It was a beautiful Saturday in June when I received a call from dispatch. It seems a bus driver had three youngsters on her coach that were a little too young to be on their own. The female driver had called her dispatcher who in turn dispatched me. I was to intercept the bus and wait for the parents to arrive.
I caught the bus on a regular layover and had the kids exit the coach. It seems they wanted to exchange their Pokemon trading cards at the local comic book shop. They had seen it on their way to school, but that was on a school bus run and not a regular bus route.
When they couldn't tell the driver where it was and they revealed the fact that they were five, seven and eight years old she knew something was wrong. I took the drivers information and statement as quickly as possible as she had a route to catch up on.
The kids knew their address and phone numbers. I gave the phone numbers to dispatch who would contact the parents. I tried to warn them how dangerous it was to travel without an adult unless they were going to school. They didn't seem to understand.
The first parent to arrive was the Mother of one of the boys. I saw her as she entered the lot and asked the boys if she was one of their Mothers, I got no response.
I flagged her down and she exited her vehicle. She produced her driver's license and then flapped a badge that was in her wallet, she was the wife of a cop. I informed her that her son would not admit that she was his Mom when she entered the lot looking for the boys. I was thanked and assured that his Father would be told.
"Daddy's waiting to talk to you at the station." she managed to hiss at her offspring.
With his head bowed he shuffled to his Mom's car.
The second parent to arrive thanked me and then gave her son a smack across the butt before sending him to her car. Finally, the last parent arrived. He was a slender average looking male with a worried look on his face. I assured him that his son was all right and he relaxed a bit.
"This isn't the first time he has done something like this. He has been lucky that nothing bad ever happened to him. I just wish I could teach him a lesson," he sighed.
I have an idea but will require you not to react to whatever I say," I informed him.
"Deal," was all he said.
We approached the juvenile that was sitting in the enclosed passenger waiting area. I put on my angry cop face and lowered my voice.
"Do you love your dad?" I asked.
"Yes," he responded wiping the tears from his eyes.
"Do you want to see him go to jail?" I said inches from his face.
"No," he answered with wide eyes.
"Well if you ever do anything like this again I will take him in and lock him up," I informed him.
True to his word his father never said a word or cracked a smile. I released him to his father and the kid flew into his dad's arms.
As I turned to walk, I heard the dad talk to his son.
"You'd don't want me to go to jail do you? They don't even have basic cable," he told his charge in a scared voice.
It was an effort for me not to laugh as I walked to my car. However once inside I laughed so hard I had tears. I couldn't even respond when dispatch called me and asked for my status. I managed to tell her to stand by for a landline. On the phone, I told the dispatcher the whole story and she laughed long and hard.
She was still giggling when she broadcast the next call.