I just moved into a new apartment in Norwalk, CT. A lovely spot. My apartment building is small and quiet. After two weeks of living here, I had not met any of my neighbors…until today.

Around 3:30 p.m., A young man by the name of Carl knocked on my door and let me know that a branch had fallen atop my car. Now, how did he know which car was mine? And how did he know his new resident’s apartment number when we hadn’t met before? Those are questions for a different day. I personally thanked Carl and I decided I should check it out. In my head I am thinking “Ehh this can’t be too bad. Just a branch. I’ll go take care of it,but when I outside, I was rather surprised.

There was a rather hefty branch on top of my car. Draped over the hood, the windshield and just sitting on top of my roof. It took two hands and multiple efforts to remove from the top of my car. Was I annoyed? Yes. But did I think it was that big of a deal? No, not particularity.

That was until I examined the stump of said branch. I threw on my Sherlock Holmes detective scowl, bent down on my sore knees and looked at this stump. It was smooth. There soft ridge marks…that almost looked like..patterns? I peered to my left, and there was another branch. Granted not as large as the one that fell onto my car…but one that had the same pattern.

My brain began to spin. What happened to my car post 11:30 a.m.-ish when I took out the trash and didn’t see a giant branch on my roof?

I arose from the ground, began to survey the area and I noticed a very peculiar thing. There were a lot of branches. Too many for a windy day. My mind dragged my head to look up. The entire tree above my car was trimmed! There were multiple clean cuts of branches. There were branches that looked like they were ripped by hand. You know that even tear when you cut through it enough with an ax?

My eyes widened. I wanted to turn around to my invisible Watson and be like “Elementary me dear boy.” Okay. Time to see how large this tree cutting mystery is.

I stepped up onto the curb, next to my parked car, lunged around a hedge, and I ventured into the neighboring parking lot. Low and behold, there were downed branches in this pavement environment! The clues were piling out. The puzzle pieces were coming together.

Looking around, I saw from this adjacent parking lot, I noticed that there was a path behind the pine trees that border the back line of my own parking lot. In my head I hypothesizing: “Trees have been trimmed. The branches must go somewhere. I know this from watching my parents do it when I was a child and I’d only run out to help when it came to the part of throwing the sticks.”

Stepping onto the thicket of twigs, I peer past the pines to find an entire pile of brush.

The pile of BRUSH!

Whomever was being reckless with their trimmers piled a pile of green. It was proof there was a job. A job poorly done. All of this makes my assumption that the log that fell upon my car was cut a Stonecold hard fact.

I took the photos. I gathered the evidence. I had my case ready. I’d be lying if I wasn’t picturing shoving this truth into someone’s face once if they denied. It wouldn’t want to have their own “LAWYERED” moment.

I talked with my landlord, and it turns out that the parking spot I was in is the ONLY ONE not fully covered by the camera system in the parking lot. With only a partial view, he could not help me gather more damning evidence. What he did do was advise me to call the police so a report can be on file, so that I did.

I waited by the car, as instructed by the officer on the phone. Standing the chilling air like Jack Nicholson’s J.J. Gittes, I was brooding. Like all good sleuths do. Minding my own business, I hear something emerging from the quiet air. A sound. A buzz. A sound of a buzz saw. I took out my phone and recorded a voice memo.

That high pitched sound is a saw within ear shot. I think I have hit the gold mine!

So the cop arrives and stops upon the steep hill my car is parked. Obeying all social distancing guidelines, I show him what has happened. I explain the large branch on my car, the other cut branches in the surrounding area, and the tree above that’s been hacked. I really thought I was helping the guy out! I’m literally handing him all the clues. Just as I was about to show him the pile of brush that was so hap haphazardly just thrown about the pines and the voice memo of the buzz saw churning within ear shot…well, the cop just turns back to his car.

My inner monologue: “BUT SIR, YOU ARE MISSING THE MOST DAMNING EVIDENCE.” (For the record, I know it is all circumstantial, but indulge me here folks. This is what I resort to in quarantine.)

I begin to try and explain the final things I have to show, but all he does is ask for my license. I have to run inside to my apartment like a dumb-dumb because I didn’t think to bring it out, and when I return he is on his walkie. He asks me to go wait by my car, which I do. He beckons me over, hands me back a licence and a piece of paper. The piece of parchment has the officer’s name, as well as the case number assigned to my predicament. He explains the process from my end…but not what he is going to do.

Now, what do I do here? Do I ask what he is going to do? Do I trust the process? How far is too far in overstepping my bounds? Do I just take this into my own hands like Dirty Harry?

In a truly submissive yet responsible moment, I simply nod and adhere to the rules and steps the officer has outlined. Not worth rocking any boat over this scenario. I am no copper. I don’t have the proper training. All I have is a cinema inspired dream of springing open a massive case of car damage caused by careless tree trimmings.

That is until I went for a run later in the evening. Running along a side street that is very near my own apartment building, I notice something very peculiar. All these homes…they all have their hedges trimmed. There are shavings stranded on the sidewalk. All the hedges were even, parallel and smooth. Almost as if they were done by a professional company…A LANDSCAPING COMPANY.

We have a trail of clues here folks. We have a time frame. We have a theory that makes all to much sense. I have all the pieces for a wonderful piece of IKEA justice, but I do not have the tools to get the job done. Norwalk police. Let’s make this happen. Let me come with you on a ride along so we can solve this disgusting piece of injustice which will result in me having to deal with insurance and mechanic folks. I don’t want my annoyance to go unaccounted for!

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