"I resisted the parental instinct to speed," he says. At the corner of Lockwood and Elm avenues in Webster Groves, however, he found that the right lane, in which he'd been traveling, became right-turn-only. He needed to proceed straight ahead, and did. A motorcycle cop promptly pulled him over.

"'What you did was very dangerous. We have a lot of accidents here,'" Dunker says the officer told him. "'You could have just turned right, gone up a few blocks, turned left and avoided this whole thing.'"

When Dunker explained his medical emergency, he says, the officer seemed unimpressed — even after the baby expelled another blood-flecked bellyful into her lap.

Dan Zettwoch
A Picture's Worth... 

This picture's worth nine words.
A Picture's Worth...
This picture's worth nine words.

"I'm disrobing her and scooping handfuls of vomit out of her lap and car seat and she's crying, and I see him out of the corner of my eye with his clipboard and pen ready," says Dunker. "I turn around — hands covered in vomit — and say, 'Where do I sign?'"

The officer took the liberty of signing for him. The damage: a $124.50 fine for "improper lane use."

Lieutenant Stephen Spear, the Webster Groves PD's public-relations officer, declined to divulge the officer's name and tells Unreal the department does not comment on pending cases.

Dunker says his daughter will be fine — the doctor diagnosed the probable cause as a nosebleed. "Instead of the blood coming out of her nose, she just kept swallowing it, which can make you sick," Dunker explains.

"I thought it was strange that he didn't just let me off with a warning," he concludes. "My daughter said I was put in a 'time-out.'"

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