Friday, August 05, 2005

Ruthie On The Road, Update cont'd.

After flicking on my flashlight, I walked along the dark highway to a poorly lit intersection. I stopped.

A few minutes later a tribal cop cruiser pulled up. An officer got out and asked me what I was doing. I explained what had happened and told him that the drunk guy was still down at the rest area.

Several cop cars went down to the rest area where the cops had "a talk" with the drunk guy.

Meanwhile, I was still standing at the intersection when a different car pulled up.

The passenger, a Native American woman, glared at me with hateful eyes.

"Your people...All your people...Cheated us...I'm gonna go get [A semi truck roared past and I didn't hear the next few words]...And beat you up!"

It sure sounded like a physical threat to me.

I sighed and when the cops came back around I followed their cars back to a parking lot.

After discussing the situation for a couple of minutes, a cop drove me fourteen miles to the Holiday gas station in Bemidji.

On the way, he told me that Cass Lake not only has the highest crime rate in Minnesota but is near the top of the list Nationwide.

He said that on any given night there are as many as twenty-officers dealing with violent crimes in Cass Lake.

"You were definitely where you didn't belong" he declared.

He explained that because I am Caucasian, I am an automatic target in Cass Lake.

"Whatever happened to Minnesota nice?" I asked.

When the officer dropped me off at the gas station, I checked the yellow pages for a shelter.

I located one called "Hospitality House" and asked the store clerk for directions.

She showed me a map and I headed out the door.

When I got close to the shelter, I spotted a Bemidji PD car. I flagged it down.

Two officers [polite and friendly] sat beside in each other in the front seat.

"I'm looking for the Hospitality shelter and I'm a little turned around."

"Could you please tell me how to get there from here?"

One of the officers pointed and gave me clear directions. I thanked him and smiled at his partner. He smiled back.

"Nice place, Bemidji." I thought.

Then I trudged down to the House of Hospitality and discovered that, in this case, "hospitality" is a misnomer.

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