"You saved my life that night."
Sept. 23, 2021
From left: Trooper Keenan Jones; Jake Bosacker’s mug shot from the night of his DWI; Jake, now sober, at his wedding earlier this year.
In the summer of 2017, 21-year-old Jake Bosacker made a promise to himself: No more drinking. He would move home to Minnesota from his college in Texas. Take a semester off. Move back in with his parents and get a job. Sober up. And maybe, finally, follow that lifelong dream of becoming a sworn law enforcement officer.
But his first night back, there was Jake, at the bar with his buddies, and it didn't get any better from there. Until, early in the morning on Sept. 9, 2017, State Trooper Keenan Jones pulled him over for a DWI. “I guess I was trying to make it home, but I was actually going the opposite direction," recalls Jake. “I rolled down the window, and I was covered in blood, because I had a nosebleed. I know some Fireball was found in the back."
That night was no picnic for Trooper Jones, either. In fact, he very briefly considered letting someone else take the call. “I had arrested two more impaired drivers that night. For a second there, I was like, 'I'm tired, I don't want to go out, I don't want to get one more, I don't want to do this paperwork'," Jones remembers. “Because usually that time in the shift, that one more is the most trouble. People aren't happy, there are fights…but it wasn't in me to let it go. So out of good faith, I had to go investigate."
What happened next changed Jake's life forever and still sticks in Trooper Jones' memory. There was something “totally different" about Jake, he remembers. Jones often meets people on the road who don't learn their lesson. But Jake was “a breath of fresh air." He acknowledged that something needed to change and didn't blame Jones for his situation.
But Jake was convinced this was the end of his law enforcement dream. He completely broke down in the back of Jones' squad car. “I remember feeling like all hope was lost," says Jake. “What's the point of living if I can't do what I feel I was called to do?"
Jones could have reacted in many different ways. He could have lectured Jake. He could have ignored his tears. Instead, says Jake – speaking to Jones for the first time since that awful night – “You comforted me, telling me my life was not over, my career was not over."
Jones stands by his words, even four years later: “Speaking to you in my squad car, it was a pretty emotional time, but there's never an end to a dream that you have. I felt that you were a good person with a good heart." He believes that if Jake chooses a career in law enforcement, this experience will be an asset. “You've been on the other side. You know what it looks like. You just gotta work hard and fight to get back in there. You have experience way beyond me who's arrested hundreds of drunks — you've been through that entire process."
Watching the two men talk, it's obvious they're both heartened by this conversation. Troopers don't often get to learn what happens after their contact with people, but that doesn't stop them from wondering. “He's the one who wanted to be a cop. I wonder how that's going," thought Jones when he learned Jake wanted to get in touch. “And now four years later you reaching out to me to express gratitude – that's never happened to me in my career. I don't think you understand how much I appreciate it."
The last four years have been a long, eventful road for Jake, filled with outpatient and inpatient recovery, finishing his college degree, marrying the woman he loves, and most importantly, sobriety – “with help from God," Jake adds. But he still sees Jones as the Minnesota State Trooper who gave him both the reality check and the encouragement he needed to turn his life around. The dream he pursues has become a bit more focused: He wants to work with Jones in the Minnesota State Patrol. Thanking him was a no-brainer.
“You saved my life that night, and probably somebody else's. If anything can come from our story together, maybe someone else's life can be saved, too."