I answered a subpoena and visited the City of New York District Attorney’s office thinking I was going to testify in front of a Grand Jury.
Unbeknownst to me, the Assistant District Attorney decided she wasn’t ready to present the case to the Grand Jury just yet. There were some loose ends she needed to tie up. Apparently, this is a fairly large grand larceny case and they didn’t want to leave anything to chance. My appearance turned into an interview (interrogation is too strong a word to use) with the ADA, two NYPD Detectives and a DA flunky.
I was amongst about a dozen witnesses who are connected to this case. We sat on hard wooden benches in a small hallway and waited our turn to be interviewed. Small talk was exhausted fairly quickly. I got there at 9:30 a.m. and wasn’t called in to interview until 1:30.
I was finally escorted into the DA’s government-issued office (i.e., no wood paneling or stately views of downtown Manhattan. Just blue/grey painted walls and cheap metal furniture.). When I sat in the hot seat, the ADA said, “This is the guy I’ve been waiting to meet.”
Pour quoi? I wondered.
Apparently, amongst the dozen or so witnesses, I am the only person who is able to identify the one of the thieves on site. I’m the only one who actually caught him in the act and stepped forward. The thieves stole from gym locker rooms and since it’s illegal to have cameras in public locker rooms, there is no video evidence. I’m all they’ve got.
I’ve always wanted to distinguish myself from the commoners, but this isn’t what I had in mind.
I was told that should this case go to trial (a likelihood, at this point) I would be their key witness. I have to let them know if I leave town. I was assured that there is no danger.
I didn’t bring my cell phone jammer with me because I knew that in order to get inside the New York County District Attorney’s Office I’d have to pass through a metal detector. The District Attorney’s office is the LAST place I wanted to get caught with a potentially illegal device. I had to suffer the cell phone calls of fools on the train back to New Jersey.
Here’s how bad it’s gotten: While waiting for my track number to post, if someone nearby is participating in a particularly loud and noxious cell phone call, I’ll follow him/her onto my train, sit directly behind them and make sure that he/she doesn’t make the ride unpleasant for my fellow passengers. Studies (my studies) have shown that improper cell phone use in the train station ALWAYS translates to improper use once on board the train.
Please don’t judge me. My motivations, believe it or not, are completely altruistic.