“Ah shit, we’re going to get pulled over,” Vett Capone told me thirty seconds before the blue and reds of Denver’s finest started flashing in the rearview mirror of the Dodge Charger in which we were riding.
The car belongs to Denver Nugget Marcus Camby, and while it’s one thing to ride like an NBA baller, it’s a whole ’nother thing to get rolled by the cops in a baller’s car when said baller is not around. And when the driver is one Vett Capone, owner of Capone Carmelo Kustomz.
The cops were from the gang unit, which was out in force at the the Cinco de Mayo festivities on Federal Boulevard. When the officers asked us what our business was in the neighborhood, Capone told them that he'd displayed Camby’s Charger outside of a tattoo shop all day, and was just taking it back to his shop in Lakewood. He also told them that his passenger was a journalist from Westword who was doing a story on him -- a fact I would have preferred that he keep between us so that the pullover would unfold naturally.
Since Capone had already blown my cover, though, I stepped out of the ride with a notebook in hand to document the conversation.
“Turn around and put your hands on the car for me,” one of the cops ordered
“Why?” I asked.
“I just want to make sure you don’t have anything that can hurt me,” he said.
“Don’t you need a search warrant or probable cause to search me?” I asked.
It seemed that I had no choice but to comply and get frisked.
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“I’m going to need you to put that pen in your pocket,” the other cop told me.
“Really?” I asked. I knew he was serious, but couldn't believe the cop really saw me as a threat. I put the cap back on my Bic and slid it into my pocket.
“It could be used as a weapon against me,” the officer replied.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but when it comes to scaring Denver police, it’s apparently as mighty as a gun, too. -- Luke Turf