Bachlor Party in a U-Haul:
Valley Police Department, Spring 1990
"Officer Shelton, Do you see anything wrong here?"

It was a pleasant Friday Evening in early June. On the weekends, we typically had more than one officer on patrol. Don Shelton was cruising in his patrol car as Five-Five, while I was doing the same as Five-Four. (Yeah… That’s car 54…)

Around 7:30 or 8:00 PM, I pulled in to a parking lot along US-275 to take care of some paperwork, and watch traffic. A short time later, a large U-Haul Rental Truck, the kind with the large box that extended over the roof of the cab was traveling west on US-275. What was odd was the banging sound coming from the truck. It was almost like live stock in the back of a cattle truck! This would require some investigation.

I pulled the vehicle over, and made contact with the driver. He was an 18 year old young man, who appeared very apprehensive. He provided all the necessary credentials and paper work, but he was clearly nervous about something. I asked him, “What are you hauling?”

“Oh... Just some furniture and stuff…” the kid replied.

“Nothing else? I mean, something’s making a heck of a racket back there!”

The kid says, “Oh! There’s a dog back there!”

I look over the top of my glasses, “A dog… Really? That must be one heck of a dog to make that kind of noise.”

I called Shelton, “Five-Four, Five-Five?”

“Five-Five, Go ahead.”

“Meet me at a traffic stop, Route 275 and 64. Suspicious activity.”

Don acknowledged, and arrived within two minutes. In the mean time, I asked the driver to step out of his vehicle and to come to the back of the truck, out of traffic. With Don standing by, I explain to the young man, “Ok, you’ve told me that you’re hauling furniture and ‘stuff’, and that the cause of all the noise coming from inside the vehicle is being caused by a big dog in the back of the truck. Right?”

The kid nods in agreement.

“We need you to open the back of the truck.”

The kid pleads, “Do I have to?

“Your other option is we impound the truck, and tow it to Omaha until we get a court order. Your call.”

The kid shuffles his feet, “Well... ok…”

Don and I have no idea what to expect as the kid is releasing the latches to open the doors. We don’t know if an animal is going to bust out, or if he has Rambo waiting to ambush us, so we’re both standing somewhat to the side in a protective stance with our hands on our weapons.

The kid swings the doors open to reveal four gentlemen seated in lawn chairs around a small beer keg. One shouts, “Hello!

“What’s going on guys?” I ask.

One of the guys hops out of the truck, and explains, “Well, that guy over there is my Brother, and he’s getting married tomorrow. The Kid here is our designated driver. He’s taking us to the bars and strip joints in the area. I guess you might say this is our rolling bachelor party for my brother!”

As per procedure we get ID’s from everyone, and run them for wants and warrants. Everyone is clean as a whistle!

Don and I are trying to keep a straight face. I say to Don in an official voice, “Officer Shelton, I don’t see any problems. Do you see anything wrong here?”

“Nope,” says Don. “I don’t see any problems at all!”

We shake hands all around, offer congratulations to the Groom to be, cautioned them to all be careful, and sent them on their way.


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