call to the police

25 May

“Do you guys want to go to the park?” I ask the kids.  Despite being nearly winter, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather outside.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful day.

“Let’s go on the country track!!”  Daniel says excitedly.   That’s code for the dusty little dirt trail that connects to a couple of bridges.

As we get closer and closer to the stepping stones water crossing, the sound of dirt bikes rings louder in our ears. “Mommy, I’m scared.”  Hannah says every time one goes ‘BBBRRRRRMMM.’  Her voice waivers and she hides behind my legs, grabbing my pants with both hands.  I should be able to take my kids to the local park without them being frightened of being run over.  Motorised vehicles are not allowed at the park.  Yes, there are trails and fields and plenty of space there, but that space is not for dirt bikes, it’s for kids running around, dog walkers, parents, bush walkers, pram pushers, people playing sports, the elderly, people in wheelchairs.  It is for all people, but not motor vehicles, which is clearly stipulated on signs around the perimeter of the park.

I can’t tell exactly where the bikes are until we pass the stepping stones and get to the field.  I hold Hannah and Daniel’s hands tightly as a man on a dirt bike tears by.  Usually I let them run off ahead, giggling through the field en route to the playground.  Near the trees on the other side of the field is a large group of men, teen, and tween boys, a 3-wheeler atv and the dirt bike that is being shared around.

As we walk towards the playground, the bike is speeding on the sidewalk, tearing past the playground, and doing circles in the field.  Kids may look like they are walking nicely next to their parents, but in seconds, they can be 20 feet away, running and giggling.  Can a dirt bike rider really predict that, especially one who is going really fast and is clearly too young to be licensed?  There is a reason dirt bikes are not allowed at the park.  What if a kid on the playground suddenly decides to chase a bird and runs out of the playground area? Can a dirt bike rider tearing by 10 feet away from the playground swerve or stop in time?

The other week we walked to the park and a police car pulled up when we were in the parking lot. I had just seen a dirt bike, so I pointed towards the field.  The cop ignored me.  He did a lap of the parking lot, whilst I flapped my arms and pointed to the field, but the cop didn’t stop to ask me anything, he just pulled back out again, making no effort to actually catch the person or people responsible for endangering children’s lives by tearing around in the park on dirt bikes.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

I put Daniel in the swing and call the local police station.  “Hi, I’d like to report a dirt bike at ____________,” I tell them, as I stand about 5 feet away from another mum.

“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of complaints about that.” She tells me.

“Are the police going to come?” Hannah asks me when I hand up after the brief conversation.

“I don’t know sweetie, they said they’ve had a lot of calls about it, so hopefully they will, it’s very dangerous to ride dirt bikes around a playground.”

30 seconds later, the bike speeds past the playground and ducks into the country track. The same track we were just meandering down, often stopping while the kids bent over to agitate the dirt with sticks to make “smoke.” The small dirt track that a speeding dirt bike would have trouble stopping really fast on if a kid was there.  The track where swerving is not an option due to large logs lining both sides of the path.  The short dirt path with trees all around where it would be too late to react by the time anyone realised those echoing BRRRRMMMs were actually coming from the same path they are on.

Inside, I was freaking out.  What if he had turned down that path when we were on it?

“Let’s go feed the ducks.” I tell the kids to distract myself from such thoughts.  A group of ducks is foraging on the cricket field next to the playground.

The mob of dirt bikers is staring at us as we feed the ducks.  I watch them in my peripheral vision as they push the 3-wheeler into the bushes, as if they somehow know I’ve called the police.

That’s silly, I’m just being paranoid, how could they know? 

The sound of the dirt bike is gone.  He has clearly gone down the country path to make a quick and hasty get away.

Maybe they saw a police car.

We run out of bread and go back to the playground.  Next to the woman who was near me when I made the police car is a tween in a motor bike helmet.

The rest of the group are walking up, pushing the 3-wheeler.

“Let’s get this in the back of the truck.” One of the men says to the woman.  There are about 10 of them all together.  All rough, hard looking men and boys with mullets and rat tails. All giving me the death stare.  Maybe they are actually really nice guys, but maybe they are planning to punch my lights out.  I don’t really want to find out.

I act as if I’m too stupid to put two and two together, like I don’t realise I know that they know that I called the police.  I pretend I’m so engrossed with pushing Hannah and Daniel on the swings that I don’t even notice they are there.

I look at my watch, long and obviously.  “Ok kids, time to go home and cook some dinner.”

“Please, just a little bit longer?” They beg.

I force my voice to come out as strong and unintimidated “No, it’s almost dinner time, we have to go home now.”

They hop off the swings and follow me towards the field, not our usual way home, but if we go through the parking lot, the men could watch us and see which house we go into.

The ducks are still waddling across the field, and I’m still freaking out a little inside, so even though I wouldn’t normally suggest such a thing (about ducks, not about pigeons or something), I feign excitement and say “WHO WANTS TO CHASE SOME DUCKS!!!???”

UrbMatinpost

“I DO!!!” The kids say in unison and we take off running, quickly putting distance between us and the scary looking mob who knows I called the police on them.

When we get to the bottom of our street, a police car pulls into the parking lot down a hill and to the left of us.  If we go down there talk to him, the men will see us, but if we don’t, they might get away. Maybe they are still putting the 3-wheeler in the truck.  Maybe they will be caught red handed.

One thing is for sure though: I don’t want them to see us.  They don’t know we are at the top of the hill and I don’t want want them to.  Instead of turning towards the police car, we turn towards home, towards safety and anonymity.

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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

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4 Responses to “call to the police”

  1. ponymartini May 25, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    That is terrifying. I hope their rat tails all get pecked off by the ducks.

    • Mommy Adventures May 26, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Haha, that image made me smile

      On Sun, May 25, 2014 at 11:15 PM, Mommy Adventures wrote:

      >

  2. LBcruiseshipblogger May 27, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    They obviously knew they were in the wrong. Hopefully they got caught.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. call to the police » Mega Baby - May 25, 2014

    […] “Do you guys want to go to the park?” I ask the kids.  Despite being nearly winter, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather outside.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful day. “Let’s go on the country track!!”  Daniel says excitedly.   That’s code for the dusty little dirt trail that connects […] Leia mais: call to the police […]

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