I spent Memorial Day weekend in the Grapevine community jail because I stopped to help out with a brush fire late one night. Cops thought I started it and arrested me. Once they realized that I really had nothing to do with the fire and had genuinely stopped to help, they ran my driver’s license and found a ticket I never paid for an expired inspection sticker in the municipality of Colleyville, Texas.
Colleyville was not interested in allowing me to put up a bond to get myself out of jail until a court date could be set. They wanted $1300 as a nonrefundable fine, payable immediately (on a Federal holiday), or I could just sit my ass in jail until the judge came to visit three days later.
As it was 1am and my free call was answered by voice mail, it looked like I was in for at least one night of jail.
Blackie, my cell mate, kept waking up every hour to shout at Lil P, his best friend with whom he was arrested for aggravated theft. Lil P was in the cell across the hall from us.
“Hey, Lil P! I got me a skinny cracker in this cell!”
Several hours later a terrible storm hit, and most of the cells flooded with sewage backwash. So six additional guys were crammed into our tiny, two-man cell. I huddled back into the farthest corner of the cement slab which was my bed, hoping no one would notice me.
Breakfast arrived at 6am. A single glazed donut.
2pm passed, and one of the men in my cell who was diabetic was not in good condition. He kept banging on the door for the guard, who would come look in through the tiny window.
“I’m diabetic and I need food.”
“I need food, too, buddy, and I haven’t eaten yet.”
“I could die. I’m diabetic.”
“Well, I’m diabetic, too, jackass, what’d’ya think about that?” the cop scoffed.
The diabetic laid down on the floor, and a few hours later he was shaking almost to the point of seizure. He screamed for the guards and said he needed medicine.
“Did you bring medicine with you?” the guard asked.
“I didn’t know I was going to get arrested.”
“Not my problem, buddy!”
“I could die in here, you motherf—-ers!”
“Not my problem! We’ll haul your body out tomorrow,” laughed the cop, and left.
The man’s situation continued to degrade. When I was allowed out of the cell to make my daily phone call, the cop whispered to me:
“You know that f—ing diabetic?”
“I’m gonna strap him to the solitary confinement chair so hard his limb’s’ll fall off. That f—ing diabetic. He don’t have a clue who he’s messing with.”
“He needs food,” I suggested.
“Food, my ass. He needs a few hours in the confinement chair. And my fist up his ass.”
An hour later, back in the overcrowded cell, the diabetic had shrieked and seizured until he passed out. We still had not been fed. I called 911 from the collect call telephone in our cell. While I was talking to the operator, some of the men in the cell began to kick the unconscious diabetic and mock him.
“I’m diabetic! Oh, it hurts! I need to get out of here and into a nice, soft hospital bed!”
I screamed at the cops that the man had passed out, but they just laughed and did nothing.
Twenty minutes later the paramedics arrived and took the man away.
That was when everybody started to notice me.
Lil P, who was now in the cell with us, wasn’t lil at all. He was massive. He took off his pants and underwear and tossed them into the vomit-crusted toilet.
“You’re gonna wash my underwear in that toilet, you skinny white f-ggot.”
I didn’t quite know what to do, but I was sure that if a dying diabetic man wasn’t getting sympathy from the cops, I was certainly doomed.
Less than a minute later the cell door opened and the cop barked, “Starr, your fine was paid. Come with me.”
I walked out into the pouring rain to where Christian and J-P and Jacques, my best friends, were waiting. They had pooled cash-on-hand along with the maximum $400 daily ATM withdrawal they each had to get me out of jail.
I collapsed on the ground, sobbing.
Grapevine, Texas. The picture-perfect town I called home. With festivals in the park each weekend. And more antique shops than fast food restaurants. Who knew that in the little community jail were these cruel cops with hardons for authority? They were likely directly responsible for the death of a man that night.
For anyone who read the story about me being arrested on Memorial Day weekend under suspicion of setting a large wildfire, and the subsequent discovery of three arrest warrants from the city of Colleyville…
I received a phone call from the Grapevine Police Chief a few weeks ago informing me that the warrants were erroneous, the result of a bookkeeping error in Colleyville. There had been no reason to arrest me in the first place.
They refunded the $1200 that was paid to get me out of jail. But not even an apology…