"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ripped from the headlines!

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories. (blink BLINK!)

Yes friends, it's time for the TRUE CRIME DRAMA of Law and Disorder in the House!

Like most small-town newspapers, our local rag publishes a daily police blotter. Wars, corporate scandal, political intrigue, and other big-time news may be happening elsewhere in the world, but these are the events that occupy the attention of law enforcement personnel and other concerned citizens here at home. Keep in mind that this is not a tiny village I live in, but a medium-size city of approximately 40,000 people. Therefore, it's often truly mind-boggling to read what prompts someone to call the authorities -- as the following items culled verbatim from several days worth of actual police logs will attest. Note: names and addresses have been removed to protect the "innocent" (ha!), and my snarky comments (because, after all, what would this blog be without them?) are in red italics.

• Public intoxication. Officers observed a staggering man enter a local convenience store and attempt to buy beer. The man performed a field sobriety test for officers and was found to be intoxicated. (Note to self: don't stagger into store to buy beer while stupid-ass drunk.)

• Credit card abuse. A woman reported that someone charged items to her credit card without her permission.

• Theft, XXXX Funeral Home. Someone cut the ropes to both flag poles and stole the American and Texas flags.

• Theft of a firearm. A known person removed a firearm from the complainant's home and sold it.

• Public intoxication, criminal trespass. A woman reported that a known person was seen on her property after previously receiving a criminal trespass warning. (Huh?)

• Assault/family violence. A woman reported that her common-law husband pushed her in an offensive manner. (Is there an "inoffensive" manner to be pushed?)

• Assault. Officers were dispatched in reference to an assault, but the woman did not wish to file charges.

• Theft, XXXX's Store. Someone drove off without paying for gas.

• Breach of computer security. A man reported that someone was trying to gain access to his computer via the Internet. (The Internet! Shocking!)

• Telephone harassment warning. A woman reported that her former mother-in-law was calling and harassing her. Officers issued a warning to the mother-in-law, but she contacted the victim 15 minutes later. A warrant was requested. (Damn those pesky mothers-in-law!)

• Criminal mischief. Unknown persons smashed two mailboxes Thursday night.

• Criminal mischief. Unknown persons keyed the complainant's car while she was in the mall.

• Possession of marijuana. Officers contacted a couple in a parking lot who were arguing and the male had outstanding warrants. Upon arrest he was also found to have marijuana in his pocket. (Reminder to self: don't argue in public with someone while carrying a pocket full of dope.)

• Identity theft. Unknown persons used the victim's drivers license, on several occasions, to cash personal checks that were also the victim's.

• Assault. A man forcibly removed his sister from his apartment and she alleged that he threw her out. An arrest was made. (Say wha?)

• Public intoxication, XXXX Club. Officers were dispatched in reference to a disturbance at the club. Upon arrival, officers arrested four intoxicated individuals in the parking lot.

• Identity theft. A woman's bank account had been used to access pornography on the Internet. (Damn that Internet ... again!)

• Theft of service. The complainant offered personal credit card information to a company claiming to be based in Arizona, which promised that the complainant could "make money fast." The complainant has not received any money. (The e-mail no doubt came from Nigeria.)

• Harassment by phone. A woman received several unwanted calls from an unknown person. (Yes ma'am. We should have no trouble nailing that one down.)

• Recovered property. A man found a safe in a wooded area off of the road.

• Theft, Public Library. The complainant said he left his cell phone unattended near the library, and when he returned his phone was missing. There are no suspects.

• Telephone harassment. An unknown person called the complainant from a pay phone and made obscene remarks. There are no suspects. (How did they know it was a pay phone?)

• Dog bite. A woman reported that she had been bitten by her friend's dog.

• Dog bite. A man was bit in the face by a dog at his friend's house. (Same dog, maybe?)

• Assault (threat). A woman said that her boyfriend was intoxicated and he threatened to knock her teeth out. (Awwww...a lover's quarrel - how sweet.)

• Public intoxication, Club XXXX. An intoxicated male was seen attempting to leave in his vehicle.

• Disturbance, (same club). A patron and a bartender had a physical altercation. (Note to self: DON'T GO TO THAT CLUB!)

• Found property, McDonald's Restaurant. A homeless man found a checkbook with a signed blank check in the parking lot.

• Criminal trespass and interfering with an emergency call. A man forced his way into his girlfriend's house after being warned that he was not allowed. He then prevented her from calling 911, according to the report.

• Theft, XXXX Grocery Store. The suspect took items from the store and ate them in the bathroom, according to the report. (Sheesh. How hungry and broke have you gotta be to...oh, wait, it must have been a college student.)

• Criminal mischief, XXXX University. Vehicles in the parking lot were shot with paintballs. There are no suspects.

• Theft, XXXX University. An All Permit Parking sign was found in a dorm room. (Campus criminals run amok!)

• Harassment, XXXX University. A woman had received unwanted e-mails. (Damn that cursed spam!)

and finally, my favorite:

• Driving while intoxicated, Jack-in-the-Box Restaurant. The suspect was found asleep in his vehicle with engine running at the drive-through. The suspect was intoxicated, according to the report. ("You want fries with that? Sir? Hello?")

Gah! It should be clear by now that I am doomed to live in a dangerous, crime-infested cesspool. Quick, someone call Jack McCoy! (blink BLINK!)

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