The Journal of History     Summer 2003     TABLE OF CONTENTS

Did You Know?

All communications between Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union were not secret because they all came through the United States. Cuba only had five telephone lines, and they all were connected to the United States.

Provided by Edilio in Cuba
#77 on cell phone

It was the Saturday before New Year's and it was about 1 PM in the afternoon. Laura was driving from Winchester to visit a friend in Warrenton. Laura pulled out onto the interstate and started following a state police car. She was traveling just over 65 mph behind him. Soon thereafter an UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on.

My friend and her husband have 4 children (high school and college age) and have always told them never to pull over for an unmarked police car onto the side of the road. Rather, they should dial #77 on their cell phone, tell the dispatcher that you will gladly pull over at the next gas station or some other populated area. Laura had actually listened to her parents' advice and promptly called #77 on her cell phone to tell the dispatcher that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there were 2 cars, one unmarked behind her and the other, marked in front of her. The dispatcher promptly checked to verify there were in fact two (2) police cars where she was. There wasn't and she was connected to the policeman in front of her and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back-up already on the way.

Ten minutes later four (4) patrol cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One (1) policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the unmarked car behind hers. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and was wanted for other crimes as well.

I never knew that bit of advice, but especially for a woman alone in a car you should not pull over for an unmarked car in a secluded area. In fact, even a marked car after dark should follow you to a populated area. Police have to respect your right to keep going to a "safe" place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (I.E., put on your hazard lights or call #77 like Laura did.) I am so thankful that my friend was just sitting at our book club meeting telling us this scary story, rather than us sitting at her house consoling her! Pass this on to your friends, awareness is everything.



The Journal of History - Summer 2003 Copyright © 2003 by News Source, Inc.