What I Did Last Summer

“I had just seen the Muslims and Wild Weekend at the Belly Up,” says Embalmers singer-guitarist Gordo about a night in late July. “I stopped at a few more bars. I got pulled over on Encinitas Boulevard. I passed the field sobriety test, but then they told me I had to take a breath test. I denied them.

“They put me in handcuffs and put me in the cop car. We verbally abused each other on the way to the sheriff’s substation [in Encinitas]. I was calling them ‘pigs,’ and they were calling me ‘beaner.’ Unknown to them was I had pulled my hands under my legs and used the metal part of my belt buckle to pick the lock on my handcuffs. When we got there, I put my hands back behind my back and pretended I was still in cuffs.…

“I pushed both cops off me.… They all tried to tackle me, and they fell over each other like the Three Stooges. I took off running. I wrapped my hand over a shirt and just climbed over the barbed-wire fence. I was chased by the entire Encinitas sheriff department, their dogs, and a helicopter. I hid in the bushes behind Longs for four hours. I heard sirens and cops’ voices everywhere. Eventually I made my way through the back streets of Encinitas toward the beach. I found a little girl’s pink bike that had a flat back tire. I rode it to the cliffs of Swami’s.

“I was making my way down the cliffs. I thought I was almost at the bottom, so I jumped. I fell about 100 feet and knocked myself out. All I remember is two women joggers waking me up in the morning. One said, ‘Marge, I think he’s dead.’ They insisted they call an ambulance, but I denied it. I walked on the beach to Terramar Point [in Carlsbad]. I saw a friend surfing who gave me a ride home.”

Because the deputies had Gordo’s cell phone, they were able to find out info on his family.

“They looked up my brother’s home address. They had undercover marshals staking out his house. My brother came to pick me up so I could turn myself in. Twelve agents rushed me as I walked outside my house.…

“I was initially charged with escape and making a terrorist threat and causing bodily harm to multiple police officers, which carried 6 to 12 years in prison.”

After pleading guilty to a felony terrorist threat to a police officer and DUI, Gordo got 180 days at three different county jails.

“I passed the time by shadowboxing and composing songs in my head. Not comparing myself to them, but I drew inspiration from other musicians, like Tupac and Merle Haggard, who also did time. No disrespect to Johnny Cash, but he only did two days.…

“I did the crime and I served the time. I will always live my life wild and free. A little county time is not going to break my spirit, and neither is being harassed by the man.”

The Embalmers appear January 24 at the Ken Club.

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