This tale has a few holes. I was trying to remember all the details, but I may not have known them all at the time. Anyway…
“Wilson” never had a driver’s license in all the years I knew him. He normally traveled by bicycle. He wasn’t usually in a hurry and it was cheaper than buying fuel. Especially at our local prices.
When he needed to carry a load or make a longer trip he drove his old full-sized van. He avoided being pulled over because he wasn’t a reckless or impulsive driver. But one day his luck ran out when he was a few miles outside of town.
The state trooper pulled him over and asked for his papers. Well, he didn’t have any.
So the goon ordered him out of the van. He complied. The cop wanted to search his vehicle. Wilson refused to consent and started quoting the Fourth Amendment. This was one place where Wilson and I disagreed. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, he believed the Constitution could protect his rights. I wanted to believe it; he did.
The cop didn’t like being informed of his legal limits. He called back-up and a K9 unit, and searched anyway. Wilson sat cuffed on the side of the road to keep him from “interfering” with the cops’ “duties”.
The cops found nothing– which is surprisng. I guess they’d already used up all their incriminating substances that day. The cops didn’t find the pistol in his backpack, either.
But this is where there’s a hole in the tale: I can’t remember how the attack ended, or how Wilson got his van back home, but he wasn’t arrested and the van wasn’t impounded as far as I can remember. I do think he ended up getting the van’s paperwork in order soon after this, so maybe it was briefly impounded. If it had happened to me I’m sure I would remember better.
He was much more reluctant to drive the van after this, and pretty much left it parked until he got the pop-up camper and needed to haul it around. But he still didn’t get a driver’s license.
This confrontation didn’t improve his attitude toward cops and led to another incident, as he was coming out of the grocery store, a few weeks later.
In that encounter, the sheriff grabbed him by the shoulders, shoved him against the wall, and told him to “drop this ‘Constitution’ $#%&;“. This didn’t surprise me, since the local sheriff never saw a right he didn’t want to violate. (That was still the most free place I’ve ever lived, in spite of the vile local Blue Line Gang.) And that threat just made Wilson ramp up his outspokenness to new levels.