The Encounter With The Bexar County Deputy

This incident happened in 1970, shortly before I graduated from High School. I had a “68” Red SS Camaro – 396 with a 4 speed transmission.

Kenny was home on leave from the Army. Our friend Butch was also coming on leave also. He was arriving at the San Antonio Airport. He and Kenny were the same age and had been classmates, but I counted him as a friend as well. I always hung out with Kenny and his friends.

Kenny and I were able to get a lot of catching up done on the trip down and thought we would all three get a lot more done on the return trip.

Butch landed and we gathered all of his belongings. He was sprawled out in the cramped backseat, with me driving and Kenny riding shotgun.

We came out of San Antonio headed north bound up US 281. A short distance out of town around Bulverde, I remember meeting a cop car, but we were going well under the speed limit, so I knew we were all good. But just a few seconds later the cop car was flying up behind us with lights flashing. I was positive we had done nothing wrong so when he got right on my bumper I continued driving, knowing there was a roadside park a very short distance up ahead.

When we got there, we pulled off and he pulled in behind us. The first thing I heard was him racking a shell in the chamber of his shotgun.

“Keep your hands where I can see them and all of you step out.”

I knew we hadn’t done anything. Maybe driving the extra few hundred yard had ticked him off but him holding a shotgun on us seemed a little much.

He had us get around in front of my car. “Get your drivers license out and lay them on the hood” was his instructions. He wasn’t in command like you think he would be. He seemed nervous, to the point of shaking. He was trying to hold the shotgun with one hand and his revolver with the other. It was a Barney Fife moment.

We each took our license out, one at a time and place them on the hood. Kenny was the last to get his out. He flung it towards the hood rather than laying it there. It sailed and hit the ground. I could tell the Deputy was not amused. I asked him to please calm down and don’t shoot us. I then asked for permission to pickup the license. He let me.

We told him why we were where we were. Kenny and Butch could each show him their Military ID’s. That started to turn the tide.

Three boys had escaped from a Juvenile Detention Facility at Gatesville and were believed to be headed to San Antonio to kill with one them intending to kill his parents.

With definite evidence we weren’t them, he went back to his patrol car and we followed.

He showed us the handwritten note he had made of the make, model, color and license plate number of the car they had stolen. While it wasn’t an exact match it was eerily similar. I was easy to see why he has mistaken us for the other boys.

That has been over 50 years ago. For some strange reason I still remember his name was Deputy Bill White. After talking awhile and him realizing we were from Marble Falls he told us his folks lived at Kingsland. He often stopped at the Texaco Station where I had worked previously.

He let us go and we continued on up the highway. I don’t remember what we talked about but I think the rest of the trip took on a different tone than we had originally expected.

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