How would you feel about getting pulled over while strolling down your sidewalk at night? This frustrating experience has happened twice to my partner and I, in our very own Las Vegas neighborhood.
When we relocated to the West side of town, at the edge of Summerlin, we didn’t think we needed to do much research beforehand. We’d found a decent condo, were pleased that the location was near several major highways, and we signed our lease. Little did we know, we had moved into an extremely dangerous zone in Las Vegas and would be constantly battling for a moment’s peace among the sounds of the choppers in the sky at night (‘ghetto birds’, they’re called), the constant police sirens, and the domestic shout-outs at 2 a.m.
All this we managed to laugh off over the months, and we even light-heartedly brushed off two attempted car thefts, a burglary, and odd circumstances such as a young woman jogging with a baseball bat in hand. “You never know,” she said.
But where we drew the line and began to really reconsider our location, was when we discovered we could not even walk to the RedBox on the corner at night to return a DVD without getting pulled over. Yes, we were quite literally pulled over on the sidewalk.
“Why are you out here?” the officer began the interrogation.
“We’re returning a DVD.”
“In this neighborhood?”
“Yes, is that okay? There’s a box right over there.”
“You’re walking to the box?”
“Yes. Why are we being stopped?”
“People don’t normally walk around at night out here. I’m going to have to see some ID.”
This went on for a good half hour, and though we were let off the hook and simply told to ‘be careful’, we couldn’t help holding a funny feeling in the pit of our stomachs. Were we really in such a bad area that we couldn’t walk outside at night? This was the edge of Summerlin—wasn’t Summerlin supposed to be safe?
Fast forward to nearly a year later. This time, it was still daylight, June, just before 6:15 p.m. We decided to walk a few blocks down the street to eat at our favorite neighborhood Italian Café. We’d eaten there before (though we had driven), but seeing how we were both originally from pedestrian-friendly cities, we thought it was silly to drive such a short distance, especially since the temperature was unseasonably cool on that day—and we decided we’d enjoy the exercise before stuffing ourselves with ravioli.
Apparently, this was not a good decision. We were stopped once again by a Las Vegas squad car and questioned on the sidewalk.
I must make a note here: we are not scandalous-looking people. All things considered, we are relatively upstanding members of society, well-groomed, professional appearances, we don’t stagger, etc. Sometimes I wonder if those were the reasons we were targeted… maybe we looked out of place, as healthy as we were in such a ‘skeptical’ part of town. I don’t know. The fact remains: we’d now been pulled over twice while attempting to walk down a street.
Where did this lead? Relocation. Shortly after the second stopping, our condo flooded (thank you neighbors upstairs), and we were forced to find a new home. As frustrating as it was, it was also a blessing in disguise. We moved further West, towards the Red Rock mountains, to a neighborhood filled with walkers, runners, bikers, and families crowding the sidewalks at night. Not only are we no longer alone in our desire to put our athletic shoes to good use, but we are also greeted with smiles and friendly nods by our fellow neighbors in the streets.
There is no moral to this story, only that perhaps Metro had our best interests in mind when interrogating us on movie night, or checking our backgrounds on a Sunday evening while we were on our way to dinner. Still, it didn’t make us feel happy or safe to have these run-ins with the law for no reason other than we were walking outside.
It’s good to know now, we’re in a place where the police ‘live and let walk.’ If you have a las vegas traffic ticket, a las vegas speeding ticket, please give the Ticket Attorney a call. We are the best las vegas traffic lawyer in town.