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Like most of you, I’ve seen a lot of pretty entertaining interactions between police officers and random people. Especially while in college. They’re always entertaining, regardless of if it’s a traffic stop or a traffic stop. But as fun as it is to watch idiots get busted, it’s the times when the police show their hilarious ineptitude that are truly awesome. Again, this is maybe more prevalent in college towns than anywhere else, where the police are often there for no reason other than to enforce liquor laws and ticket expired parking meters.
Few police departments are more capable of ineptitude than Columbia, Missouri’s. This is, after all, the department that sent in a SWAT team to catch a pot dealer and ended up murdering a restrained dog while the kids in the house listened in horror. GET SOME!
That was like, totally the opposite of that one Colin Farrell movie.
One of my personal favorite stories about how inept the Columbia PD is involves none other than former Mizzou and current Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. This one goes back to February 2010. My then girlfriend and I were at the bar Fieldhouse, enjoying some drinks before we went home and drunkenly fucked, or fought…or both. It was Valentine’s weekend, after all, so probably both.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of Blaine Gabbert you know that the guy is pretty unmistakable. In case you haven’t, here you go:
(*stares at screen for fifteen minutes*)
Dammit, those entrancing golden locks get me every time.
Anyway, my girlfriend and I spotted Gabbert sitting at the bar (in the back corner by the popcorn machine, for those familiar with Fieldhouse) with two other guys. We said “Oh cool,” and went about our business. Not long after we noticed Gabbert, a few Columbia police officers came in to check IDs. It was a pretty common occurrence then, and probably still happens a lot today.
Immediately my eyes darted over to Gabbert to see his reaction. He was still only twenty-years-old at the time, and surely didn’t want to get an MIP, MIC, Fake ID or whatever else considering the any number of extra consequences that trouble with the law could possibly entail. Gabbert hadn’t noticed the police, nor had his two buddies. Either that or they just didn’t give a fuck, which judging from what I’ve heard and what I know about Blaine Gabbert, is a distinct possibility. Regardless, they continued drinking.
I spent the next ten minutes sitting at my table and sipping my drink as I watched the cops inch their way through the crowd and closer to Gabbert. From their angle they could only see Gabbert from the back, so I’m guessing the police just assumed he was some regular guy with Norse god-like flowing blonde hair.
On their way to Gabbert the cops grabbed a number of people and stopped them to check their IDs. They even nabbed a girl standing two feet away from baby Blaine, who had even been talking to him earlier. She was clearly under 21 so an officer took her outside and wrote her a ticket.
Finally the police reached Gabbert.
An officer tapped him on the shoulder and Gabbert turned around. A split second prior to this the cop was wearing his usual cocky douche expression, but as soon as Gabbert turned to face him the officer’s face went white, as if to say “Oh shit, it’s you.” Or maybe Gabbert gave him one of these:
I couldn’t hear their conversation, so I can’t say for sure.
Either way, the cop immediately and pathetically backed off. He even shot the shit with Gabbert for a second, who kindly obliged the sad, sniveling officer of the law who was twenty years his senior. The cop went about his business and handed out MIPs and whatnot to other students who were under 21. A pretty hypocritical and gigantically dick move, if you ask me.
Now, I’m not necessarily against this. I don’t want my starting quarterback to get into trouble. But if you aren’t going to give the famous guy a ticket, you should probably stop giving other people tickets too. Maybe at least instead of letting the guy and his two friends keep drinking, which is exactly what the police did, tell them to wrap it up and take off, free of repercussion. I only say that because later that night and after a lot more drinking, Gabbert and his buddies, who turned out to be Gabbert’s younger brother Tyler and Mizzou linebacker Andrew Gachkar, did this:
Quarterbacks Blaine and Tyler Gabbert and linebacker Andrew Gachkar were questioned by Columbia police outside Gumby’s Pizza after they exchanged words with — and took one damaging punch from — another group of men, according to a Columbia police report. Sources said the players were handcuffed, though that was not explicitly stated in the police report.
Tyler Gabbert ended up with a broken nose and Gachkar had to get stitches in his hand. Thank God it was the offseason. I don’t know what the fight was about, but considering it was at Gumby’s I assume it involved Pokey Sticks, not having enough of them, and wanting more by stealing someone else’s. That or random shit talking. Those are really the only two things to get into a fight over at Gumby’s.
I really hope the same officers who pussed out with Gabbert at the bar ended up having to take that call.
I only write all of that because during my recent weekend in CoMO I was once again reminded how dumb Columbia PD really can be. Some friends and myself decided to hit El Rancho late night on Saturday. A few of us decided our time would be better spent drinking at a bar across the street while the rest of the group waited in line (which was well out the door). When we came back to check on their progress about ten minutes later half of our friends were gone while one stood with his girlfriend, who was holding a bag of ice over her face.
Apparently there had been a scuffle in which she got accidentally hit in the face (I guess late night food makes Mizzou kids violent) and once the police arrived most everyone from both sides had taken off. I wasn’t actually there to witness the fight so I won’t get into details that I truthfully don’t know for sure. That part isn’t even important. The important thing is the police interaction that happened moments after I showed back up at El Rancho.
The girl, irate about being hit in the face, was asking the officers why she couldn’t charge the group (or person) who had hit her in the face. Apparently the police actually had them in custody. The officer, who could not have been older than twenty-six, said that if he were to arrest that guy, he would have to arrest everyone. Not understanding the answer, and certainly not happy with it, the girl pressed the officer as to why. His explanation was priceless. These are, as best I can recall, his actual words:
Police Officer: Okay, let’s say that you guys are in line and the people behind you are me and my bros and I’m not in uniform or whatever, I’m just a guy.
Police Officer: So let’s say that me and my bros are talking shit, and then, you know, your boyfriend and his group start talking shit. So you know, then maybe my bros start shoving and his bros start shoving, and let’s even say that me or one of my bros swings first, and hits you.
(*a moment of stunned silence from the group*)
Police Officer: Then, you know, not much we as police can do.
That’s a man who knows his law, and knows how to relate it to the people.
It also sort of reminded me of this:
Columbia PD, always a pleasure.