Monday, February 22, 2010

It Is Always a Woman

Leo is very upset about being in jail. He cries copious tears and has a very difficult time controlling himself well enough to be understood. This is particularly unsettling coming from a 6'5", two hundred and fifty pound man who would honor a football team, at least in size.

Between sobs, I was able to learn that Leo had spent the last year, and the first year of being out of prison as a model citizen. He fully intended to stay out of trouble and stay on the streets. However, as may be expected, a woman was the cause of his problem. Actually, it was the woman's cousin who really caused the problem.

Troy, Leo's fiance's cousin asked him to drive him to New York to pick up his daughter. Leo had been living in New Jersey and came to New York as infrequently as possible. Leo said that he wanted to avoid trouble. Troy, newly arrived from Atlanta, had never been to New York but his ex-wife lived there with his five year old daughter. Marie, Leo's fiancee, asked for this favor. Leo was reluctant but was finally persuaded to go to New York to pick up Troy's daughter. Marie and Leo waited in the car while Troy went into the house to get Jesse, his daughter. About fifteen minutes later, Troy returned without Jesse. Troy said that Jesse went to visit her grandmother and the trip was wasted.

As the three started back to New Jersey, a patrol car signaled them to stop. Leo, always afraid of the police and worried about being in New York, a violation of his parole to leave the state, panicked and tried to out run the police. He was driving too fast and hit a parked car. The police pulled them over. Leo was arrested to hitting the parked car and refusing to obey the officer's order to stop.

Somehow a package of drugs was found under the car when the officer stopped the car. Although it would be hard to prove that the drugs had been in the car, it was hard to prove that Leo had not violated his parole by being in New York. It was also hard to prove that Leo has not obeyed the officer's order to stop the car.

The damage to the parked car was not in debate. Leo's tears of sadness were also not in debate.

When I asked Leo why he had been upstate, he said that it was a drug sale conviction. I wondered why Leo was so devastated by the news that Troy was buying drugs, because surely, having been in the drug business himself, he might have been suspicious of Troy's eagerness to go to New York. Leo's explanation made sense. "I thought Troy was too new to New York to have made any connection That's why I believed him." Leo continue to cry and nothing anyone can say seems to help.