Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


From the ‘man-bites-dog’ file

MARSTON LAKE – Princess was furious. That very morning, she told deputies, her next-door neighbor, Duke, beat up her dog, Prince. Noting that Princess had clearly been tipping the royal snifter, officers asked if she’d actually witnessed Duke manhandling her mutt. No, she admitted, but she and Duke have been at each other’s throats for years about Prince invading Duke’s yard through the gaping holes in Princess’s fence, and this morning after taking a refreshing dip in Duke’s backyard swimming pool, the dog had returned home “unusually calm and quiet.” Examining the animal more closely, Princess had become convinced that Prince was favoring his right rear leg and deduced he’d been done the dirt by Duke. After giving Prince their own once over and finding no sign or symptom of either mental or physical distress, officers explained that they couldn’t rightly proceed on the complaint without a veterinarian’s statement affirming that the creature had been kicked, clapped or cudgeled. That didn’t sit well with Princess, who said she’d see what she could do about obtaining veterinary confirmation, but wanted the officers to go next door and lean on Duke in the meantime. Deputies dutifully asked Duke if he’d pounded Princess’s pup, and he categorically denied the charge, referring them to his daughter, Contessa, who’d seen the whole thing. After sniffing around the pool for a few minutes, Contessa recalled, Prince had contrived to fall in, then casually climbed back out, shook himself all over the patio furniture and barbecue grill, and casually moseyed back through the fence to Princess’s yard a bit damp, but otherwise unharmed. For what it’s worth, Duke added, he was having his own fence installed before the end of summer, which should help cool tensions between their houses. That was good enough for the deputies, who shelved the case pending Princess producing pet-punching proof-positive.


A lesser-known hazard of smoking

SOUTH SIMMS STREET – Patrolling in the small hours of July 11, the deputy might have never given the silver sedan a second thought if the driver hadn’t thrown his lit cigarette butt out the window. As it was, the officer couldn’t very well give the litterbug a pass and pulled him over near West Brandt Place. The driver explained that he’d had no choice but to throw the butt out the window because the silver sedan has no ash tray. The deputy explained that he had no choice but to cite the driver for throwing burning material from a vehicle. And because the driver was under a restraining order stipulating that he “shall not commit any new criminal offenses,” the officer further had no choice but to haul him away to Golden in handcuffs and have the silver sedan towed to the impound lot.


Cone zone

MOUNT HOLY CROSS – The toilet paper hanging from her bushes didn’t bother her so much, she told deputies on the morning of July 9. It was the cones she couldn’t abide. Specifically, the 11 bright orange traffic cones somebody had lined up on the sidewalk in front of her house, and the 12th one they’d perched atop the basketball hoop hung on the side of the garage. She didn’t want to raise a stink, she said. She just wanted somebody to get rid of all those accursed cones. Deputies called the cones’ rightful owner – a paving company in Henderson, Colo. – and the nice woman on the phone said she wasn’t in a stink-raising mood either and would send someone right over to pick them up.


Tempest in a different kind of pot

WEST ROXBURY AVENUE – The caller sounded genuinely alarmed. It was about 3 a.m. on July 10, and he’d just heard an unholy racket that shattered the night. As far as he could tell, he told JCSO dispatch, somebody had just fired up the backhoe parked at a construction site near his house and was rampaging all about the property, destroying everything in its path. Deputies raced to the scene and quickly located the suspect backhoe sitting quietly empty, its bucket still, its doors locked, its engine cold -- the very picture of idleness and innocence. Nearby, they observed a portable toilet that appeared to have been very recently pushed over onto its side by an agency not immediately apparent. Assessing the situation as more gross than grave, officers stood down.