Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rearview: Rufus Sideswipe counts his blessings

Editor’s note: We’re looking “in our rearview” to bring you some of our favorite stories, columns and items from Land Line’s 40-year-history. This week, we bring you a 2010 report from columnist Bill Hudgins, who reports that his old friend Rufus Sideswipe has found the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and my friend and ace gearjammer Rufus Sideswipe had just parked his vintage Corn Binder for a week at home when Mrs. Rufus came bustling out of the house, carrying a suitcase.

“I’ve got to go to my sister’s,” she called to Rufus, who was relieved to hear he wasn’t being ditched again. “Her house is getting a makeover on that new TV show ‘Clutter Decontam’ – you know the one sponsored by Clorox bleach and the EPA? Anyway, she needs moral support.

“And you need to get the house ready for Thanksgiving, because it’s your family coming over. I’ll be back Thursday morning. Your list is on the kitchen counter. Bye!”

Her car was already in the street before Rufus could choke out,

"Huh?” When he finally processed what Mrs. R had said, he thought,

"What could be so hard? She never seems that busy.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

So, about that trucker in Oklahoma

Perhaps you’ve seen the story floating around on social media about how an unknown trucker used his rig to force a man suspected of driving under the influence off the road, and then allegedly used a gun to keep the man from fleeing the scene on foot.

According to a report from News On 6, 33-year-old Tyson Schunk, of Tulsa, was arrested at 2:15 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Schunk was booked on charges of aggravated driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

The initial report raised more questions than answers, so we decided to reach out to OHP for some clarification, like how exactly did the trucker force Schunk off the road, and why the heck did he pull a gun on him?

According to Lt. Mark Roach of the Will Rogers Turnpike Division, OHP received a 911 phone call from another motorist who was traveling behind Schunk’s car, and reported him driving erratically down the turnpike near Catoosa.

From there, Roach says some of the details are fuzzy at best. For starters, the trucker was nowhere to be found when law enforcement showed up to arrest Schunk, although the motorist who made the initial 911 call was still on the scene. The motorist was the one who informed police about the trucker’s role in getting the vehicle off the road.

He also said the witness gave no indication as to why the trucker pulled a gun on Schunk, and that Schunk himself was reportedly too drunk to know what was happening and told police he had no memory of the events.

“At this point, we don’t know if the driver said something belligerent that made the trucker pull his firearm or what,” he said.

Depending on the circumstances, the trucker could have potentially faced criminal charges himself. For starters, Oklahoma is technically an “open-carry” state for firearms, but only if the person carrying the handgun is licensed under state laws. In order to be licensed under state law, among other things you must be a resident of the state, pass a background check and an eight-hour training course.

“We want people to participate in getting drunk drivers off the road,” Roach said. “But we don’t necessarily want them (physically) running people off the road. Your assistance is reporting, and staying a safe distance away while we execute the stop.”