Dream of: 27 December 2001 "Blackmail"

In a park in Hurst, Texas, I was contemplating committing a minor infraction by breaking an ordinance of the park – nothing terrible – just an insignificant park ordinance, when a man representing himself to be a Hurst policeman, who knew of my intention, stepped up to me and began threatening me. Worried, I tried to decide what to do. In the course of his conversation with me, he demanded I pay him $200. A second fellow walked up, and both of them began threatening me. When I noticed the words "Channel 5" on the clothing of the second man, I immediately suspected that I was the target of a scam, that these men weren't police officers at all, and that they were simply trying to extort money from me. I demanded they show me some identification. One pulled out something, but it wasn't identification of a police officer.

I quickly concluded that they weren't police officers, but were employees of Channel 5 News, and that they had invented the whole story of their being police officers. Convinced I was correct, I began thoroughly questioning them, and finally I even grabbed one of them and informed him that they were dealing with the wrong person, that I was a licensed attorney, and that I wouldn't tolerate this kind of treatment. To prove who I was, I pulled out my billfold and began searching for my gold Texas bar card. I held onto the man with one hand, and began searching through my wallet with the other hand. I couldn't find the card at first, but after more effort, I finally found it. I showed the card to the fellow and pointed out that I was a member of the state bar.

I finally let the fellow loose. Lying on a stand next to me was an envelope addressed to Channel 5, to someone named David with a last name beginning with the letters "Oup…." Next to the envelope was also a bank statement which belonged to this David. Obviously, this envelope belonged to one of the two fellows who had accosted me, and just as obviously – I had been correct – they were rogue employees of the local Channel 5 television station. I began writing down the name and address.

As I turned back to the men, I decided I was going to teach them a lesson; I was going to beat them at their own game. I looked at one of the men, and calling him "Dave," I announced that I knew who they were and what they were doing. I told them they must pay me $500. I told them to meet me back here in the park in two or three hours; if they didn't give me the $500 I would tell Channel 5 what they had done. I would also go to other television news stations and report them. I then would turn them into the police. I thought they should each be able to come up with $250 apiece. I had already seen the one fellow's bank account, which had $600 in it.

Triumphant, I turned and walked away from them. Some other people had earlier been in the park with me, and I was thinking about telling them what I had done. But—suddenly – like lightening, I realized what I had just done: I had committed all the elements of blackmail! With my actions I had just committed a criminal act, a felony! I had made a terrible mistake. I could be convicted of the crime and I could actually be disbarred from the practice of law. Stunned, I abandoned all thought of obtaining any money from the two; my only concern now was to make sure my action wasn't uncovered. At least the two men hadn't had a tape recorder. So I would probably remain undetected. Should I just return to the two men and tell them to forget the whole thing? Could I recant the blackmail? I was unsure. But I was certain I wouldn't accept any money if they tried to give it to me.

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