Tijuana jail at 17

  • Tijuana jail at 17

    Posted by DuckDive on September 20, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    This is a story that I am not very proud of but it is what it is – a lot of us made some really stoooopid decisions when we were young and I certainly made my share.

    The summer before my senior year in high school I was working in construction with a friend for his dad who was a building contractor, making some pretty decent cash under the table for that age. The summer was just about over and my parents went to Ventura for a weekend, leaving me home alone. So my friend and I come up with this crazy plan to drive down into Mexico and have some fun, planning to drive back on Sunday before my parents got back on late Sunday night. So we head down on Saturday to Tijuana, got a room with 2 double beds at the Nelson hotel on Revolution and headed out, walking the length of Revolution and checked into a couple of bars, had some beers and flirted with some girls. Even though we were young we were smart enough to know that these girls were just hustling us for our money so we left to find some real action. So we drove around a bit and discovered Coahuila Street.

    So we parked my car and spent that Saturday night going from girl to girl to girl and everything was going great until the last girl apparently tried to take some money from my friend’s pants when he was washing up. I could hear him yell, she screamed, some guys ran down the hallway past our door and I could hear a fight break out. I ran out and down to the room where my friend was, and started throwing blows to get these two dudes off my buddy. The next thing you know 3 cops show up and we were put in handcuffs. We were taken down to the jail that was at 10th street I think and thrown into a large cell full of drunks, bums and few really scary looking dudes.

    My buddy was still pissed because the the cops let the girl keep his money and I was trying to calm him down to keep from drawing more attention to us. Several hours later, people are coming and going out of the cell but we were just left there. Finally, an older cop pulls us out of the cell, down a floor into an office and tells us to wait. After about 30 or 40 minutes he comes back in with a lady and starts asking us questions about what happened and the lady is typing everything we say. He then tells us that the girl that ripped my buddy off accused him of trying to steal from her and both of the bouncers were going to file a complaint against us for assaulting them as well as destruction of property at the 5 dollar an hour hotel, warning us that we could be sent to prison for a minimum of a couple of years.

    We both started freaking out but the cop stayed tight lipped. He and the lady left us there for a couple more hours, basically sh***ing our pants, wondering how in the hell we would ever get out of the situation and how much trouble we both would get into when our parents found out.

    The cop finally comes back in and tells us we are going to be transferred and we are going nuts, thinking we are being sent to prison. We follow him down another set of stairs and he takes us down another hallway where he opens the door out to the street where a squad car was sitting. We’re both thinking that we were going to get in that car but then the lady who typed our statements comes out and hands us a bag with our possessions that they took from us when we arrived at the jail. The chief turned to go back inside but at the door he turned back and told us to go back to the hotel, get our things and go straight back home.

    At that point we were both just standing there, wondering WTF was going on and that’s when the lady tells us he’s the police chief. He then tells us that next time would be different and that he didn’t want to see us ever again at his jail. Believe me when I say we got the message and it took all of about 10 minutes to get our bags from the hotel room and be back in line heading north at the border. I beat my parents home by about a half hour and I never told them what happened. Days later when my buddy and I talked about it, we both realized how lucky we had been and it took almost 10 years before I could get up the nerve to cross the border south again.

    CRF450R replied 2 days, 21 hours ago 10 Members · 34 Replies
  • 34 Replies
  • MikeyD

    Member
    September 20, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    Holy cow! Sounds like the chief just wanted to teach you a lesson.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 5:57 pm

      And he did!

  • BajaGringo

    Organizer
    September 21, 2022 at 7:34 am

    The chief did you a very big favor, the fact that he personally conducted the session where you gave your statement tells me that he probably never even filed a report. You were very lucky but it’s a great story – thanks for sharing…

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      We always wondered about that. Was part of the reason that avoided driving back down for so many years. And for a long time after that I would only cross through Tecate and avoid Tijuana for fear that I’d get into trouble again.

  • bajatraveler

    Member
    September 21, 2022 at 7:49 am

    So no charges were filed? You were very lucky. The 20 yo son of a coworker got picked up while buying drugs in Tijuana a few years ago and he spent a couple of months in the La Mesa prison – it was a nightmare. They did file charges on him and threatened him with 10 years in prison. Ended up costing his dad over 20 thousand dollars to get him out.

    • bajabill

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 9:09 am

      That seems like a lot of money to pay to get out of buying drugs. Was it a large purchase where they could consider it trafficking?

      • bajatraveler

        Member
        September 22, 2022 at 7:20 am

        It was something like 20 or 30 grams of cocaine. More than for personal use but certainly not a big-time drug trafficker. He was probably going to sell it to some of his friends and keep a bit for himself while pocketing some cash in the process. The fact is, the cops who arrested him figured that out too and offered him a deal where they’d cut him loose for 800 dollars which he didn’t have – he spent it all on the coke. They even let him call his dad so he could come down with the cash but his dad refused, thinking that it would only get his son in more trouble along with himself in the process.

        The prosecuting attorney also offered a deal through the kids attorney to make it all go away for 5,000 dollars – to be split between him and the cops and before being official arraigned, which the dad also turned down for the same reason.

        So the wheels of Tijuana’s legal system began to turn, formal charges were filed and a court date was set. A few days before the court date the attorney for the kid was finally able to convince the dad that his son was going to be treated as a drug trafficker and be sentenced to prison for several years – there was no court in Tijuana for first time offenders where he’d get off with a slap of the hands, pay a small fine and do little to no time as often happens here in the states in similar situations.

        The problem was now they also needed to pay people off in the court system and in total it cost him over 20 grand to get his son released. In retrospect he should have cut a deal with the arresting cops.

        • BajaGringo

          Organizer
          September 22, 2022 at 9:06 am

          That’s typically the way it works down here with your cheapest route right after it happens. Every day that goes by more people get involved and it gets harder and more expensive to get them out. Not advocating for anyone to pay a bribe but that is how the system works down here…

          • MikeyD

            Member
            September 22, 2022 at 12:43 pm

            That is exactly how it works – the longer you wait, the price keeps going up.

          • paranewbi

            Member
            September 27, 2022 at 5:39 am

            If you type the name Uriah Courtney into any search engine you will see our story. My step son was accused and convicted of sexual assault on a 16 year old girl here in San Diego. He was on my job site at the time. Cost his mom and I $85,000 in attorney’s fees and he was sentenced 25 to life. He would have had to admit to the crime to get a shot at parole after 18 years. We were driven to bankruptcy and after 2 years of trying, the California Innocence Project took on his case (this was during his 6th year in prison). They found the DNA of a guy who lived a mile from the girl and had done this 3 times prior to my sons case and 1 time after… he never spent a night in jail. My son was released after 8 years in prison (it took 2 years to get him exonerated).

            I know how Mexico justice works and I spent many sleepless nights wishing this had happened down south… I would have paid a bribe in a minute.

            • BajaGringo

              Organizer
              September 27, 2022 at 12:15 pm

              I’ll bet. So, so sorry you were put through all of that. As happens so often, unexpected events in life often give us a much different perspective on things. Thanks for sharing that, must have been quite a grueling experience.

              Did your stepson have any legal avenues of recourse after those years in prison, falsely accused?

              • paranewbi

                Member
                September 29, 2022 at 4:43 am

                Unlike other states, California does not award ‘damages’ for false incarceration. I did meet one exoneree who was trying but none have been successful to date. The DA in San Diego at the time my son was convicted did eventually join in with the Innocence Project to expedite my sons release once presented with the DNA evidence. We eventually came to understand that with what was presented to the jury in that day, other than the personal affront of trial, her department went with what was the standard of that day. We eventually came to for a friendship with Bonnie Dumanis (the DA) who formed a separate department to work with the Innocence Project due to my son’s case. As well we are friends with the present DA, Susan Stephan, and we all hang out together at the Innocence Project functions.

                I do take away two thoughts from the experience that stick with me;

                The DNA evidence pointed to a man who now lives in Washington State. The DA interviewed him but the fact that the victim was still convinced our son was her attacker, they couldn’t bring him to trial. Any good defense attorney would question the ability of her to NOW accuse another man after sending one mistakenly off to prison.

                Also, when the conviction came in, the jury was allowed to leave with a fifteen minute head start before the courtroom attendees were permitted to leave. I exited the courtroom as soon as I could and looked for any Juror that might be around. As it was, one young lady was coming out of the restroom into the corridor who was a Juror. She was taken aback that I would approach her but I explained that I honored their decision as it was unanimous, “but I had some questions if she would oblige as we planned on doing this again in an appellate setting”. She agreed to answer my questions.

                I had spent four hours on the stand testifying to my son’s presence on my job site that day of the attack. I asked her, “What was it about my testimony that the Jurors didn’t accept? Was it the way I presented my answers, was it the way I made eye contact with them? What was it that made you all not take into account my words?”

                She told me, “Your his father, we know you love him and we thought you might lie for him”.

                Truthfully, the thought of lying had never crossed my mind…and I instantly thought of how, to this jury, it didn’t matter what I said.

                I then asked her, “What about my employee that was with my son working at his side that whole day?”

                Her reply, “Well he’s your employee, he might want to keep his job”.

                I thanked her and I walked away thinking… ‘so you would lie for your son if he attacked an innocent girl?’

                The DA and several Assistant DA’s did apologize outside the courtroom the day our son was ordered released.

                • BajaGringo

                  Organizer
                  September 29, 2022 at 7:47 am

                  All I can say is wow…

                • CRF450R

                  Member
                  September 29, 2022 at 5:00 pm

                  I didn’t know that about California. Has anybody ever tried challenging that state restriction on suing over wrongful incarceration at a higher court? That just seems incredibly unfair and wrong.

                  • paranewbi

                    Member
                    September 30, 2022 at 5:40 am

                    After the legal dance we had to go through over 8 years, it is hard to contemplate going through the same to chase another legal cause. We know this is Cali and as a lifelong resident, I accept the ‘cost’ of living under the rulers of the land. There seems to be coming a time when it may no longer be tolerable.

                    For now… let’s get back to BAJA! That’s why I patronize this site… to escape from what the world is today around me in my home.

                    • CRF450R

                      Member
                      September 30, 2022 at 7:08 am

                      πŸ–•

            • MikeyD

              Member
              September 27, 2022 at 12:35 pm

              Wow – that sucks! I would sue the hell out of the police, county and the victim that falsely accused him.

            • DuckDive

              Member
              September 27, 2022 at 12:43 pm

              Damn!

        • blitzer

          Member
          September 23, 2022 at 5:35 pm

          That amount of coke is much more than for personal use so yes, he would have gotten charged with trafficking drugs. What a knucklehead.

    • blitzer

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 9:42 am

      Yeah, that’s usually something you can get out of with a couple of hundred dollars at most.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 5:59 pm

      OMG – that was what we were afraid was going to happen to us!

  • bajabill

    Member
    September 21, 2022 at 9:13 am

    This is something that probably 70% of SoCal boys at least considered doing in high school. I bet the chief knew that technically he should have sent you to be handled as minors but instead took the opportunity to keep you with the adults and teach you a valuable lesson. Sounds like a pretty good cop to me. You should have thanked him.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      We did, several times in fact! Afterwards we wondered about being juveniles and whether they were supposed to handle us differently somehow but at that moment we were too scared to even ask. They never even asked about calling our parents, which is something that later made me believe that their motive all along was just to teach us a lesson – which they did!

  • blitzer

    Member
    September 21, 2022 at 9:48 am

    A couple of buddies and I did the same thing right after graduating from high school but we are all Latinos and two of us were native Spanish speaking. A cop tried to bust us for drinking in public and even handcuffed us in the back of his car, trying bluff us into coming up with some more money than the 40 dollars we gave him, pulling out our pockets showing him that we didn’t have any more. He finally gave up and let us go. He never checked our shoes where were carrying most of our money.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 21, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Good thinking – something we didn’t do much of on that trip. The cops didn’t take any of our money or other possessions but the prostitute did get to keep my buddies money that she stole.

      • blitzer

        Member
        September 23, 2022 at 5:37 pm

        The cop probably split it with the hooker or may have confiscated all of it and kept it for himself. That’s what happens when you operate on the edge down there and especially in the red light district where the girls are sometimes easy prey for corrupt cars too. It’s a vicious circle.

  • CRF450R

    Member
    September 22, 2022 at 12:22 pm

    Well, it may not have been your finest hour but hopefully you learned a valuable lesson – that chief certainly cut you a huge break.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 22, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      I most certainly did and yes he did do us both a huge favor. I still think about it to this day.

  • trekker

    Member
    September 22, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Brave of you to admit to that online but I respect the fact that it appears you learned your lesson with the help of a very benevolent police chief. If I ever found out my son did that he would stay grounded until he was out of college, married and with three kids.

    • DuckDive

      Member
      September 22, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      Sounds about like what my parents would have done if they found out.

  • AndyP

    Member
    September 23, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    I guess I must have been a pansy at that age as I would never have had the ***** to try something like that when I was in high school. I can’t even imagine what that must have been like to get locked up like that in a Tijuana jail when I was 17. Thanks for sharing and glad everything worked out okay.

    • blitzer

      Member
      September 23, 2022 at 5:42 pm

      I grew up in Tijuana as a young boy and I admit, when I was 15 or 16 I used the services of a “working girl” a couple of times but we all knew better than to go any where near Revolucion or Coahuila. Way too expensive and a cop always nearby ready to squeeze some cash out of you.

      • DuckDive

        Member
        September 26, 2022 at 2:52 pm

        You would have been a good friend to have had along.

        • MikeyD

          Member
          September 26, 2022 at 4:40 pm

          😁😁😁

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