I then pull up. The agent does the normal chatter (which I thought he was good at) of "Whose car is this, where are you going, where are you from, How do you know each other? etc. He then basically repeated the same questions very fast in a different order to see if I was lying."
He then scans our passports and says "I'm going to need you to step outside the car." I do and he then says, "Step to the back and put your hands on the vehicle."
At this piont I wasn't too nervous because the name Robert Johnson is a name on the no fly list and every time I check in at an airport I have to see an agent and it takes 5-10 minutes. So I'm kind of used to weird stuff plus since the guy ahead of me had been patted down, I thought maybe everyone in that line was getting higher scrutiny.
I started to get nervous though when he got agitated and raised his voice and told me I didn't have my legs wide enough and asked what I had in my pants.
I told him my wallet.
He then started speaking into his little walkie-talkie thing near his shoulder and repeated, "Alpha-Delta, I repeat Alpha Delta."
Next thing I know I look up and there are like 9-10 agents in a semi-circle around me with their hands near their holsters in case I did anything wacky.
I stayed very calm and he led me and my girlfriend inside where within 10 minutes they call me up and say, "You are free to go sir. There is a Robert E Johnson with the same birth date as me (my name is Robert C Johnson) who has a ton of warrants out there and is considered to be armed and dangerous. We were just doing our job."
Alpha-Delta stands for armed and dangerous apparently.
The whole situation was a bit traumatic and I spent the drive home thinking how much worse it could have ended up. What if I'd been belligerent back to the guy and told him I hadn't done anything, how would he have reacted?
So here are my questions. I figure there have to be some law enforcement people on here.
1) How often does something like this happen where they have an Alpha-Delta situation? Once an hour, once a week, once a month?
2) How often does the situation turn out to be a false alarm? If it's all the time, then I don't think I'm close to getting shot or roughed up but if it's rare, then I'm sure the officers were nervous as hell.
3) Does anyone know what the standard human reaction to this type of situation is? I'm not sure most people would have remained totally calm like me. Truth be told, if my girlfriend hadn't been there and I'd been alone, I think I might have been more belligerent back and that scared me as I wondered if I'd end up shot or something by mistake.
4) Why would they pull me out of the car in the first place just because of the birth date coincidence? I mean they had my passport and knew it belonged to Robert C Johnson. Would a criminal of the name Robert E Johnson be likely to steal Robert C Johnson's passport for some reason? If not, then I don't see why they pulled me out of the car in the first place.