Our Son Is In Jail

Jan 24, 2013 by

www.JamesAndShilo.comFrom Shilo’s laptop in Mazatlan, Mexico…

“Our son is in jail.” Thinking back, that was not what I was expecting to hear from David’s mom when she phoned just before Christmas.

It was December 21st 2012… dunn, dunn, dunn! {insert ominous background music here} End of the Mayan Calendar and potentially the end of the world – but here we were sitting on our couch here in Mexico, very much alive and gaping at the phone in our hands in stunned silence.

When I saw that it was David’s Mom Kim phoning, James and I had answered on the speaker phone and my first words were, “Happy End of the World!!” Rather tongue in cheek. But her reply was quite shocking to us. “It might as well be, our son is in jail.”

Caught up in the heat of the moment and understandably upset, she was phoning to advise us that her dad, David’s Grandfather (who he’d been living with over the summer and fall months), had received notification by phone that David was in jail, having been arrested the night before at the scene of an accident and was being charged with having open alcohol in the vehicle, among other things. We were going to need a lawyer. And it’s costing $2,300 to post bail. David’s Grandfather was already on his way to the bank, so he could wire the money and get David out.  Everyone was upset at the mere thought of David having to spend Christmas in jail, regardless of the circumstances. We had questions, but there were no answers. We decided to wait and see how it all played out. And of course our mind’s were already racing, thinking about the money and the trauma to David.

James and I were dismayed. David had been here visiting with us for a month and we’d only just put him on a plane home to Calgary 2 nights before. He was in great spirits when he left. And he was going home to move out of his Grandparents’ place and in with a buddy, which was supposed to take a couple of days…

And now he’s in jail?!?!www.JamesAndShilo.com

The more we thought about it the less sense it made. James and I had lots of questions which no one had answers for. So we all came to the conclusion that we needed more information. Moments after getting off the phone with Kim, the phone rang again… It was David! I remember thinking, “Wow. That wiring money process must be fast if he’s out already!”

David had a long chat with his dad and finally got around to announcing why he was calling. James was waiting patiently, open to hearing David’s side of the story. So David says, “the reason I’m calling is that I need your help with the wording of an email I need to send to my boss…” Not what James was expecting! So James casually asks about last night and if there was anything David needed to talk about – he was clueless and had no idea what James was referring to!

James then told David about the phone call from David’s Mom. Which he was sure was a joke – James had to put me on the phone to verify that it was real, his Mom was super upset and his Grandfather was off to post bail… the plot thickens!!!

We phoned David’s Mom back and over the next couple of minutes, it became clear that David’s Grandfather had been the target of a scam. The challenge was, he had already left to go to the bank to get money so he could wire it – to who knows where! And we had no way to contact him.

We got off the phone and David’s Mom was going to phone the closest bank and try and stop her Dad. Failing that, maybe she could catch him at  Western Union where he was wiring the money. James made some phone calls as well. It is truly mind boggling how many offices Western Union has – including most Safeway stores. Thankfully, with some quick thinking, David’s Mom – who was staying at her parents place and looking after their ward (an elderly woman with dementia, who couldn’t be left alone) – ran to neighbors and had them come to look after things. She jumped into the car and drove to the nearest Western Union hoping it was the one her Dad would choose.

Thankfully, she got there just in time!! David’s Grandfather was next in line – the line-ups were very long at both the bank and the Western Union because it was the holiday season, so he had been delayed. They came home and called us again.

David’s Grandfather was so upset. We assured him that the best part of this was how much he loves his Grandson – that he would immediately go and do whatever was necessary to get David out was commendable. Scams can happen to anyone. When emotions run high, everything else falls away.

Fortunately for all of us, it worked out positively. David is at his new home, safe and sound. We’ve all had a learning opportunity and also a good laugh.

It turned out to be the end of the world, and a new beginning all in the same day! Within a few short hours even.

So, please learn from our experience. Question unusual phone calls. Don’t ever wire money because a stranger calls and says you should – even if it is to help a loved one. Even email requests are suspect, with so many compromised email accounts these days. Do some “due diligence”.

In hindsight, James and I can also see our own miracles of detachment. As much as everyone else was upset, we didn’t get emotional. Even though it was about David. A few years ago, that definitely would NOT have been the case!

That is progress.  🙂