Snag
By
Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf

This is the first time I’ve had to go to court, after a half-dozen times of being hauled in without a trial. If I get called for jury duty any more, I'll be expected to report my earnings on my tax forms. If it violates some law to be called that many times I would love to know so I can get my name off that list. What ever supposedly random computer decides these things loves to snag me.

It’s not so bad though; until now all I did was sit around getting paid more than what I do at the job. Plus at the courthouse I see more honeys. I’ve tried to pick a couple of them up, but they’re all uppity. I don’t even get bothered by having to go, like some people do. I just don’t like all the cops around. Smug pork walking around like it’s their crib… gets under my skin.

Usually I get dismissed in selection when they ask if I have any police in the family. I tell them that I think my cousin is a cop (he’s a security guard but I play dumb) but this time they didn’t care. The prosecutor’s question was stupid: Do you ever cry from watching a sad movie?

I don’t know what inspired my answer but I told him: Only Old Yeller…

I should of just said I only watch comedies, maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here with a cold sweat on my boys; feeling like I got Jiminy Cricket screaming in my ear.

I am juror six of a purse snatching case and I know the dude is innocent. I’m looking at the girl, she’s anxious to put the guy away. I look at the defendant; he’s worried, knowing his case looks bad. I bet the cops didn’t believe his story, I doubt the rest of the jury would either. I would just tell everybody the truth, but there’s just one snag: I am the one who tried to nab the purse. What are the odds?


It was a couple of months ago. I needed a couple of extra bucks because I was down to resin in my pipe. Okay I was doing it because stealing gets you higher than any ditch-weed I can get my hands on. Anyway, I was out lifting shops when I saw her. She’d just walked away from the ATM, putting extra emphasis on her curves with her step.

I followed her for a few blocks, at first just for the view, then I realized how much scratch she had on her. I almost blew the whole thing by going up to talk to her and try to get her digits. Good thing I realized that she’s prepped out and wouldn’t have been worth messing with. She was standing at a light, and I saw there was just enough space between cars coming for someone quick to cross. I pinched that purse so fast she didn’t scream ‘til I was across the street.

She did scream loud though. Loud enough for two beat cops on my side of the street to hear. I was already bolting before they even realized what I did. I had half a block head start on them.

They were in pursuit mode, clinking away with their gear. They weren’t gaining ground but I wasn’t loosing them so I ditched the sidewalk for an alley. My hoody was slowing me down (and I stole it anyway) so I ditched it. I ran down the alley on the same side as the dumpsters hoping they wouldn’t see me. They were closer behind than I thought; I heard them at the other end of the alley yelling for me to stop (as if that was going to happen). I turned the corner and saw the dude wearing the same hoody I ditched. I passed the purse NFL style to the chump then slowed down to power walking the stairs to the subway.

I saw them tackle him out of the corner of my eye. The dude didn’t even see it coming. He turned towards me when I passed him the purse, and that hood blocked his peripherals. Dude kissed pavement, they probably knocked out a couple of his teeth. I got away, with a better high than I planned and a great story (crap I hope everyone I told was too stoned to remember)!

All that was in the history books until now. I’m looking at the girl, who I saw more of from behind before. She was screaming during the whole chase, she was right behind the cops. She would have gotten a good look at him after the cops caught him. Line ups would have been useless. It’s pretty obvious by the way she is glaring at the defendant that she’s sure it’s him. I study her, remembering the details. The defendant looks back at her; she’s embarrassed and looks away, catching me looking at her.

My mouth was probably hanging open and everything, dag. I’m going to be worrying about not looking at her without looking like I am avoiding looking at her ‘til this case is over. The judge has some scary eyebrows and I think I can smell the stank of his breath from here. The ceiling would also be bad, people would think I’m spacing out, ‘Juror six if I could have your attention…’ is what they’d be saying.

This wouldn’t be happening if I would have just snagged the loot out of the purse before passing it off. Unless… Wouldn’t it have been a trip if he had the same amount in his pocket anyway? He’s screwed man, but I’m not going to bend over and take it for him. I don’t want to be bogus to the dude, but that’s how it gots to be.

My mind is racing screaming out the testimony of the cops. I just wanted to backhand them like pimp shaking down his hoes for money. They broke dude’s nose when they tackled him, and then speculate on why he didn’t tell them which way I went soon enough. And when he told them that the real guy (me) got on the subway, one of the cops went down there and asked around but “No one could remember seeing someone in a Ravens hoody go down there”

They didn’t believe the defendant when he later said the guy who handed him the purse wasn’t wearing a Ravens hoody just like his. What a bunch a jack-asses, they think they’re the slickest. If they would have backtracked fifteen feet they would have found a hoody with the tags still on it in the alley. This is why I hate pigs.

The chick testified too. And she was stacked, damn! I thought the bailiff was going to have to restrain her titties the way they was bouncing as she walked up there. And her caboose is off the hook!

My hormones were buzz-killed after she opened her mouth though. Not the way it normally does. She didn’t say nothing dumb. But when she was going on about the description of how I run I was embarrassed as hell even though everyone in the courtroom thought she was talking about the defendant. “There was like no way I would have normally chased a guy down like that. I would be totally to scared he was like a crack-head or something. But in that split second I was like ‘Maybe I can like scare him enough to make him like let go of his pants and trip.”

The judge, the other jurors, the typing chick, everybody was laughing historically. Them laughing made her start laughing, and I was laughing too. I was in kind a disbelief though as I laughed and couldn’t help but give her an accusing look. She noticed. It was then that I realized my face was bright red from being embarrassed, and looked away fast. She’s going to recognize me for sure if I keep doing that.


All the way down the hall the other jurors are still laughing at that shit. The bailiff tries to tell them they’re only supposed to talk about the case when they get to the private room but he’s laughing too.

As soon the doors closed one of the jurors says “Should we even vote on this or do we all have a good enough idea?”

Nods were going around the room like I was in a room full of bobble-head people. When they all looked at me I was psyched; all I had to do was nod with them and I would be off because I wasn’t about to do no confession. “Why would he stop to put on his headphones before hiding the purse or sticking it under his shirt?”

They all groaned and sat down as their dreams of an early afternoon off shattered. The head juror sighed as he half-heartedly got my back “We should take this seriously ladies and gentlemen after all this young man could get up to three years in jail for this.”

I almost said ‘me?’ before I realized he was talking about the defendant, so instead I said “yeah that’s what I was thinking.”

We skipped some of the formalities and went straight to the vote. The other eleven gave me the evil eye as they stuffed their vote into the box and passed it to the next. The ballot box went all the way around until it was back at the head juror. “Now I will count the votes”

In my handicap parking voice I said “Gee I wonder what it’s going to be.”

11 guilty, 1 non-guilty. What a surprise. I gave up, it was time to bail out or confess. (Hell no!) With out confessing all there is to say is “Just playing dawgs, just scratch the ‘non’ and the hyphen of my vote.”

For whatever reason, I didn’t say it out loud. I just stood up and got everyone’s attention and… nada. I couldn’t remember what I was going to say. I looked at the three women and tried to play it off “Come on I just know he’s innocent. Aren’t you all sensitive to PMS?” I get a dirty look “My bad ESP. That women’s intuition thing.”

I could see that the skinny red-head chick was feeling me on this. She was nodding and really thinking about what I said. She looks like one of those tree hugging broads that don’t shave their pits and worship wicker or whatever it’s called. She looked up with eyes squinted like she took a hit from a blunt and said “Didn’t she testify that he had to hold his pants up to run?”

I couldn’t help looking down to see how far down my draws are drooping. She continued “Can we get a list of what the police took away from him, because if there was a belt on him he didn’t do it!”

The hippy chick gives me a thumbs-up then the other jurors give me some blank stares. Just to piss them off I dropped back into my chair and said “You might as well check because I’m not voting until I see it”


There wasn’t a belt but it did say the size of the pants “We could wait to measure his waist or assume he isn’t much skinnier that a 30 inch waist”

***

Barely pulled that one off. I can’t believe I almost gave my self up. Know what I’m saying? I was smooth though, holding out ‘til I found another way. It wouldn’t even have bothered me to pin it on the other guy, but you never know when the lord is testing you. That doesn’t mean I’m going all saintly or nothing; he can’t be watching all the time no matter what ma says.

I’m buzzing by the time my sneaks hit the front steps outside. It’s official I am the slickest man on the globe. All this shits been against me, and no one has a clue. No one even guessed it was juror six all the time. No one even… What the hell is she doing?

I see that chick down there talking to the defendant (She apologizing?), then looks up at me when I walk out. The way she’s moving up towards me I can tell she was casing the joint for me. Why the hell would she be staking out for me? She couldn’t know, could she?

I look back and forth, at least six cops around, and the police station is only a block away. Got to calm myself down. I got to be cool so no one will believe her if she starts pointing her finger and screaming. I’m getting that same feeling I get when I steal something as she says to me “I saw the way you kept looking at me during the trial. I hope I didn’t misinterpret it: here’s my number.”

Oh you know I snagged it!

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