ASK A COP — Why not give hard-working citizens more citation warnings?

Published 6:34 am Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Troy asks: You have given me several citations in the past and, of course, I’m still a little bitter. It’s just the way I feel about you and all the tickets you write to hard-working people. Why don’t you go give tickets to all criminals and leave us hard-working citizens alone. Why not give warnings? When you stopped me, I was very nice to you and, I must be truthful, you were polite to me, but you still gave me tickets. Since our last encounter I haven’t received another ticket. Have a heart, Officer Antoine, and lighten up some. It’s not that serious!

Answer: One thing my mother taught me a long time ago is one way in life to guarantee failure is “trying to please everybody.” May I inform you ANY violation committed while driving a motor vehicle in the state of Texas is a CRIME! Speeding, disregarding stop signs, no insurance may not be violent crimes, but according to the state of Texas Transportation Code, they are crimes. That’s why police officers have the authority to arrest and transport you to jail for violating ALL but three laws of the Texas Transportation Code. I’m not oblivious to some citizens’ opinions of me in this and surrounding communities. Being a police officer is an often thankless. We don’t write citations for a pat on our backs or for the community to lift us up. We enforce the transportation code, because it is that serious. Have you ever had the responsibility to go notify a family that their loved one will not be coming home. It’s that serious. What we’re doing helps save lives one stop, one class and one column at a time.

Officer Rickey Antoine

Debbie asks: I own two vehicles and loaned my extra vehicle to my cousin to help him get on his feet and find a job. I want it back and he won’t give it to me. Should I report it stolen or what do I have to do?

Answer: Sometimes people take our kindness for weakness. That seems like what you are dealing with now. I’ve answered countless calls for service where the vehicle owner was faced with the exact same issue you are facing. At this point, you CANNOT call law enforcement and report your vehicle STOLEN! You voluntarily gave them your keys and permission to drive your vehicle, even if they didn’t return your vehicle when promised. Filing unauthorized use of a motor vehicle will not fit this case. You will need to send a certified letter to your cousin demanding the return of your vehicle in seven days. After you complete this necessary step, law enforcement will assist in filing an unauthorized use of a motor vehicle against your cousin. If you haven’t done this step, your cousin is able to continue to drive your vehicle even though you want your vehicle back.

Cal asks: I have a friend that’s much larger in stature than most, and he isn’t able to buckle a seat belt. Is he still required to be secured in a seat belt even if he can prove to the officer it doesn’t fit?

Answer: “YES,” your friend must be secured property with a safety belt in Texas no matter if he’s the driver or passenger in the front or back seat. What your friend needs to do is go to a automotive dealer and purchase a seatbelt extender. Seatbelt extenders are available on Amazon for under $25. This is a very small cost that may aid in saving your life. This extender connects to the original seatbelt and provides extra length than what the factory installed. Therefore, its makes him legal while in a motor vehicle and safer! No EXCEPTIONS here!

Join Me, Officer Antoine and the CREW Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I Washington & Tejas “Lil Man”Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and beyond. Call in questions at 409-982-0247. You can also email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov or leave a voicemail at 409-983-8673. Mail them to Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always “Ask A Cop!”