Thursday’s column (a happy ending)

I never really bargained for so many readers taking Kathleen Rangel’s story to heart.

But they did. She has her car back, and perhaps a little dignity as well.

Last week I wrote about Rangel’s encounter with Alhambra’s version of The Tin Man, a motorcycle cop with no heart.

The tin man pulled over Rangel, 46, of Beaumont, and her family when they were on their way to church to pray for a sick pastor.

Because Rangel’s tags were expired, the tin man decided to have her car towed and impounded. That came after Rangel explained that she lost her home and job and was struggling to make ends meet.

Several of you wrote me, a few others called.

Everyone wanted to lend a helping hand to a woman and her family who had fallen on desperate circumstances in the hardest of times since the Great Depression.

Eventually an anonymous angel came forward and took care of Rangel’s fines, impound fees, DMV registration and city processing charges.

“The Lord worked out some amazing things,” Rangel said Wednesday. “It was the right timing. It encouraged me to know there are so many people out there who care.”

Rangel said the DMV also found a way to lower her registration fee. Instead of $400, the DMV only required a payment of $266 to update the license on her 2004 Chrysler Sebring.

“That was just amazing,” Rangel said.

As for the tin man, his bosses, and the politicians in Alhambra, none have contacted Rangel.

Of course, as Alhambra Police Lt. Elliot Kase noted last week, the ticket was a matter of officer discretion. And the brass stands behind the black-and-white decision of its tin man.

That’s OK with Rangel, her husband and 9-year-old son.

“We’re just really touched especially with everything that’s happening in the world, with the economy so bad and so many people hurting,” she said. “People need to hear good news.”

Since I’m following up on things today, I should thank all of you who offered to take me to a shooting range.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about going to a gun range in La Puente with the hopes of popping off a couple of caps at lunch.

I was turned away because I was alone. Apparently it’s a gun range policy designed to discourage suicidal nuts.

I have yet to return, but in the meantime I picked up a Remington Model 700 SPS rifle that I plan to take out sometime in the near future.

It’s a really beautiful firearm and according to Remington’s Web site, “the Model 700 SPS offers the unrivaled out-of-the-box accuracy and high-end performance you’ve come to expect from America’s most popular bolt-action centerfire rifle.”

See you at the range.

 

5 thoughts on “Thursday’s column (a happy ending)

  1. Hey Frank if you were so concerned about Mrs. Rangel’s plight why didn’t you offer to pay for her fees. I don’t get it, people are very quick to place the blame on others and not accept responsibility for their actions. Is Mrs Rangel’s story sad, yes indeed it is but again you have to live up to your responsibilities. If you cannot afford to drive your broken down car with expired registration well then guess what don’t drive, take the metro or ask someone for a ride or even better yet find a job any job to pay your bills. Why blame the Alhambra cop for being responsibile and doing his job, how many sob stories do you think he hears every day. If he were to give in and apply his discretion to everyone who was a depressing sob story he would not be doing his job.

  2. Hi Frank,
    as somweone who also owns a Remington 700, I congratulate you on your choice. By now you know that it would be easier to zero a rifle with another person watching where the bullet goes everytime you fire the rifle. I would be a willing partner to go shooting with you as I also have to zero my rifle. Let me know as Angeles or Burro Canyon are good palces to shot. May I also invite you to join Calguns.net to get more information on the push to protect our 2nd Amendment rights in California.
    Marc

  3. Frank,

    It is very easy to sit back and criticize the officer for doing his job. Although I sympathize with the woman for her situation, I question why she is driving when she is not following the rules. A car’s registration has to be expired for more than 6 months in order to be impounded. When officers pull over drivers, they hear many excuses or even lies in order to explain the driver’s transgression. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you cannot afford to operate a car with the registration, insurance, and a valid license-don’t drive! What choice words would you have for an officer if you or a loved one were injured in a collision involving a driver whose car could have previously been impounded, but was not because some officer had a “heart”? I’m sure you would have blasted him from your bully pulpit. I think it’s a cheap shot to call him a “tin man”, perhaps we should refer to you as the “Scarecrow”-do you remember what he was looking for?

  4. Frank,

    It is very easy to sit back and criticize the officer for doing his job. Although I sympathize with the woman for her situation, I question why she is driving when she is not following the rules. A car’s registration has to be expired for more than 6 months in order to be impounded. When officers pull over drivers, they hear many excuses or even lies in order to explain the driver’s transgression. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you cannot afford to operate a car with the registration, insurance, and a valid license-don’t drive! What choice words would you have for an officer if you or a loved one were injured in a collision involving a driver whose car could have previously been impounded, but was not because some officer had a “heart”? I’m sure you would have blasted him from your bully pulpit. I think it’s a cheap shot to call him a “tin man”, perhaps we should refer to you as the “Scarecrow”-do you remember what he was looking for?

  5. Re: TinMan…. It’s a cruel World out there.
    I may be corrected out there, but I believe the the correct procedure with police is to use their radio to give licence plate and reason for stopping a vehicle, the dispatcher comes back with expired registration (or whatever), it’s all recorded & in computer. Now how does the officer clear his call if he does nothing, tell his supervisor ‘he felt sorry for the driver’.??
    Life isn’t fair.

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