The difficult thing about being a cop is the old adage that simply states, “damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” which applies to the job on a daily basis in this town.
On the one hand, if you bust that minor who’s under the influence carrying an open container, you get labeled as an asshole with nothing better to do than bust drunk kids.
On the other hand, if you knowingly let that kid slide and he or she gets into some major trouble down the road by hurting someone or getting hurt themselves, then you’re not doing your job of taking care of the community and are liable for damages.
When the IVFP started their “Fall Offensive” it was no surprise. After all, the Isla Vista party scene was getting kind of weird. Remember the Santa Barbara City College student that was forced to drink a lot of alcohol, passed out and was molested by numerous guys while being videotaped at that party?
How about Slava Olsen punching and killing Bradley Jones on Sabado Tarde for merely asking the guy to chill out?
I wasn’t even going to bring David Attias up, but why not? We’re talking I.V. and he was just as big a part of the problem.
The irony to this mess is the recent arrest of the A.S. president for cracking some fool over the noggin with a bottle. Remember that A.S. published those “Fall Defensive” pamphlets on how to avoid getting arrested. Didn’t do much good for Cervin Morris as he was being led away in handcuffs.
We got it all. In alphabetical order: bimbos, freaks, haters, homeys, hos, jocks, meatheads, nerds, opportunists, perverts, players, preppies, stoners, teasers, townies, trippers, tweakers, wannabes – all full of insecurity and out to get attention.
We also have alcohol, a thing most of the above listed individuals love to consume, but either can’t handle or don’t know when to say “enough” to. So what do you get when you combine the two? Instant assholes: just add ethanol, mix and watch the festivities begin.
Between idiots falling off cliffs, morons beating the crap out of each other and assholes smashing the rear view mirrors of cars parked on the street, the cops have plenty to keep them busy.
What do the above scenarios usually have in common? Really simple, minors and booze. And guess what – there’s a penal code against providing minors with alcoholic beverages. There’s also a penal code for open containers, being drunk in public, lying to a peace officer and being a minor in possession. But after a few drinks, some feel that the laws don’t apply to them. I hate to tell you this Neo, but this ain’t the Matrix.
I know that for many of you it’s your first time away from home and you have to test the waters of authority with some stupid antics. After all, you’ve been accepted into this prestigious institution and you reserve the right to act as you please, right?
That is where you are clearly wrong. Try some of this crap in Anytown, U.S.A., and you’ll find that the consequences are just as severe, if not worse. Try the same shit in your hometown and you’ll probably wind up in the same boat. The only difference is that mommy and daddy will have to come to the station to pick your sorry ass up and actually get a firsthand account of what a screw-up you are.
This ain’t Fantasyland and, if you’re busted, clicking your heels three times and saying “there’s no place like home” won’t get you out of the situation.
We hold cops accountable. How about holding ourselves accountable? Almost everybody that I know who has a beef with law enforcement is pissed because they got caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing in the first place. But in the twisted logic of today’s minds, they’re the victims.
While it is true that the statistics and stories from the I.V. party scene can be somewhat blown out of proportion, there’s no denying that a problem does exist.
Maybe it’s a small element. Maybe there’s a way of identifying this element. Maybe we should be more careful and use discretion when making choices. Whatever the case, thanks to some of you, the I.V. party scene ain’t what it used to be – it’s a crap shoot and snake eyes comes up more often than you think.
Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.