Crimebusting cheerleaders bust hit-and-run perp
American justice - the musical
We Reg hacks from this side of the Pond have often wondered what earthly purpose cheerleaders serve, except when they appear in Playboy specials without so much as a conveniently-placed pom-pom to cover their modesty.
This, it is now clear, is a gross injustice to the cheerleading community who are in the very front line of the US war against serious, although not necessarily organised, crime.
No, we're not talking blondes in ra-ra skirts dispensing summary justice via the barrel of a gun, but rather blondes in ra-ra skirts singing the licence plate of a hit-and-run driver thereby allowing law enforcement officials to track, subdue and cage* the perpetrator of a Michigan traffic outrage.
The facts are, according to CNN, as follows: members of the Lincoln High School varsity cheerleading squad in Ypsilanti were on a jolly to a Universal Cheerleaders Association's camp in neighbouring Ann Arbor when one of their number witnessed a nasty four-car incident at a red traffic light.
A truck reportedly rammed into the back of a stationary car, which was pushed into another car which was itself rammed into yet another vehicle. The truck driver made good his escape, but not before cheerleaders' coach Patricia Clark had clocked his licence plate.
Clark explained: "I knew I was going to not remember it because there was too much going on. So, when I ran down the street and got the plate number, I yelled to the girls: 'Remember this!"'
Quick as a flash, the musical vigilante squad turned its considerable skills to the matter, as senior captain Kimmie Ostrowski recounted: "The coach just said it and we were saying it over and over, and then it just turned into a big chant since we kept repeating it."
This vital piece of melodic evidence led cops quickly to the unnamed truck driver's home, where he told officers he hadn't stopped because "he didn't think the damage was severe enough", as Lt. Mike Logghe later told the Ann Arbor News.
Mercifully, SWAT teams bearing tasers, dogs and nets were not required on this occasion - the man was not arrested but may face a "misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident".
And there you have it - were it not for roaming bands of crimebusting cheerleaders, the streets of Middle America would be mean indeed. ®
*Yes, yes - we made that bit up. It's a result of watching too much The world's wildest 911 emergency police chase videos - ever, or whatever it's called.