In Texas, any felony crime is handled by the District Court.
In the less-populated/more civilized areas of the State it’s not unusual for the District Court to migrate from County-to-County inside the district.
In my old County, the District Court would spend one week at the courthouse of each County in the District; since the District was made up of five counties, every fifth week would see my county hosting the District Court.
Court week was always a mix of business and socializing. For that week, we’d have officers from five different counties bringing inmates in and out, Feds would be wandering warily about, and we’d be hip-deep in lawyers, you’d be running into folks you hadn’t seen in months or years.
If it sounds complicated, it was. Led to some … interesting … situations once in a while, too.
We had one of our long-time critters in court one bright Friday morning. It had been kind of a long process, the air-conditioning isn’t quite up to snuff and everyone in the courtroom is kind of dragging butt.
Anyhoo, just before the lunch recess in bounces the girlfriend of said critter, just as bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and perky as all get out.
I don’t know about any of the myriad other ossifers present, but I kind of spare her a glance, not considering much of anything and go back to keeping an eye on my critter.
‘Bout ten minutes later, one of the constables from a neighboring county jabs me in the ribs and points to the young lady who is humming happily to herself, bouncing a bit on the bench, nodding her head to a beat ain’t nobody else hearing and generally just having herself a quietly good ol’ time.
Considering that her boyfriend is staring down the throat at 15 years to do, this might be considered slightly off-kilter behavior. We start to eye her a little more closely, just in case she knows something that we don’t know.
About that time, the girlfriend looks around and apparently realizes that the courtroom is absolutely chock-full of law enforcement types. You’d have thought she had just seen Freddie Kruger. The colour drained out of her face, her eyes bugged, mouth dropped and she froze like a deer in the headlights.
Bubba shot me a glance and murmured, “Are my tentacles showing?”
Bam! Off she took, hurdled Grandma Frickert, pylon-turned off the end of the row and pelted for the exit gaining speed at a fairly remarkable rate.
I decided about right then that I really needed to have a chat with that young lady, so I yelp “Watch him!” to the other local deputy and off I go. A thought that apparently also occured to at least two other officers from various departments and counties, ’cause they were right on my heels.
We hit the court-room door, skid to a stop in the hall, look right, look left – tally ho! And the chase was on.
Up two flights of stairs we go, and her without any armour, bat-belt, guns, ammo, Murphy brick and the other goodies necessary to modern policing.
At the top of the second flight of stairs, I see a door slamming to-and-fro and without a second thought in I go.
“You can’t come in here!” screams the Young Lady as she darts into the last of a long line of stalls.
I immediately bound down to that enclosure and yank open the door, only to see that little heifer scoot under the divider like a greased eel.
It didn’t really dawn on me, intellectually speaking, as to where I actually was until I yanked open the next door, and one of the female-type lawyers is … occupied.
Being a gentleman, I immediately blush bright red, and slam the door shut.
Then I remember what I’m actually doing, ie., in pursuit of a suspect, swear venomously, yank the stall back open and the lady lawyer points right.
Off I go, ripping open stall doors until I see the quarry scoot out from under the last stall on her hands and knees and proceed – still crawling – out the door to the Ladies Room.
Where my two chicken-spit colleagues who just couldn’t bring themselves to enter the womens rest-room are laying in crafty ambush.
And, had she not been crawling, they would have collared her quite nicely; unfortunately she’s a little … shorter… than they had expected and they miss.
I, however, do not miss. The officer I don’t wipe out with the door, I promptly plough into the tile.
It’s not a shining moment for the Good Guys.
We scramble back to our feet, she does the same and off we go back down the same two flights of stairs that we just now came up.
Fortunately for the ego of the home team, the Sheriff had been notified by the other local deputy and was coming to the ruckus. Little Miss Gazelle spotted him on the way down the stairs and attempted to dart past him, whereupon he clotheslined her right there in front of God and Lady Justice.
We haul her little butt off to jail where we find a large quantity of meth stowed away in her sock.
Anyhoo, a little bit later I’m taking the Probable Cause affidavit up to the DA’s office and — you guessed it — the lady lawyer I tip my hat to as I enter the office takes one look at me and yelps: “Pervert!” at the top of her not-inconsiderable lungs.