The following story took place over two years ago at this point, while we were on the run in Detroit, Michigan. The photos in this post have been taken since we've found our freedom in sunny Acapulco, Mexico.
A few months ago I took the time to go through my posts here on Steemit and organized them in a sort of a catalog. From the experience, I got a better idea of what I have and haven’t told of our on the run story and I recommend anyone that’s been posting here consistently for awhile do this. It was interesting to see the trends in what was popular at what times as well as my development as a writer.
Truth be told it’s honestly been months since I’ve shared anything on the topic for many reasons. I didn’t know what posts I had finished and which were just still in my head but when I went through them I was able to see exactly what we’ve told of our story, which isn’t much. We’ve shared more about our lives here in Mexico than our story of why we’re even here.
The story I’m sharing today is a big one which is partially why I never told it before. It happened while we were on the run in Detroit and honestly was one of the most stressful times we had in our six weeks before heading west.
We’ve posted in the past about our friendship with the pitbull from the hood that everyone feared(those links are below) by the name of Renegade and he plays an important part in the way this story went down. It all started one day about a week after we were officially on the run, meaning we likely had warrants out for our arrest that would appear in the event our names were run. As it stood it was more likely I had a warrant than John.
We planned our journey to Mexico out from the very beginning so this wasn’t just a fly by the seat of our pants thing (although at times it felt like it). In many ways, our entire lives both separate and together we’re leading us to this point so when we were faced with it, it was not hard to make decisions that most consider impossible. We went on the run in a very calculated manner and we made it for that reason. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
The idea was to lay low in Detroit for a couple of weeks and work in the cannabis industry to save cash too move west and eventually south to Acapulco. We had that plan before we even made it to Detroit. We were living in our house, now emptied of our belongings save for things thrown about like clothes. We weren’t working yet, but we were waiting for work that did come making money just by asking for it.
At the time of this story, Renegade was spending all of his time that he could with us. Occasionally the people who owned him would come and take him home but he’d always escape, knocking and scratching at the door with an occasional woof if we were taking too long. He didn’t take no for an answer and we didn’t really want to say no after awhile because he was just so damn sweet. I had never understood what people had said about dogs choosing people until I met Renegade and he chose us. To this day, I miss that dog and hope he’s well although I know there’s a big chance he’s not.
One day we needed to go to the store down on 8 mile, as well as the smoke shop nearby for a few things. Earlier in the day I had gone spanging, that is asking for money from strangers (we were waiting for work and broke) and we changed the license plate before hand to an out of state one just in case I had any warrants. It also helped if anyone followed me to my car, as the license plates were from out of state which made my story more credible. When holding a sign and asking for cash people usually don’t stop to talk but sometimes they do and it helps to have an explanation as to why you’re on the corner. For me, I was out of gas and in the wrong state and it worked.
We decided to take Renegade with us. The only thing he was more fond of than hanging out with us at home was going on adventures with us. I’m not sure if it was the same day but I even took him spanging with me once, leaving him in the car. And he was helpful that day, as a weird guy followed me to my car to give me money. He was seriously deterred by the pitbull in the car next to me. I was thankful for my buddy because I knew he’d fuck up anyone who tried to hurt me.
Renegade was elated to go on a drive with his friends. For new people to our story, it’s worth describing Renegade: a former small horse of a pitbull who was previously stolen from a dog fighting club. Because of his loveable nature and his lack of interested in fighting much less winning, they were phasing him out by starving him and fighting him to death until he was stolen, nearly ten years before he met us.
The woman who stole him and took care of him initially left the neighborhood when she had children because it was still a really rough hood, but Renegade stayed. By the time we met him he was hated and feared by everyone in the neighborhood, man and dog to the point where everyone we met warned us about him. We however took an instant liking to his big black and white happy self. When he barked at us we called him pretty, which literally put confused looks on his face. Eventually we met him and he was our friend from there on. Dogs like that know when someone understands them, and he became very attached very quickly.
While we were in jail an (asshole) neighborhood instigator and his dog Aqui got into a fight with Renegade that ended in his leg being run over by the mail lady in her van. When we came back, we heard the story and I was honestly livid. When we went back to our place (just down the road) we found him at our house, broken leg be damned because he had heard our car (which was pretty distinct sounding). So he was a big scary looking dog with seriously scarred ears and face and a MANGLED leg. But he was happy because he had his friends and we were happy to have him.
As we pulled off of 8 mile that day, we got pulled over by a suburban police officer, from a local suburb known for bored cops. While we were technically in Detroit where we were stopped, the cop had followed us (likely profiling based off of appearances) from 8 mile, which is literally the line between the hood and the suburbs. He ran the plates and pulled us over.
Apparently the plates were from a stolen vehicle, which was a surprise to us because we didn’t steal the plates (long story). We told them we didn’t have our identification but I proved my identity (sort of) by showing my insurance card. It was honestly a terrible situation and we thought our in the run journey was done right there, but Renegade saved our (or at least my) ass just by being there.
They asked about the dog and I acted like we had just rescued him from a fighting club. It was theft, but the club was likely more illegal, so they didn’t say anything. I told them I didn’t know if he was vicious to people but that he was nice to me. I pointed out his broken leg but said he was surprisingly fast even still. He didn’t even have a collar on and was taking up the whole back seat of the car. I suggested they keep their distance to protect themselves, and they kinda did.
John had been the one driving and they were grilling him about the plate. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about and it was likely someone switched my plate without me noticing. At one point an officer tested Renegade by poking his finger in the window and looking around and Renegade...for lack of a better way of putting it...scared the shit out of him and made him back the fuck up.
At one point they came and demanded my keys, with no explanation. When John asked why, they overreacted and dragged him out of the car and arrested him. They had no idea who he was as he didn’t have ID and couldn’t give a social security, they just hauled him off for asking why. I started yelling at them for it and a few of the less aggressive cops looked embarrassed.
They eventually explained to me that while they weren’t going to charge me with anything, they were going to tow my car because I didn’t have plates to replace the stolen ones with. They wouldn’t allow me to drive LITERALLY a mile to my house where I was planning on just leaving the car. I was told to grab the dog and everything out of the car (a cooler full of food and a case of butane with a giant anarchist pitbull...right.) and to walk my ass home. They literally told me to walk home.
I didn’t even have a collar for Renegade as he had broken it escaping to come see us. He would just yank and pull on the leash until some part of it gave and broke, leaving him sprinting in the direction of our house. I told the cops I had nothing to take him with in an effort to get them to let me take the car.
The tow truck driver came and happened to have a rope he let me use for the dog. I put the butane in the cooler and grabbed it and the dog and watched as they loaded the car. John was in the back of a cop car, to be taken to a station so they could identify him. We were unsure that we even officially had warrants but it was too close a call for both of our comfort.
The cops waited for the tow truck to drive away, even though he could have given me a ride home. I groaned as they pulled away and started walking with cooler in hand and holding the rope. It had to have been a crazy sight, me with a full sized cooler and a broken pitbull in the hood of Detroit, alone.
As soon as the cops were out of sight I saw the tow truck come back into sight. He turned around for me.
He turned the truck around and pulled up to where I was standing. It was a friendly older black man and he opened the door of his truck and asked “Is he gonna bite me?”
I said “No, he might lick you though”. With that he smiled and told me to get in. As we drove towards my street he explained the police told him he wasn’t allowed to give me a ride and would be ticketed if he were caught doing so. Having a heart and a knack for timing, he came back and gave me a ride home. I asked if he’d leave the car and he honestly considered it, but said no. What he did do was let me grab more stuff out of it before taking it away.
I ran inside with Renegade and put him in the house, while I ran down the street, literally. I went to a friends with a phone and started calling the police station asking what needed to be done to get him out. They said they wanted identification but it seemed like a trick. I checked our legal status online and it seemed like we didn’t have any warrants yet, but I still wasn’t giving them the identification.
After arguing with the chief, I got him to admit it was an overreaction on their part and he finally agreed to release him. He told me I had to come pick him up so I risked it and did so. I got a ride but when I got there they told me they just released him out the front door. When I found my ride I also found him, free.
That car stayed in impound, although I did go and empty it completely of my things. It was our last resort for being on the run as far as travel, so it wasn’t a huge loss to just leave it and we weren’t going to pay to get the already failing car back. We would find another way west and eventually south and we did.
If I remember correctly they gave him some small bullshit charge. They quickly decided he wasn’t worth dealing with and cut him loose and I’m glad for it. I honestly think that situation would have gone very differently had we not had Renegade with us and while I feel bad for putting him in that situation, I’m glad he saved my ass. Putting it simply, once John was back, Renegade got a big tasty meal of thanks.
There’s still much to be told of our tale on the run and leading up to it. You don’t just make the choices we did without a lifetime of stories leading you there. Truth be told it’s a hard tale to tell for many reasons. Thanks for listening guys, until next time.
Note: This story is true, as recollected from memory.
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