But then whaaaaaa? To our surprise, just a few minutes later two Barstow police officers arrived on the scene. They took the 'victim' outside, and when they came back into the taqueria, walked straight up to us. "What seems to be going on here boys?" We were amazed. They actually seemed to be taking this seriously. Couldn't understand why, but told them what we knew (in between bites), which was that guy was yelling about somebody stealing something from him. That was pretty much the whole story. "Okay boys, that's fine. We're going to need to see some identification". Confused, Rob and I look at each other. Us? What? Wait a second, what's going on here? Why? "Standard procedure". They assured us that we were not suspected of stealing anything, but insisted that they needed to see identification "for their report".
We told the officers, respectfully, that we did not wish to identify ourselves, asserting our rights to privacy. But they seemed to take our refusal to identify ourselves as some kind of challenge to their authority and things escalated quickly from there. They told us, repeatedly, that we did not have the right to refuse to identify ourselves. But feeling pretty confident that we were completely within our rights, we held our ground. We asked them several times if we were being detained, or if we were free to leave. They refused to answer us, saying only that they were conducting an investigation, and that we had to identify ourselves. So we sat there with those police officers hovering over us, making it physically impossible for us to stand up and leave. Was allowed to go get some more salsa, which was not great, but better-than-barstow good. Finally, when we were about halfway through our burritos, the officers threatened to arrest us if we did not identify ourselves. That's when I asked to speak to their shift supervisor. While we were waiting for their overlord to arrive, Rob and I talked about how things were going (not well) and the possibility that we might actually end up in jail over this. Un-fucking-believable. Told him that I was inclined to stand firm, but that if he'd rather indulge them and avoid the hassle, I'd go along with that.