Friday, March 21, 2014
That Time Someone Ran Over My Scooter
About twenty minutes later, I came out of the store to find my poor scooter on its side, with its little plastic fenders scraped all over. I flipped it back upright and, while she was dinged up pretty good, it seemed mostly like superficial body work. But when I tried to start it, it wouldn't turn over, either with the key or the kick start. A guy standing at the nearby bus stop yelled over, "He left a note!"
"The guy who hit it left a note?"
"No! The dude who ran after her did!"
And there it was, taped to the scooter's front panel. A note describing how some unidentified maroon SUV had backed into, and then over, my scooter...and then peeled out trying to leave. He was able to write down the license number though, and even left his phone number. So I gave him a call, and it turns out he was in Target with his two daughters. He had some shopping to get done but would be right out to chat with me.
I called the police to get a report going, and the cop showed up the same time as my good Samaritan came out of the store. It turns out that the guy was pulling into the lot with his two daughters, one who was only four and the other who was still an infant, when he saw the the SUV hit our scooter. As she tried to drive away, he told his daughters, "Stay here!" as he threw the car in park, and ran after her on foot. He ran clear across the parking lot and caught up to her, as she was stuck at a stoplight, and was able to read the license plate before the light turned, repeating it over and over while he ran back to his daughters still sitting in the car. The best bit is that he's telling this to the cop and me while holding a bunch of Target bags, his one daughter standing quietly, holding his hand, and the other cooing away in the stroller. Dude is father of the year.
The rest of the story is pretty dull. I spent the next several weeks waiting for the police to do their thing, and track down the owner. It turns out the driver was the owner's teenage son's girlfriend. I guess she borrowed the family car to drive to work occasionally. She worked in a nearby store and got spooked after she heard something crunch under the SUV. (Though she denied to the police even remembering hitting anything. Maybe the vehicle has really good sound dampening.) It took a few weeks for their insurance company to sort through the details, and we even went through one more bout of the family and the girlfriend denying that they hit the scooter to the insurance company. Only when I said I'd be happy to get the police involved once again did they finally admit fault.
But the part that I really love about the story is the guy who dropped everything to intervene in something that really wasn't his concern. I mean, who does that? If I saw something like that happening, I'd probably just mutter, "That sucks," then go shopping, and that would be that. As lucky as I got, I figure I owe the world three vehicular favors. I've been looking for chances to help out, but now that I work from home I'm not out on the road every day. It seems cars don't break down that often, either. So, here is your chance to cash in. If you happen to be in the Phoenix metro area and are in need of a hand with your car (maybe you're stuck on the side of the road, or want help turning a wrench or, heck, maybe you just need a ride to work) then I'm your guy. Send me an email or a comment here, and I'll come running.
*The photo (which unfortunately is not a shot of me riding a classic scooter in shorts and flip flops) is from Gavin Firksir at Flickr Creative Commons.