Three hours after I left the huge box in front of the electric company, Duane happened by our house to get some tools.
An extremely anxious gardener told him two police officers had been inside our house. Duane, knowing it was illegal to enter a private residence without a warrant, called the police. They told him to remain home until they returned.
Duane explained the following facts with the emotion of a lit firecracker on a low sizzle: “The police came to the front door within five minutes of my phone call, their hands hovering over their weapons. Kathleen, a warrant is not required for suspected terrorists.”
The police asked if his name was Chapman and had he put a package at the door of San Diego Gas and Electric Company?
Duane put his hands in the air and said, “I’ve been married to her for over 30 years and I am not responsible for anything she might have done this time!”
Yes, those were his exact words.
The police officers described the severity of my behavior. They explained SDG&E had closed down their offices and sent hundreds of employees into the parking lot for four hours. Two fire engines had been on the scene.
The Los Angeles bomb squad had been dispatched, and an officer – in full bomb protection garb – had disabled my package… thawed turkey and all.
They informed Duane we may be charged $10,000 for this incident.
May I insert some extra transparency at this point? I had not thought this situation completely through. My RED temperament simply reacted to the urgency of the circumstances.
Fortunately, I had signed our name on the tag attached to the package, which – incidentally – kept me from going to jail as a potential terrorist.
Meanwhile, my girlfriend drove by the SDG&E parking lot, saw the fire trucks, ambulances, bomb squad and hundreds of employees standing outside. She suspected a terrorist threat on our city. She immediately called me to report her suspicions. I was not yet home.
When I arrived home, I was given an official criminal case number and told to call the San Clemente police for questioning.
Fortunately, by this time, the correct blame had been assigned to the incompetent meter man for disconnecting our power in the first place.
He no longer works for San Diego Gas and Electric Company.
Do you realize it is against the law for the electric company to disconnect your power without three forewarnings? Now you know. You are welcome.
Yes, they reattached our electricity at no cost to us. However, the gas company employee who arrived at our home, was accompanied by an armed security officer. Go figure.
At this writing, the San Clemente police still have my name on their station bulletin board, as someone not to mess with in the future!
Oh, the strength of a RED temperament.