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I was arrested last night

I blew a red light coming off the Queensboro Bridge into Queens and for the first time in my life was pulled over in New York City. Next thing I know I am being told to step out of the car and that I am under arrest. I found the whole situation hilarious having been arrested only once for jumping a turnstile when I was 16.

So I got out of he car all the whole thinking, “you have got to be kidding me” but my license was suspended for something I worked out but obviously the little town court hadn’t. I was laughing the whole time and when back up came – because there weren’t any donut shops near by, the other cops were telling them that I had never been arrested – my turnstile jumping days remained a secret because all I got was handcuffed and a ticket, but no night in jail.

I have no idea how people can stand the back of cop cars. My feet wouldn’t fit and ironically I couldn’t put on a seatbelt which is against the law, and my hands were behind me, so I began to wonder how people with bad eczema or poison ivy could handle such a situation.

I got to the police station and they threw me in a holding cell while they took care of paperwork. I had used my cell phone to call my brother who for some reason was awake – so he could pick up my car. He rolled on into the police station and had to wait for hours while I drove myself crazy in my cell.

The cell had one occupant besides for me. A 21 year old kid arrested for possession, who was telling me all about the system. He also asked me if I was going to bribe the cops to let me out because I was a rich Jew, I wonder if I was the first yarmulke wearer ever to be held in that station.

This kid cracked me up, he was 21 and he had an arrest warrant and 5 arrests for things like open containers and smoking weed under his belt. He told me that I should take the over of a desk appearance rather then a trip to bookings where I wouldn’t see a judge or food for two days. I was lucky you may say.

I wish I could say I was thrown in jail but I wasn’t, I did however get a taste of what its like, it drove me crazy. To put someone like me who can’t sit still and fiends interaction with anything all by myself in an 8 by 10 cell with nothing to do besides sleep or stare at the wall – it drove me crazy. I was only in for about 4 hours – but I was thinking about the Phish song Bouncing Round the Room the entire time. Silent meditation is not my forte.

Then my cell mate left and another guy came who spoke no English, friendly fellow picked up in a brawl. Then he left and another guy who spoke no English came in who was also in some sort of fight. It was all really interesting to me, I was fingerprinted, then some mug shots were taken and more waiting for paperwork. I figured it out, cops are so pissed off when they pull you over or arrest you because they know all the paperwork involved.

I must say my cops were quite friendly, I think my laughter helped diffuse the situation and my inexperience. I did start freaking out about my upcoming move out of Monsey and started wondering if God was trying to tell me to stay. I also wound up making money while I was in the holding cell, not from being someones bitch, but from finding 35 cents on the floor, I’m such a Jew.

Then I was free to go with a court date in February and a suspended license to deal with.

{ 43 comments… add one }
  • s(b.) November 9, 2008, 12:34 PM

    wow. you got lucky. that could’ve been so much worse!

  • Chaviva November 9, 2008, 12:34 PM

    I think the 35 cents was my fav. I was worried hen I saw this on twitter.

    Would make an interesting reality show: Jews in Jail, New York edition. 🙂

  • EZH November 9, 2008, 12:37 PM

    I was wondering why there was no new post when I woke up this morning 🙂

    Etana and Zev

  • Anonymous November 9, 2008, 12:38 PM

    holy **** dude. you must be brave… i would freak out and sure as *** would not be laughing in that situation dam

  • Jessica November 9, 2008, 12:40 PM

    uh… either you made up this story or you’re leaving something out, but people don’t get arrested for going through red lights…

  • A23 November 9, 2008, 12:41 PM

    In NY, and I’m sure it’s the same in other states, you do get arrested for driving with a suspended license, which he mentions.

  • Es November 9, 2008, 12:43 PM

    wow great story!!!! it always cracks me up when i see like 5 cop cars pulling over one guy. cops must be realllllly bored sometimes.
    it seems what u went thru was a bit extreme, but i dont really know the rules of a suspended license.

    but u make me realize how boring my life is

  • Jessica November 9, 2008, 12:54 PM

    A23, I’ll take your word for it. Seems a bit extreme though.

  • Delia November 9, 2008, 1:12 PM

    a friend of mine had something similar happen to him in LA, except they held him for a little longer. he complained of a lack of kosher food and that all he was able to eat that day was an apple.

    it’s ridiculous some of the things one can get arrested for. next time try to get arrested for something kick-@&& like base jumping or something.

    lol, glad you’re okay. ^_^

  • Raizy November 9, 2008, 1:27 PM

    Glad you’re OK, Heshy.
    If you’d like, we could contact some of the local politicians and stage a press conference where we call the cops anti-semitic for arresting you, and demand a full investigation, and end up on the 6:00 news. That might be fun.

  • Anonymous November 9, 2008, 1:27 PM

    Oooh. An arrest record! What will the shadchanim say?

  • B Tova November 9, 2008, 1:48 PM

    Hesh, you crack me up. While I would have been crying my eyes out, you had fun! You are ever the optimist! You sure got a funny blog post out of it! Too bad you could not take pictures.

  • Nemo November 9, 2008, 1:57 PM

    Did you at least get cigarettes?

    That’s my dream … to smoke cheap cigarettes in a jail cell while waiting for my attorney.

  • Ben-Yehudah November 9, 2008, 2:16 PM


    Um,…did I miss something? How fast were you going? Do people really get arrested in NY for running a red light AND get their license suspended?

    Be grateful, you weren’t beaten up by small town redneck police or Israeli riot police {Yasss”m}, which is worse.

    “I’m such a Jew”

    Maybe your arrest was to tell you to stop with the self hating jokes. 😕

  • LawJerk November 9, 2008, 3:24 PM

    Hesh ,

    You can always call me in those situations! And yes to everyone asking, you CAN get arrested for driving with a suspended license. It usually depends if you have boobs or not. If you have ’em they let you go, otherwise, well just ask Hesh what happens.

    • Sergeant J August 13, 2010, 12:40 PM

      Actually, a military ID can also keep you out of too much trouble for that one.. They even let me drive my car home…
      Sorry, just noticed this one today..

  • Batya November 9, 2008, 3:33 PM

    arrested for a red light?
    Maybe you were laughing so much they thought you medicinally looney.

    How clean was that cell, and that’s after you blogged about the dirty netilat yadayim cups…

  • some guy November 9, 2008, 3:37 PM

    I don’t think you just “found” the 35 cents….

    ….maybe that non english speaking guy was throwing u a tip for the 50 cents he just paid u for his services….

    ps-whats the new national bird? fried chicken!

  • tnspr569 November 9, 2008, 3:40 PM

    Whoa! Crazy stuff…glad to hear that you’re ok. If you ever need to crash here, let me know…

  • chanief November 9, 2008, 4:07 PM


    Your story makes me glad I wasn’t pulled over during the month or so I drove around with suspended license (unpaid inspection ticket, nothing exciting.) I don’t I could handle a holding cell too nicely.

    Glad you could keep your sense of humor and make some extra change off of the situation.

  • RED!!! November 9, 2008, 4:08 PM

    oh man, i almost got a ticket for jumping the turnstile! i couldnt find my student card, the train was coming and i woulda missed the fight of the year! what would you do? there was a dunkin next to the station, so a few cops were hanging, but, being a girl, i got away with it.

    but, seriously, be careful. i know a guy who got caught and he had to do community service for a looooooooong time.

    the 35 cents part was awesome!

  • Larry November 9, 2008, 4:14 PM

    The title was interesting but then the story just didn’t have the thrill. Holding cells are boring but after so many years in yeshiva whats so hard. just don’t blow the red light and you wont get pulled over

  • Frum Satire November 9, 2008, 5:05 PM

    Actually while I was getting arrested I asked if my friend could take some footage or pictures at least – they said no.

    At least my cell mates were nice guys and the toilet was in a different room. Waiting for paperwork sucks and going to the DMV is the worst.

  • zalmy November 9, 2008, 5:19 PM


    funniest line i have ever heard in my life- i walk in, this black guy who looks like he spent more of his life in jail than at looks at me, and says- JEWBOY??? its either suspended license or week. i almost died laughing… i almost died for real, also, but thats another story..


  • zalmy November 9, 2008, 5:21 PM

    trust me, the BROOKLYN one makes the queens one look like a hilton hotel!! oh wait, no central booking!?!?!?? wow u ARE a lucky $%@!%@%@ its hell on earth!!

  • Frum Satire November 9, 2008, 5:24 PM

    I forgot to mention one thing- The cell I was in was videotaped so I wonder how hard they are going to laugh when they watch it- since they had to take my bobby pins out of my yarmulke – it kept falling off. I did have to deal with them being extremely nice and saying “can you keep it on without clips because we don’t want to discriminate” I could imagine it now- Jewish guy files lawsuit against NYC police dept for not letting his yarmulke stay on.

    If they were to watch the video they would also looking curiously into my belly button, using my stomach as a drum, trying out some yoga moves, singing some songs from the concert I just went to, yawning in frustration, pacing, counting the tiles in the cell, stretching, and my yarmulke continually falling off of my head.

  • Ben-Yehudah November 9, 2008, 5:26 PM

    You know what they say, don’t you?

    If you need clips to keep your kippah on, then it’s not big enough.

  • Anonymous November 9, 2008, 5:46 PM

    Great now the song is in my head too.

    The woman was a dream I had
    Though rather hard to keep
    For when my eyes were watching hers
    They closed,
    And I was still asleep.

    For when my hand was holding hers
    She whispered words and I awoke
    And faintly bouncing around the room
    The echo of whomever spoke
    I awoke and faintly bouncing round the room
    The echo of whomever spoke.

    The place I saw was far beneath
    The surface of the sea
    My sight was poor
    But I was sure
    The sirens sang their songs for me
    They dance above me as I sink
    I see them through a crystal haze
    And hear them bouncing round the room
    The never ending coral maze

  • Future Druggie November 9, 2008, 5:48 PM

    I don’t know how the system works, but I know that many of the depositions I do are for people who were falsely arrested.

    If the suspended license was indeed taken care of, then you have the right to an attorney, and to sue NYC, and make some BIG bucks.

  • seebee November 9, 2008, 6:03 PM

    Sorry you got arrested and glad you finally got out of jail!
    You have my sympathy!

  • Phil November 9, 2008, 6:23 PM

    Interesting, remoinds me of a story that happened to this big Lubavicther I know. He got into an argument with a cop in Crown Heights for double parking, next thing the cop radios for help saying this guy pushed him. Almost started a riot in Kingston Ave, cops everywhere. They let him out a few hours later, when he got back here I told him we now have a reason not to read Tachnun on that day. Sounds similar to you, many people skipped tachnun today too (athough it was due to Rachel imeinus yartzeit).

  • Mikeinmidwood November 9, 2008, 6:28 PM

    what anon said… Oooh. An arrest record! What will the shadchanim say?

  • s(b.) November 9, 2008, 6:53 PM

    some guy, this is not a racist blog.

  • Crawling Axe November 9, 2008, 8:20 PM

    My license got suspended because I got pulled over for having outdated inspection sticker. Then, I never got summons to court, information that I lost the trial (by default), information that my license was about to be suspended, and information that my license was finally suspended. I settled the whole thing, but I still wonder sometimes if I will not be arrested one day, because the un-suspension will not show up.

    Having said that, although bureaucratic fuck-ups in most cases work against one, sometimes they are beneficial. I never had to pay a $300 ticket because legal system short-circuited and still owe one city $500 in parking fines, which were accidentally deleted from some system.

  • Frum Satire November 9, 2008, 8:49 PM

    Good news is I just found a receipt from the court of the original ticket dismissing me of all charges- I have the letter and all documents.

    My people are saying I could sue – but it seems like such a pain.

  • Kara November 9, 2008, 8:49 PM

    Lol! This one was way too much!! 🙂

  • Phil November 9, 2008, 8:53 PM

    Always keep receipts is the bottom line and lesson to be learned here.

    Hearing about people suing each other for anything in the US, seems like you should be able to at least threaten a lawsuit and see if you could get some sort of compensation. If not money, maybe in doughnuts or soufganiyot for Chanuka.

  • zalmy November 9, 2008, 9:10 PM

    typo- week= weed

  • Shmendrik November 10, 2008, 2:15 AM

    I guess I’ll be the unpopular guy who points out that you can kill people when you run red lights.

  • Crawling Axe November 11, 2008, 1:21 AM

    Looks like not just your driving license got suspended…

    I guess Ill be the unpopular guy who points out that you can kill people when you run red lights.
    Or when you drive in general.

  • Yochanan November 11, 2008, 4:00 AM

    So, he thought of you as a rich Jew that bribes judges. Did he throw pennies on the ground too?

  • Frum Satire November 11, 2008, 7:47 AM

    Yochanon I wish he would have done that-

  • LawJerk November 11, 2008, 8:55 AM


    When was the ticket dismissed?

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