Friday, January 10, 2014

A notice of Passing, and a reaction

An email this morning asserted that a Lieutenant Mike Maas had dies in San Diego. 

Everyone will forgive me if I do not get all choked up. 

Maas came to the El Cajon CHP Office around 1993 . We were warned in a Briefing that 
he and another officer had declared themselves to be Gay while as Sergeants in the West Los Angeles Office.  They had been subjected to hazing, had sued the State and collected around $750,00 for "Sexual Harassment" 

When Maas arrived, he was thin, only about 5'6", and very concerned with himself. 

I do not know what I did to alienate him, but he made it his life's goal to see that I was written up, given days  off without pay, or terminated. 

Since he worked the 1400 shift, and I usually worked the 1300 shift, we had several encounters. Here are a few: 

-- Around 1400 hours one day, I turn around at an under crossing in El Cajon.  I see a van pulled over to the right. I stop. In the van is a woman who has clearly been beaten up. I asked who did it. She said it was her live-in partner, a Hispanic male who was visible ahead of us walking on to the I-8. I call dispatch after finding the beating occurred at some apartments in El Cajon, asked for El Cajon Police, and stayed with the woman in case the male decided to return

Next thing I know, Maas and two CHP Units are there. El Cajon PD had arrived, stopped and arrested the male, and had brought him back to the van. 
Maas walks up and immediately started berating me in front of everyone for not calling the El Cajon CHP Office.

---One afternoon, I get onto I-8 east bound. There is a cafe racer motorcycle with a male driver and female passenger at high speed . After about 3 miles, I pace him at 85, then stop him.  
The motorcycle has a Baja California plate. I had never seen one on  a motorcycle. I did know that many cars and cycles are stolen, disappear into Mexico, and never recovered
So, I ran the VIN number. 

Dispatch initially said it was stolen.

My Beat Partner arrived. I had just wet ahead with a speeding ticket. Stan walks up, I tell him, you go on his right side, I will go on the left, and we will handcuff him. We did.
After a short period, Dispatch calls and asks me to repeat that VIN number. I do. 
After about a minute, Dispatch says "Sorry--it is not stolen". 
All this time, the female Hispanic was sitting on the curb. She had in  sandals, a short skirt, and a brief top. 
Maas arrives, and stops  my patrol car. He leaves all the emergency lights going on the Chev Suburban he drove there. Soon there are two rear-ender crashes, caused by gawkers . Maas calls a third unit and assigns him to take the collision reports. 
Then, he says ,"Let me use my PR skills to smooth this over". I asked, "What for--he's going to sign a ticket, and we will never see him again. He's from Mexicali" 
Maas talks to him. I have him sign the ticket. The motorcycle leaves. I leave. 

Maas calls me and orders,"Meet me at the Greenfield Dr off ramp" .

I do. He gets out and says, "Did you search that Female?"
I said "No--What's to search. You could see everything on her". 

He declared pompously:"I am seriously concerned about   your Officer Safety Skills", and left.

--- -------------------------------------------------------------------

We had a K9 Officer, whose main job was to check for drugs. She had got after a pickup-camper, and declared she was in pursuit. I started going east, ans I was 30-35 miles west of her. No--I did not notify Dispatch that I was rolling.
The K9 car then said that the pickup was now westbound--in the eastbound lanes of I-8 .

When I arrived, the pickup had pulled off to the right shoulder, and the driver and about 25 smuggled human beings fled up the hill south of I-8 on foot. 
There were SIX Border Patrol Vehicles, a second K9 car, and a San Diego Sheriff's car there. 

Now, the brush in that hill was dense, and about 5 to 6 ft high. I had on $85 pants, spit shined boots and a $65 shirt--all of which would have been torn up if I tried to navigate that brush, The K9's , Border Patrol and the Deputy all wore coveralls. 

No one was in sight. 

I decided to just return to my beat. 

That night, Maas called me in to the Sergeants office, closed the door and demanded:
"Why didn't you go up to help Jennifer (K9)?" 
I did. 
"You did not say on the radio that you were responding--or that you arrived there".

" No need--One, she was in  a pursuit. You are supposed to keep a clear channel. TWO--when I got there, there were six Border Patrol vehicles, a Deputy and the other K9-- They did not need my, so I returned to my beat. "

Maas: "We are looking into writing you up for failing to assist a fellow officer". 


Fast forward. 
I had my fill of El Cajon. There was an absentee Captain--who came in once every two weeks--in a suit. He had turned most things over to a Lieutenant Rick Ward. 
This man had become a Cadet, intending to go straight to Commissioner. He was ruthless, unethical, and put in practices that angered about 95% of the Officers.

Under him were Sergeants that avoided him, or three suck-up Sergeants known as the Three Stooges. Maas was one of those. 

I had put in for transfer back to Oceanside. 

I got that transfer before Mass and the other two could get action against me approved .

When I got to Oceanside, a Sergeant I had known for a long time showed me what papers they had prepared, and said,"This isn't going anywhere". 

After two years, Maas shows up in Oceanside as a Lieutenant. 

One night, a VERY rare occasion had came about. I had agreed to have lunch with someone, and I was enroute there. Normally, I took my lunch to avoid restaurants and fast food places.

Dispatch gave me a call that a woman had called in and said she was broke down about four or five miles north of Escondido. I answered, and said, " I will be on the way". 
A CHP Motorcycle rider came on the air, and said" I coming back to my beat (Highway 78) from my lunch at home--I'll take that--I'm right there"

I went to lunch, and thanked the motor rider. 

When I got to the office--end of shift-- a Sergeant interrogates me about not going to the disabled motorist,

Next thing I know, the Sergeant tells me that the Lieutenant--Mass--has recommended Day Off without ay for me for "Refusing to assist a disabled motorist". 

Fortunately, we had a very common sense Captain, and it never came to that.


Maas promoted to Captain and went to Contra Costa CHP Office. 


A couple of years go by. 
One day, I talk to one of the Oceanside Motor Officers. 

He tells me that Contra Costa had a in house investigator that got a plain car, and went out following up on Hit-and Run crashes, suspected fraud, and other items. Upon arrival, Maas had taken a shine to this man and they had apparently co-habited. 

Time goes by, like 6 or 8 months. 

Maas takes a shine to a field officer. He kicks the inside investigator out--sends him out to a beat--and brings in his new fascination. 

Maas wants to get back to San Diego, as his mother died and left him a veritable mansion overlooking Mission Bay. He gets a transfer, and is to be Captain at the San Diego CHP Office.

BUT-- before his reporting date, the first in-house investigator---the jilted party--had filmed them in intimate, compromising encounters i their shared home. He had sent those photos to Border Division CHP via the CHP IntraNet ..

Maas was supposed to be terminated (Anyone else would have been)

Then he declared himself stressed and took six weeks off. 

He engaged an attorney, who negotiated  that he only be reduced to Lieutenant and assigned the scales near Banning on I-10. 

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