By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Buzz is in Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, mode this week, trying to get to the bottom of several mysteries: Who was the driver of the car that fled from the scene of a traffic accident involving Ricardo Medrano, brother of District 2 city council candidate Pauline Medrano? Why was political gadfly Avi Adelman, a paid worker for Medrano's District 2 opponent, Monica Barros-Greene, seen lurking about the scene of the accident not long before it occurred? And finally, the biggest mystery of all, why does anyone want to be one of 15 knob-heads on the council so badly that they would get all breathless about any of this crapola?
Beats us, but here's the story:
Adelman says that last Thursday he drove over to the 2300 block of Douglas Avenue to take some pictures of the house listed as Pauline Medrano's address on her voter registration. He wanted some new snaps to post on his www.barkingdogs.org political Web site and to see if anyone actually lived there. Medrano's mother and son saw him--he drives a truck with a license plate that reads "THE DOG"--and wandered out of the house to see what was up with this Anglo guy with the camera. Adelman gets in his truck and leaves, he says, followed a short way behind by the kid. Some time later, Ricardo Medrano is returning to the house when someone in a small, light-colored car backs out of an alley on a nearby street, hitting Medrano's car and cracking his windshield. The anonymous driver flees but is followed by a passing motorist, who gets a license plate number, which is not "THE DOG," "POOCH," "ROVER" or any other canine-related vanity plate, far as we could tell.
Was it all a coincidence? Listen, when you have an ugly political pie fight going on, there are no coincidences. The bullshit machines get cranking. E-mails and phone calls begin to flow into reporters' offices. Political espionage! High-speed car chases! Avi was driving the mystery car! Smells like news...or at least it smells like something.
"I go home," Adelman says. "I wake up, and all hell's breaking loose."
For the record, Adelman says he doesn't own a light-colored car, though he wishes he did, for his kid. His daughter's 13 and isn't looking forward to driving his old truck. The license plate on the fleeing car was registered to a rental car company in Irving, police told Ricardo Medrano.
Never mind that: Anna Casey, a spokeswoman for the Medrano capaign, says that family members at the Medrano house saw the driver of the white car, and it looked like the guy who was driving Adelman's truck earlier--i.e., Adelman. Unfortunately, Ricardo Medrano isn't one of those witnesses. "I don't want to speculate or accuse anybody of anything," Medrano told Buzz. "I don't think I've ever seen [Adelman]."
Medrano says he's been told that the story of the mysterious hit-and-run has been posted on Internet sites, but he hasn't seen it either. He's been too busy with the campaign, and frankly, Buzz gathers, he doesn't care that much. Medrano just thinks it was wrong for whoever was driving that car to split, leaving him a bill for car repairs.
"My whole thing is, I just want my windshield fixed," Medrano says.
Too bad he's not running for office. He's the kind of candidate even Buzz could get behind.