Another crazy night last night. I get pulled over by police and pax gets taken away by police!
Warning: LONG crazy story here! Lyft request from Rachel in Hamilton Township, NJ at 12:53 AM. I arrive and there are two male pax. They introduce themselves as Tommy and Michael. Tommy says Rachel is his gf and requested the trip for him, and pickup was at Tommy’s apartment. Tommy says he usually uses Uber, but he is out of Uber credits and wants to go to Walgreens just a few miles away to buy an Uber card then go back to Tommy’s apartment. He says he is going to pay Rachel back for this short Lyft trip. Tommy says he is going to use some of the Uber credits later that night to get Michael back home to Michael’s apartment in Hightstown. Michael’s phone is broken so he can’t request an uber himself. They both admit they’ve been drinking so they wanted to be safe and not drive anywhere that night. Cool.
They are talkative and having a good time in my car. Singing along to music videos and enjoying my lighting set up. They don’t seem overly intoxicated and we all were enjoying the trip. Get them to Walgreens. Tommy goes in and buys an Uber card and returns to car. He says he’s having such a good time and has another errand to run. Wants to know if that’s ok. I say, “Sure, if Rachel will be ok with that?” He says, “Absolutely. She will be cool with it and I’ll pay her back for this trip.” He explains that a co-worker, Gary, left his wallet at Tommy’s house the prior day. He says Gary has been calling and texting him all day long asking if Tommy could bring the wallet to him because Gary had no way to pick it up. So Tommy wants me to take him back to his apartment to get the wallet, then drive it to Gary’s location at a motel in Bordentown to drop off the wallet, then drive them back to Tommy’s apartment. Tommy comments that his phone is dead and asks to charge it, and I allow him to plug his phone into a charger.
We go back to Tommy’s apartment, and he gets the wallet. We then arrive at the motel which is a seedy looking place for sure. Tommy goes into the hotel room. Michael and I chat in the car for about 5 minutes. Tommy returns. He tells Michael that Gary is whacked out on drugs and all cracked out. We pull out of the motel parking lot. We only drive about 3-4 blocks when in my rear view mirror I see a cop with flashing lights driving up fast right behind me. No other cars on the road, so I know the cop is pulling me over!
I tell the pax we are getting pulled over but I’m not sure why, because I had not been speeding or violating any traffic laws. So we pull over and the cop approaches me at driver’s side. He asks for my license. I automatically provide him with my license, registration, and insurance card. He asks where we are going. I explain I’m an Uber and Lyft driver, and I’m currently driving the two passengers on a Lyft trip. He asks for our destination and I provide it. He tells me I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and have nothing to worry about, but he wants me to get out of the vehicle to speak with me.
So I get out and cop escorts me to back of the vehicle. He says he didn’t realize I was an Uber/Lyft driver, but he did see me pull in at the motel then pull out about 5 minutes later. He explains there’s been a lot of drug activity at certain motels in the area. He says he knows I was not involved in anything like that, but he’d like to talk to my pax. He says he believes they may have been involved in drug activity. He asks if I know their names. I tell the cop they introduced themselves as Tommy and Michael, but can’t verify whether that’s accurate since we don’t require ID verification. I tell him the Lyft trip was requested by Rachel, Tommy’s gf. He asks for the pickup and drop off locations for the trip, which I provide. He asks how long we were at the hotel and the pax’s reason for going there, and I tell the cop about Tommy dropping off the wallet. I told the cop that Michael did not get out of my vehicle while at the hotel, only Tommy. He tells me I should get back in my car. He returns my documentation, but not my ID. He says he will return it to me later.
Keep reading…I warned you this was a long crazy story
I get back in the car and tell pax the cops want to talk to them. Tommy says, “About what? This is bullshit.” Another police car arrives. A cop asks Tommy to exit the vehicle, and he does. A different cop asks Michael to exit the vehicle, and he does. I can see each cop questioning each pax separately.
Fast forward 20-30 minutes. Pax are still being questioned by cops and another cop has arrived with a K-9 unit. A cop approaches my vehicle, shines his flashlight inside and glances around. A cop approaches my driver’s side and tells me they were trying to properly identify the pax. He says neither of them had ID and this whole situation would have been quick and easy if they had ID. He says Michael’s ID has checked out based on his name and birthdate, but the other guy’s information is coming back as invalid information. He says he should know something soon. He apologizes that I’m having to wait and thanks me for my patience. The trip has been running the entire time. Still doesn’t return my ID.
About 5 minutes later a cop and Tommy arrive at the passenger side. Tommy retrieves his phone from my car while the cop watches him. The cop tells Tommy he needs to provide his drivers license number because his information is coming back as invalid. Tommy explains that he has a PA drivers license and his ID is at his cousin’s house, and if he could just call his cousin, he can provide the information to them. Tommy’s phone is malfunctioning and not starting up so he can’t call his cousin to get the ID number. The cop offers his phone to allow Tommy to call his cousin. Tommy says he doesn’t know his cousin’s number offhand, it’s stored in his phone.
STILL WITH ME?
Tommy’s phone still doesn’t turn on. I offer to call his gf Rachel through the Lyft app. He says it might help. He asks me to try to call her, but says she probably won’t answer because she’s probably asleep and has to be at work by 5 AM. It’s now after 2:00 AM.
I try to call her twice…no answer like Tommy predicted. He starts commenting several times about how, “This is bullshit” to the cop. A different cop approaches Tommy. This second cop asks him to confirm his name again. Tommy says his name is Salvatore-something (don’t remember the exact last name he provided). Ummm wait…I thought this guy’s name was Tommy?!? The second cop says they talked to Gary at the motel, and Gary says he doesn’t know anyone named Salvatore. But cops start questioning Tommy about why he went to Walgreens to get an Uber card when he already had a Lyft trip and why he would be delivering a wallet to a “known drug motel” at almost 2 AM. The cops ask Tommy why Gary would lie about knowing him, and Tommy says Gary is all cracked out, that’s why. The cops say that it doesn’t make sense and that his story doesn’t add up. They tell Tommy he’s being detained and taken to the station for fingerprinting so they can try to verify his identity. Tommy says it’s bullshit and starts to resist a bit, but the cops handcuff him. He starts to cry. I ask Tommy if I should still take Michael home on the current trip, and he agrees. He says he will pay Rachel back after everything gets straightened out. The cops take Tommy away.
Cop returns my ID. He thanks me for my cooperation and for waiting. Michael gets in my car. He says he doesn’t know WTF is going on. He says the cop verified all of his own information and everything checked out fine. He says the cop asked him about Tommy’s name. Michael said he knows this guy’s name is Tommy, not Salvatore. Michael said that his father owns an auto repair place and Tommy is a customer there…that’s how he knows Tommy. Michael says he knows they guy’s name is Tommy because when he paid for auto repairs he used a credit card with the first name of Tommy or Thomas on it. Michael confirms that Tommy was giving the cops false information, and says he has no idea why. He says he wants nothing more to do with this guy. Michael tells me they were both searched by the cops, and there were no drugs or illegal substances on either one of them. He admits to “popping some mollies” with Tommy earlier that evening as well as drinking lots of vodka at Tommy’s apartment.
I drive the guy back to his home in Hightstown and he gives me a $20 tip. He thanks me for everything and advises me to stay the hell out of Bordentown.
After I dropped Michael off, I checked every nook and cranny in my car to make sure Tommy didn’t stash any drugs in it anywhere…found nothing. It doesn’t seem like Tommy did anything illegal last night, but he obviously was hiding from something since he kept providing false info to the cops. I got $23.74 for the trip. Total of 1 hour, 46 minutes and 15.92 miles. I went offline for a few hours after that!