Ask a cop: Be careful who you lend your car to

Published 8:16 am Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dallas from Fannett asks — Officer Antoine, I thank you for all of your wisdom you impart to us on a weekly basis with the Ask A Cop article, and for the hard job you do to keep our streets safe to drive on. I own two vehicles, but I loaned my extra vehicle to my cousin to help him get up 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? Thanks in advance for all your help.

Answer ­— Good question Dallas! It appears you have a heart of gold knowing you went out of your way to assist a relative who was in dire need of a vehicle. Unfortunately, sometimes people take our kindness for weakness. That seems like what you are dealing with now with your cousin. 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! Why, you may ask? You voluntarily gave them your keys and permission to drive your vehicle, even if they didn’t return your vehicle when they promised. So filing the charge of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle with a law enforcement agency will not fit this case. Dallas, 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 you in filing an Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle charge against your cousin. If you haven’t done this step yet, your cousin is able to continue to drive your vehicle even though you want your vehicle back. By the way, I’m not a fan of the football team that poorly represents your name! (Smile!)

Joan from Port Arthur Asks — Officer Antoine, I can truthfully say, my driving life has never, never, never been the same again since I attended your class for my job. I must be honest. I went in with a very negative attitude saying, “WHY do I have to come to a boring class about driving on MY Saturday? (Stick a fork in me because before you even said one word I was done)! Which turned out I was WRONG and today it’s still one of the best, if not the best, class I’ve ever attended. Thank you! Thank you! Officer Antoine, I was traveling down Gulfway Drive and came close to a truck where there were approximately five males in the back of the moving pickup truck and they were dancing. I will admit, they were quite entertaining but dancing in the bed of a moving truck was NOT safe. That is not a safe act and I was wondering if you had caught them, how many tickets would you have given the dancers?

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Answer — Good question Joan! I’m honored to know your driving behavior has forever changed because of the “Drive Safe” seminar you attended. I truly have a passion for saving lives on the roads of Port Arthur, Jefferson County, Texas and abroad. Joan, my motto is “When we know better, we should do better.” Most will be amazed how much information they DON’T know about the Texas Transportation Code. I’ve been approached by many readers who admit this article has taught them a thing or two they never knew and some have been driving for 50 plus years. At the end of the day, this will make Port Arthur a safer motoring community. Joan, the Transportation Code states NO ONE under the age of 18 can legally ride in the rear/bed of a truck on the roads of Texas. So if the individuals appear 18 and over, they were legally riding in the rear of the truck. Now, the issue of dancing in the bed of the truck while the vehicle is moving must be visited. There is no law stating the occupants must be seated or still while truck is in use. With that said, it sounds like the males were within the law of Texas. Now I have been speaking with radio personalities Steve “Buzzard Boots,” Tejas “Lil Man,” Lilo “the mouth of 69/73 about putting on a dance routine for my Ask A Cop Live radio broadcast, but it’s something about Steve Boots that always wind up spoiling the day.

Blackie from Port Arthur Asks — Officer Antoine, I like this column and truly enjoy your thoughtful answers. My question is do you write your own answers to the questions you receive, or does someone else write the column and you oversee it? I love the way you answer the questions in a very thoughtful, compassionate and intelligent manner. With you being a police officer on the roads and classes, I don’t see how you have time to write this column!!

Answer — Good question Blackie! I’ve been asked this question quite a few times so I’ve decided to give a written answer in the Ask A Cop column. “YES” Blackie, I have authored my own Ask A Cop column on Tuesdays ever since day one, when the articles were printed on Mondays. I’m humbled to know you are appreciative of the way the Ask A Cop column is written, and to be honest it takes a lot of quiet time to decide which questions to answer. Blackie, I will admit I do have a backbone, personal editor, who is an administrative assistant of the Port Arthur Police Department named Crystal Conway, she weekly proofreads my column with a fine tooth comb. Often times Crystal and I agree to disagree about a phrase or two that’s written in the column, but that’s why I welcome her feedback first. Blackie, Crystal has been absolutely a God sent blessing and a true asset to the Ask A Cop column, I don’t know what I would do without her. I’m allotted time within the department to complete this column and if I don’t, I’ll do it on my off time.  I do this because I believe this column is that important to the community I serve. Thank you Blackie for being a regular reader of Ask A Cop, and Crystal Conway for all you have done to assist the printed Ask A Cop column.

Join Me, Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station, everyTuesday for at least 1 hour, from 1:00pm until we are done. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail, the newly released Ask A Cop article printed in The News. You can also tune in via internet at Feel free to call in and ask your questions live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247. Remember to email your questions , or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voicemail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can always feel free and comfortable to approach and “Ask A Cop!”