Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Love It When They Run

Taking a break from the über-addicting Super Mario Galaxy to walk the dog last night, I zeroed in on two kids; one of which was tagging the wall on the north side of Santa Ana Boulevard. As they crossed Santiago Street and headed towards our complex, I knew right then that trouble was headed our way. I quickly brought the dog inside, grabbed my “usual necessities” and charged out the door.

One of the kiddies that was wearing a USC hooded sweatshirt was supposed to be the lookout while his friend spray-painted the rollup door on a unit across the street. That kid in the sweatshirt had one job and one job alone—and he failed miserably being that I was able to run-up and pepper spray the tagger right between the eyes.

With a face full of searing pain, he amazingly “Froggered” his way across the street through traffic and headed west down Santa Ana Boulevard. In “police speak”, I engaged the suspect in pursuit.

Over the course of my life, I’ve come to accept that I’m pretty much an average guy (yes, you should be feeling sorry for “Mrs. Dayhoe” if you don’t already), average with the exception that I can run—really fast (and swear all at the same time).

In high school, I ran a 4.4/40. That means for every 1.1 seconds, I’ve advanced another ten yards in distance. Making it off the pine, well, that’s another story, a sad one at that.

Needless to say, I caught up to him by the next block (Garfield Street) and at this point, I was terrified—terrified that the Chipotle burrito that I devoured less than an hour prior was going to burst from me like it did from the foil wrapper.

Without even having to tackle him, I forced him to lie down on his stomach, spread his legs, and put his hands behind his back. The problem now was that I didn’t have anything to restrain him with other than my body weight (plus a 5lb. burrito that was churning away).

Luckily, an FBI officer returning from a prisoner drop-off saw me chasing him down the street and took the time after a long day to lend a hand and a set of cuffs, allowing me to place an out-of-breath call to SAPD.

At this time, a neighbor at the lofts, Maglite in hand, also arrived on the scene having heard me yelling when I originally confronted the tagger. I was amazed and thankful that he too came to help out.

The police showed up and had me fill out the standard police report. Let me tell you, since moving to Santa Ana, that’s one form I’ve filled out one too many times.

They asked me “What possessed you to try to take this extreme form of action?”

One thing came to mind*: The Greatest Fight Scene EVER.

The officer stated that very rarely do they catch taggers in the act and commended me for my actions, but not without chiding me of the lesson that I always forget in these situations: These kids could be concealing weapons—is it really worth it?

I say until Jack Bauer is back on the air satisfying my need for an adrenaline rush, then yes, yes it is.

*Okay, this one also came to mind as well.


Santa Ana Slim said...

Hopefully this will deter them from doing this stuff again. I'm sure these particular punk asses won't do it again, but I don't know if they'll be sending out a memo to the rest of punk ass community. One can only hope word of mouth will get around. I think I speak for all of us when I say "We appreciate all that you do for the community in both the written word and spoken profanity. As well as in the pepper-spraying punk asses arena"


Anonymous said...

I had a great laugh.

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

I need a Tazer (people tend to annoy me, I feel this could help), so when Santa brings me one, I'll be your "wingman"
I'm a big fan of tazing perps.

I am so proud to call you a neighbor. Well done, well done.

Unknown said...

I think you get this year's Dick Butkus award. Though, with that 40 time I'd like to see you put your shoulder into the next one and level 'em.

Good job and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Dayhoe.

As a blogger, I'm inspired

inspired by your extraordinary

use of linkage to display the scope

of your hipsterdom. I too recently

captured some taggers.

But I still haven't caught one

small enough to be the topper on

the naked tagger pyramid that

I'm building. Its not a

human rights violation...

its art.

Anonymous said...

You rock!

Anonymous said...


You da MAN !!!


Anonymous said...


You are like the "NEW MADMAN"!


Anonymous said...

maybe we can use those large spotlights lennar has on our roofs to signal for taggers

Anonymous said...


be careful dude - it is not worth serious injury or your life.

dick cabeza

Anonymous said...

Better yet, maybe we can turn our alleys into concentration camps for caught taggers and those lights can be the prison tower lights! We can force them to fix up out shotty landscaping. haha. It won't be a human rights violation, it'll be an experiment in social behaviors.
If I ever catch one, I'm not going to turn him into the police. I'm going to tie him up in my garage, tattoo (horribly I might add) "TAGGER" huge on his forehead in Red, spray paint him all up, let him loose and send him crying home to his mommy.

Anonymous said... much as I admire your efforts in protecting our community... be careful next time Ben...

by the way, I love all the greatest fight scenes ever!


Unknown said...

Robert said...


Be very careful, the next time you do this. Since im a native of this city. I know how this kids think. Don't be surprised, if the next time you try and chase one of these little punks down, one of them would pull out a gun at you. They could set you up into a trap, they could get their revenge on you. (What they call pay back is bitch)

Be very careful. It's really easy for any kid to get a gun in this city. I understand your guys frustrations. I have the same problems over here at the South Coast Metro Santa Ana area.

What I do is, when I notice this little punks while im driving my truck. I just put the high beams on them and tell them in Spanish (Que se rallen el CULO) Which means spray paint your ass. They get scared and run away specially with high beams.

Just be very careful guys, I don't think there to happy about the pepper spray.
These tagging crews are like a family, they protect a back each other up.

Some of you guys would like to use paintballs. I have though about it too. It would be fun to leave marks on their clothes and bodies to remember not to come and tag here, but think about it guys. You would shoot them with paintballs, but they would shoot back with guns and assault rifles. I have seen this kind s…. all the time with tag bangers.

Ben next I talk to you give me the tagging crews names, or just take pictures if you don’t understand their writing.

Ben Dayhoe said...

Thank you guys very much. I hope you got a good laugh from the story.

We've got some really awesome neighbors that are definitely worth fighting (or pepper spraying) for.

I strongly believe in this city's potential, but not the current leadership. It scares me when they say that change is 10 years down the road–I don't know if I've got that much fight in me :(

Santa Ana has some of the best (and sexiest) police officers that I've ever met (believe me, I know cops).

Sometimes, they too need to hear about citizens that care just as much as they do to keep them going.

A Tazer would be a great idea though.

Anonymous said...

I think Ben is the next superman. I love you!

Lois Lane...

Anonymous said...

While I understand where Robert is coming from, the last thing we here at SSL are going to do is live in fear.

I'm not suggesting everyone should chase criminals...but we're not going to stand by and whine either.

Generating fear is what gang mentality is all about, and that's what has paralyzed this city.

Personally, I refuse to allow some ignorant punk-ass tag-turd to lay down the rules.

I'll be Ben's other wingman anyday.

Anonymous said...

Does someone have a copy of the rules of engagement? What is allowed? I presume shooting a tagger-kid in the back is not ok, nor knifing him. It sounds like pepper spray is allowed, and maybe tazing? Is taking out his kneecaps with a bat ok? What are the rules?

Santa Ana Slim said...

The rules are: There are no rules (as long as you don't stick around and get caught). Though apparently the rules for graffiti don't carry any penalties that prevent them from doing it. I'm all for rounding them up and smashing knee-caps or whatever form of physical torture you're into, but then we should take them to a Yanni concert. Then they'll know true pain...