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Thursday, August 21 2014 @ 06:11 AM EDT

Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)

Cars & TransportationBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This morning I got pulled over by a couple of cops on bicycles in Panama City at a gas station because the tags on my Jeep are expired. They were staked out at an intersection, doing a visual check of cars driving through an intersection where vehicles get backed due to a traffic signal (intersection of Via Argentina and Tumba Muerto, next to the gas station in El Cangrejo.) I pulled into the gas station on the corner to fill up the tank. A bicycle cop rode up next to the passenger side window, pointed out my tags are expired, and asked for my paperwork. I gave it to him, and he told me to pull over to the side and park in the parking lot. At that point I reached up and spun the dash-cam video around to cover the driver's side window and catch the action. I thought he might try to him me up for a bribe in order to get out of the ticket.

The police officer asked for my driver's license, and he asked if I had any outstanding tickets. This confused me a little bit, because at first I didn't understand what he was asking or why. I also wanted to establish my role as the "slightly deaf and not so good Spanish" gringo, in order to get him to speak up (for the video). He said he was going to call my personal ID number in on the radio to be checked in their "pele police" system, to see if I was wanted for anything. I asked him if they don't carry these little handheld "pele police" devices on them anymore (just out of curiosity) and he said they superiors have them, and they call in to do the checks via radio.

At about this time his partner rode up and asked about the expired tags. I told him yup, they are expired, and I don't have the temporary permission to drive around. So, they caught me, had me dead to rights. I just looked at them, and wanted to see if they were going to start playing the "squeeze you for a bribe" game. I also had the dash-cam spun around and was recording the whole exchange. I think the first cop might have spotted the camera at some point, but I'm not sure.

Then the other cop asked me where I work. I told him I'm the owner of a media outlet, a journalist. I played the "Wild Bill" card - saying "remember that Wild Bill guy, I caught him." They asked me if I have a card identifying me as a journalist, and I said no, I am the owner. They said OK, here's your paperwork. Be sure to get your tags updated. And, have a nice day.

Thanks for the warning. As far as I could tell, these guys didn't do anything wrong. The one who was in the wrong was me (expired tags). They let me go with a warning, so thanks. Now I'll get the tags done next week, and that will be that.

This little exercise helped to confirm a couple of things. I didn't know how good the dash-cam video would be in this sort of a situation, and it's great - perfect for a bribery situation. I have it tucked up under the rear view mirror, so I sort of doubt that they saw it, although that's possible. And when I get pulled over and they want to give me a ticket for (whatever), I always just say "OK, write the ticket". I never try to squirm, bullshit my way out of it, indicate I might be willing to pay a bribe, or whatever. I let them do that, if they're going to.

Anyway, here's the dash-cam video of this little exchange, for what it's worth. I suspect they might have let me go because I played the "Wild Bill" card, but who knows. Make sure to keep the license plates on your car up to date or you might get pulled over. Have a great day.

Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video) | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 21 2012 @ 04:49 PM EDT

One of the police officer in the video patrols the area around my business in El Cangrejo. He's a good guy, and has always been helpful. It just goes to show that there are some dutiful police officers on the beat doing their jobs without taking bribes.

Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 02:54 AM EDT

I think you are right about the Wild Bill card. I did not see any tales that they ever noticed the dash cam and the younger cop almost smiled when you played your Wild Bill card.

That One The Run has excellent fried chicken since they are always busy and it is fresh. The OTR across from the Edison Building is a close second.

Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 10:53 AM EDT

New member. Enjoy greatly. Souce for dashcam?
Randy

Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 11:33 AM EDT

By "Wild Bill card" do you mean when you told them you were the publisher of Panama Guide and they may have seen you on television?

Pulled Over For Expired Tags in Panama City (Dash Cam Video)
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 09:25 PM EDT

I dont speak fluid spanish,but I dont understand why the officer first says
buenas licensiado, Im assuming the officer does not know the driver,it is to my knowledge this word is reserved for a professionally licensed person,like a lawyer or engineer, why did he address the driver with that?
also , around 2 minutes, it sounds like the officer says, quiero boleta, english
do you want a ticket ? in spanish.
Hard to hear,but definately a slightly weird stop.
Probably wild bills carte blanc cleared it all up. I was getting tired of being called wild bill in bocas. They think were all wild bill, geeze.