Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


Like taking candy from a baby

WEST ALAMO PLACE — On the evening of Nov. 8, little Missy and little Sissy were playing with their beach ball when it took a mischeivous bounce and landed in Mr. Crabtree’s yard. Knowing Mr. Crabtree to be a yeller, the girls were at a loss, desperate to get their beach ball back, but not daring to go after it. Even as they fidgeted at the property line in an agony of indecision, Mr. Crabtree came outside, grabbed the beach ball, and triumphantly took it into his house. Missy and Sissy tearfully ran and told their mom, Chrissy, who phoned JCSO and asked if somebody could come out and liberate her daughters’ beach ball. A deputy contacted Mr. Crabtree, who unapologetically told officers that he’d sternly informed Chrissy that her girls were not to venture onto his property under any circumstances, and that any toys that crossed his property line would be considered his. He further volunteered his personal disapproval of Chrissy’s “life choices” and rounded out his testimony by asserting his legal opinion that, as he was on a first-name basis with Chrissy’s landlord, the trespassing prohibition was purely one way and he could foray into Chrissy’s yard at will. Displaying admirable restraint, the officer patiently explained to both Chrissy and Mr. Crabtree that accepted rules of polite society demanded they co-exist without yelling, name-calling and ball-stealing, and that such transgressions could potentially put one, or both, in the dock on harassment charges. Mr. Crabtree gave Missy and Sissy their beach ball back. Chrissy said she’d try to keep the girls and their gear on home ground.



WEST COAL MINE AVENUE — The middle school principal summoned deputies on the afternoon of Nov. 6 to investigate an alleged drug dealer among the student body. According to the principal’s statement, the administration had received an anonymous tip that a certain student had been growing marijuana at home and peddling it about the school. The principal allowed that the accused trafficker was a good student with no blemishes on his record, and that a thorough search of the accused boy’s locker and belongings turned up nothing suspicious. For her part, the boy’s mother said she would definitely notice if her son was cultivating pot around the house, which he wasn’t, and that she’d have no compunction about having him tested if she had the even slightest reason to believe he was involved with drugs in any way, shape or form, which he also wasn’t. In his own defense, the lad said a couple of classmates have taken an irrational disliking to him, and he thought it probable they’d lodged the accusation just to ruin his day. The officers thought that as likely an explanation as any, and closed the case with a notation that they deemed the accusation an intentional “abuse of the system.”


Shrimps scamp-y

WEST BOWLES PLACE — According to Arnold P., he’d heard a loud crash in the parking lot on the afternoon of Nov. 6, and had run outside to discover that two small neighborhood scamps had driven Ernie L.’s golf cart into the back of his parked car, leaving a substantial divot. Contacted by deputies, Ernie said that, yes, he’d seen the two scamps back his golf cart into Arnold’s vehicle, but they’d run away before he could castigate them. Fortunately, they lived in the complex and were easily tracked down by officers. Little Miss Scamp swore that Ernie had given her and her little playmate permission to drive the cart, that they get to drive it all the time, in fact, but when she threw it into gear the cart had mysteriously lurched out of control and rammed Mr. P’s car, and it was all oh-so-scary and terrible, and they’d immediately panicked and run home to hide under their beds, and now they were both very, very sorry, OK? Little Mr. Scamp told pretty much the same story, but added that Ernie had actually been physically operating the golf cart’s brakes during the calamity in question, and that he’d abandoned ship just an instant before impact, leaping to safety while they careened to their doom. Deputies carried that testimony back to Ernie, who flatly denied any involvement, saying he not only doesn’t let children drive his cart, he won’t even let them sit in it. Since whatever happened had been an accident, plain and simple, criminal mischief statutes did not apply. A philosopher at heart, Arnold said little mishaps are just par for life’s course, and he’ll drop the matter just as soon as somebody pays to fix his car.