Saguaro County Juvenile Detention Facility
Mira Loma, CA
Earlier this month, I spent a night at Saguaro County Juvenile Detention Facility for the heinous crime of skateboarding at Terrace Middle School in Mira Loma. The cops said I trespassed or resisted arrest or assaulted a cop or something, but that’s really just slicing hairs. I was arrested for skateboarding, which I know you know is not a crime. Peace Officers Lester “Lardballs” Jenkins and Harold “Skunk” Chmielinski have had a hard-on to bring me and my crew down ever since I asked them how often, and how passionately, they engaged in carnal relations—that’s “sex” to all you drop-outs—with the Mira Loma PD’s K-9 unit, Schwarzkopf. I knew Schwarzkopf from a mandatory school assembly. I’d seen his drug-finding abilities first-hand. And let’s just say it wasn’t a stretch to imagine Lardballs and Skunk getting it on with him. Anyways, ever since then they’d been on mission to catch us skating at one of Mira Loma’s mostly sub-par skate spots. It was a mission that had been unsuccessful for many moons—until just a few weeks ago, that is.
Trout, Mumbles, Dodgy Dustin, and I were grinding the ledges near the basketball courts at TMS one Friday around sunset when Lardballs and Skunk snuck up on us with their really cool black mountain bikes. They must’ve been planning the operation for months, because they were actually semi-competent and caught us unawares. We all scattered once we saw them come around the corner of the gym annex, but my damn shoelace was untied and I tripped and hit the pavement not fifteen feet from a surprisingly agile Skunk. He threw me up against a wall and held me there while everyone else ran for the fences beyond the baseball field. Lardballs, in hot pursuit but struggling to pick a target, zigzagged after them and actually caught a fistful of Trout’s t-shirt before he and the rest of the guys cleared the fence. Sizing up the immovable object of the eight-foot barrier, Lardballs must have decided that discretion is the better part of valor because he immediately gave up and turned around.
It was then that he and Skunk both started beating on me. I’m no Sylvester Stallone (though in P.E. once, Ms. Gleeson did say that if the rules didn’t prohibit it, I’d make a great addition to the girls’ J.V. volleyball team), but let’s just say that those two got more than they bargained for. And by “more than they bargained for,” I mean a split lip for Lardballs and a shiner for Skunk. I possess a toughness reminiscent of an armadillo or other thick-skinned creature, so they didn’t really do me any damage, but most people probably would’ve been in the hospital from what they dished out. After it was over, I was handcuffed, thrown in the back of a squad car, and transported to juvie.
SCJDF wouldn’t be my first choice of detention centers. It looks like it hasn’t been redecorated since 1982, it’s cold as hell, and most of the fluorescent lights are constantly buzzing, randomly flickering, burnt out, or a combination of all three. The staff aren’t exactly peppy, and I had to wait for hours in the holding area with no shoes while they processed my paperwork. I figured I’d be out right away once they got ahold of my mom, but her phone was off. I explained to the receptionist-type lady that she needed to call the Big Rock Casino and get ahold of the slots pit boss Emilio, but she refused. The end result was that I had to spend a night at SCJDF in a cramped dormitory on a wobbly bunk bed above a kid named Mario who had a tattoo of a flaming demon on his forearm and wouldn’t shut up about all the things he’d shoplifted (a pair of Nike Dunks, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, an iguana [?], a 14-karat gold heart necklace from Zales for his main squeeze Stefani, and so on.)
Dinner consisted primarily of rancid string cheese, and breakfast was awful, lumpy, lukewarm, watered-down oatmeal and a box of old raisins. I puked most of it up halfway through, so it didn’t do any permanent damage to my system. When my mom finally came and we were going out to the car, one of the elevators in the parking garage was broken, so we had to walk up the stairs—the facilities management there is just plain sloppy. Also, the parking spots are really narrow and my mom’s car got a ding from an adjacent Escalade, though, granted, that is a pretty wide car. In conclusion, I don’t recommend SCJDF to anyone except Lardballs, Skunk, and my chemistry teacher Mr. Hotstetler—if any of you guys are reading this, you can go screw yourselves.
Ian Edwards is a writer living near San Francisco. He tweets at @ian_edw.