WICHITA — Car shopping can be a frustrating experience, but it’s generally not so bad that the police are called.
That’s what happened recently to Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, though.
It’s a reluctant Brewer who discusses the incident, which happened at Parks Motors in Augusta recently.
“It’s already embarrassing enough for this company,” Brewer says. “They have just apologized and apologized and apologized.”
The mayor has been looking for a new car since his Dodge Magnum was totaled in a recent storm. On the night of June 20, Brewer says he was shopping at some Wichita dealerships when he decided to drive to Parks Motors where he was scheduled to do a ribbon cutting a couple of days later.
Brewer, who was dressed in casual clothes and not his traditional work suit, snapped pictures of cars on the lot so he could then go home and check them out online. It was about 11 p.m.
As he was leaving, Brewer saw someone in a pickup truck at the other end of the lot. That person, who was associated with the dealership, had already seen him and made a call.
“Next thing I know … I see the lights and the sheriff’s officer’s there,” Brewer says. A second deputy then arrived in another vehicle, he says.
A deputy asked for his identification.
“She told me that I looked familiar … and she asked me about where did I work,” Brewer says. “I told her for the city of Wichita.”
The deputy continued to press him about his employment. Brewer says he was reluctant to say.
“I wasn’t there as the mayor,” he says. Brewer says, though, he “finally just went ahead and told her.”
He says the deputy then remembered she’d heard him speak at a diversity panel for one of her Wichita State University classes.
“It was funny to me,” Brewer says. “I wasn’t too concerned about it.”