Seth calls.  He lent me his digital camera for the trail but it’s back in Lebanon.  We make a plan for him to stop by later to pick me up, drive there and pick it up.

We hang, he shows, I tell him what happened.  We walk with everyone over to the trestle bridge nearby.  Maidie and the kids want to jump off.  I don’t swim much anymore.  It’s rare.  And I haven’t done a jump like that in a couple of years.  Last time it was from 20′ up off a rock into a river pool of icy water.  I hesitated once, twice but the third time’s the charm.  Seth and I head after a short while.  I give Maidie a big hug before I go.  She’s my gal and moving soon with her kids to PA.

I ask if it’s possible to stop by and see the Odyssey and where it’s parked.  I’m so distracted now thinking about all that happened once we’re away we drive by the van twice.  Poor Seth.  How patient he is with me.  How thankful I am to him.  When we finally make it to the car I see the driver’s side window is still down.  It rained last night.  The interior is a cloth upholstery.  I just reach in and unlock the door to take a look inside.  Anyone could.  I can’t put the window up.  The car needs to be on for that.  I lock the car and we get back into Seth’s.  I hate hate hate leaving it there like that but what else can I do…nothing.  It’ll sit there until Monday evening when my friends get back, driver’s side window open.  I just hope to god it doesn’t rain.

Footnote:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
[(2) Specific prohibitions
(A) Discrimination
For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes
(i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;]

A Comedy of Errors – Act 1

Written at 3:03am on June 20, 2010.

I left Maidie’s graduation party around 11:30pm. I wasn’t feeling well. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. My stomach has been upset since I got off the 100 Mile Wilderness. I don’t ever discuss such things because I find it so disgusting but I have been passing the smelliest gas and the bowel movements…urg.  It’s tough adjusting from the trail diet to the rich and fatty foods of the regular American diet.  And a dinner of veggie burgers, sauteed onions dripping in oil and a very wet mayonnaisey macaroni salad was not sitting well on the stomach.

When I get into Hanover, on my way to Lebanon, I start to feel very anxious. A reaction I have when I feel unwell. I feel like I’m going to pass out. I have gas and the smell of it is making me nauseous. I feel like I may throw up.

I pull Barb and Steve Teeter’s Odyssey into a parking spot. I sit there with the anxiety of the situation rolling over me in waves. I break out into a body sweat, I have tunnel vision, I feel like I’m going to pass out. I don’t know how long I sat there suffering this reaction to pass.

The car door opens and an African American gentleman wearing a lanyard and tag around his neck looks in. He tells me that there are three cops standing nearby and he overheard them saying they were going to “bust her” when I started the car. He said that he’s a lawyer. He suggested that I take a cab ride home or get out of the driver’s seat, remove the keys from the ignition and sleep for a little while. I take his suggestions but I have no money for a cab. I’m too embarrassed to talk about my stomach issues and the passing of gas. He closes the door.

I get into the back of the vehicle to lay down and wait for this attack to pass. The hot flash has passed and the sweat chills my body. I am laying on my side with my back to the door on the floor with Maxwell. I hear the door behind me open. I look up to see a flashlight and the faces of two police officers peering in. They tell me that a man came up to them and told them I was intoxicated and worried that I may try to drive myself home. I tell them I am fine, just not feeling well and am taking respite. They tell me I cannot stay there. I ask them if there is a curfew or a time limit on the parking space I’m occupying. They repeat, saying I cannot stay there and continue on to tell me I can’t stay there because I am intoxicated. They then go on to say that they are taking me into protective custody. I tell them I don’t need protection. I need rest.

The officers grab my arms and pull me out of the vehicle. They handcuff me, hands behind the back. I tell them I want to call my lawyer and they grab my cell phone, tearing it out of my hands. They hold my upper arms high up, hurting me and walk me across the street in front of 100 or so people gathered for some event under tents, as if I’m a violent criminal. I call out asking them during this entire process, “What am I being charged with?” The officers say once or twice that I’m not being charged with anything. They say I’m not being arrested. They’re placing me in protective custody.

I say repeatedly to all the bystanders, “These police officers have just accosted me, cuffed me and they won’t tell me what I am being charged with. Help! They assaulted me in my vehicle and apparently I’m not under arrest. I am handcuffed and I refuse to get into this police vehicle.”

http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2007/sussman/welcome.html
Intervention of the Sabine Woman

A woman walking along the sidewalk, as well as many others stare at me and the officers. She slows and stands feet away listening to me refuse to get into the police vehicle and telling the officers that I would like to know why I am being treated this way. They keep saying I am intoxicated. Not once have they asked me why I was parked or even read me my rights.

The blond-haired officer keeps trying to push me forcibly into the police cruiser. I tell him that I am not getting in and that I would like to know why I am being treated this way. He tells me he is going to “spray” me if I don’t comply. The woman asks me what my name is during this struggle and the blond-haired officer says, “She’s nobody.” I tell the woman my name is Nichole Hastings. She repeats my name and says, “I’m a witness.” She asks me to please get into the vehicle, repeating that she is a witness. a dark complexioned man is standing less than ten feet away silently watching.

I sit down on the edge of the back seat, my legs and feet blocking the door from shutting. The dark-haired officer opens the other back seat door. The blond officer tells the dark-haired one to “Grab her and pull her in.” I turn and look the dark-haired officer dead in the eye and tell him, “Don’t touch me.” He hesitates in reaching for me. I turn, pull my legs in and sit in the back of the cruiser. They shut the doors. I sit there. Bewildered.

Footnote:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
[(2) Specific prohibitions
(A) Discrimination
For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes
(i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;]