Social Justice

Rob Thomas - My Story

Part Three

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I went to Asheville Middle from sixth to eighth grade. I was a quiet, shy kid who had straight A's, so middle school wasn't all that eventful for me. I got in a couple fights because I've always been the smallest kid, and my parents taught me to make an example quickly out of somebody. I was in, I want to say AVID. Maybe it was called AVID. That's the advanced classes of middle school. But yeah, I was a shy, quiet kid that was usually in classrooms that had mostly white people in them because of my grades, and I was also probably alone because white kids didn't necessarily accept me. I did have white friends. All of myfriends at that age were white. All of them were wealthy. I remember going to their houses and spending the night and stuff. I was growing up in a crack house. We had roaches and all kinds of stuff going on there at Annandale.

Then I went to Asheville High from ninth and then tenth grade, but I didn't graduate. I dropped out, got my GED in tenth grade because over that summer I caught armed robbery charges and I knew that I was going to have to do at least two years, but I ended up getting five.  When I got to high school, I sold drugs over the summer and I had a car. I was also selling weed then, so I would go to school and probably make $300 a day selling weed at school. I kept it up until I went to jail and got back out because I knew I wasn't going to be able to graduate, so I no longer cared about my grades. So I was pretty much there to have fun for those few months before I dropped out. But up until then, yeah, I had straight A’s.

My best friend Teddy and I went down to Charlotte. He had family down there, was going down there for a party, have fun, and to sell weed. I went down there before and realized that their weed was trash compared to ours. So I took a couple ounces of weed, bagged it up, and was planning to sell weed and rob people going down there. His cousin was going to turn us on to a whole lot of people that we could rob. And he did and we did and also robbed everybody we ran into on the way down there. Yep. I ended up getting real drunk off of Wild Irish Rose and Smirnoff and I'm 16 – and that's why I don't like alcohol now.

We had robbed a woman at gunpoint at the Eastland Mall, which no longer even exists down there, and I was drunk. It was just random. She was going back to her car and I don't think I got out the car, stuck the gun out, robbed her. We pulled off and went back to the party, got drunk, and I remember Colton was wanting to drop his cousin off. I was too drunk to drive at this point and it was my car. It was an '83 Cadillac sedan, DeVille, 22-inch rims on it, tinted windows.  I got it for $1,000, really good, really great price. You can't even buy a car for a thousand dollars now. Like I said, I got drunk and my co-defendant wanted to drive his cousin back home, so he went back to the scene of the crime hours later and they arrested us. They got behind us and it wasn't nighttime yet. It's the middle of summer so it was probably seven or eight o’clock. And he wakes me up like, "Hey, the police are behind us." I'm like, "What?" I'm still drunk at this point. I know he’s got no license.This is my car. And it's got the big front seat, one big long seat in the front. He and I switched seats because I knew he didn't have a license and now I'm driving, trying to get away from the police. That was pointless. So I ended up just pulling over because the speed limit only went up to 90 in those things. Police cars could definitely go faster than that, so I was not leaving them in this big boat of a car.

So I ended up pulling over and they get out, put the guns on me, and call me all types of racist slurs and had me in the back of their police car, I don't know how long, with all the windows rolled up. It's the middle of summer, high 90s, and I remember I got so hot in there that I passed out again. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I passed out and I woke up. I threw up everywhere in the police car. He called me all types of monkeys and n_______and told me I was going to clean it up and all this crazy stuff. Then they finally get done and they're taking me and my co-defendant in the same back seat of this car that I threw up in and the officer was like, "Yeah, if y'all got anything else on you, you might as well just give it to me because once I take you to booking, they're going to strip search it and they're going to find it." And they found the gun and I looked at my co-defendant and he looked at me was like, "They going to find it anyway. Here." I gave him the rest of my weed and cigars and we had so much stuff on us, handed him all this stuff. And he takes it. We don't get charged, of course. Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he smoked some of the weed because when I was in booking, he came back in, his eyes were low and red and now he's leaned on the counter, talking to this female magistrate or whatever her position was inside the detention center. This man went and got high off of our stuff, man. It's crazy.