The Power of Faith

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on July 28th, 2005

For those mad mothers out there worried that someone somewhere may be eluding justice, here’s a recent Kansas City news story about the power of faith….

Stan Willcutt is a 40-year-old construction worker with the ailments of a man twice his age. Bad ankles. Bad knees. A back so screwed-up that he recently threw out a disk just because he sneezed. Willcutt has been buried in ditches during two construction accidents. He’s been dropped on his head, leaving one eye permanently wacky. And lord knows what happened to his teeth, because he doesn’t have any upper choppers, which makes his speech sort of slurred.

Still, he’s got to make a living, so he continues to work in heavy construction, digging sewers, but he goes to a chiropractor a couple of times a week to have his back worked on. On April 7, he was returning from one of those appointments, driving down Douglas Street, when he felt a sneeze coming on. He tensed up his back, preparing for the damage that might be imminent, and then let go a big kerchoo.

The force of it wasn’t enough to throw out his back, but it was so painful that he swerved his car, and his front-left tire clipped the center median. After correcting his car, Willcutt realized that his collision with the curb had caused a flat tire. So he pulled over, jacked up the car and started to put on the spare. That’s when Lee’s Summit police showed up.

Officers told Willcutt that they’d received a report of a drunk driver who had swerved and hit the street’s median. Willcutt explained what had happened and said he hadn’t had a drink all day. In fact, Willcutt says, after he was popped for a DUI 20 years ago, he stopped drinking entirely.

Willcutt told police he’d ingested neither alcohol nor drugs, but the officers asked him to take a field sobriety test anyway. Willcutt says he told the officers that, with his bad knees and back, there’d be no way he could stand steadily on one foot or walk in a tight, straight line. And just as Willcutt predicted, according to officer Matthew Miller’s report, Willcutt performed poorly on the test — and displayed slurred speech.

At that point, Willcutt could see that his explanations were having no effect on the police officers, so he requested a breathalyzer test. His police report indicates exactly what he predicted it would: His blood-alcohol content measured 0.00 percent. Still, the officers arrested Willcutt and took him to jail, where he gave a urine sample.

The sample was tested for amphetamines. The result was negative. It was tested for barbiturates. Also negative. Benzodiazepines. Negative. Cannabinoids. Negative. Cocaine. Negative. Ethanol. Negative. Methadone. Negative. Opiates. Negative. Phencyclidine. Negative. Propoxyphene. Negative….

(But) if there’s one thing Lee’s Summit city prosecutor Rachel Brown has faith in, it’s that her office will get its man. Brown has so much faith in the Lee’s Summit police, she says that a 0.00 breathalyzer and a negative urine test aren’t going to keep her from prosecuting Willcutt — who, with his ancient prior, could be looking at a real penalty. Now that’s faith in your police force.

(Thanks to Jay Norton of Olathe, Kansas.)

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