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SHERIFF'S CALLS

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An offbeat look at area crime

Male pattern boldness
SOUTH OWENS STREET — Her report was refreshingly complete. Leaving her apartment about 6 a.m. Dec. 12, she’d observed a neighbor standing outside the complex’s laundry room. As she watched, he picked up a larged rock, plunged it through the door’s double-paned inset window, reached through the gaping hole he’d just created and unlocked the door. He then entered the laundry room, calmly retrieved his mail from the bank of post boxes therein, and serenely strolled back to his unit, only to emerge a short while later with a broom and dustpan with which he casually expunged the evidence of his crime. She further pointed out the man’s apartment, and officers were momentarily knocking on his door in search of answers. His answers were “I broke the window” and “Here’s why.” According to his statement, after initially entering the laundry room that morning, he’d left his keys hanging from his mailbox lock and stepped outside, at which point the door closed and locked behind him. With all of his keys — car keys, apartment key, etc. — trapped inside the laundry room, and the complex management office not yet staffed, he’d taken what he considered the only reasonable course. “I am going to pay for it,” he added, meaning the window, not the misdemeanor. After conferring with property management later in the day, the officer informed him that no charges would be filed and the window’s replacement cost would be added to his rent.

No flag on the play
WEST PROGRESS AVENUE — On the night of Dec. 12, deputies were summoned to referee a family dispute. Dad and Daughter had been arguing. Pushed back to her own 20 with the clock running out on a fourth down and fresh out of time-outs, Daughter attempted a bold “Hail Mary” gambit, hurling a 19-inch Toshiba flat-screen through a six-panel hollow-core door. Dad said he didn’t want Daughter charged with a crime but would like the officers to explain to her why acting out in that fashion is inappropriate. The deputies detailed “the implications of these actions and what affect criminal charges could have on her future.” Satisfied with the lesson, Dad said he’d take the cost of a new TV and door out of Daughter’s “cheerleading expenses.”

Too mulch information
SOUTH PIERSON WAY — A few years back, Hatfield landscaped his front yard. McCoy sued Hatfield on the grounds that increased runoff from the Hatfield place was lousing up his own landscape. Hatfield settled out of court but started meticulously taping his every conversation with McCoy, and installed video cameras that record his neighbor’s every outdoor activity. Most recently those cameras have been watching McCoy construct what Hatfield has dubbed “The Great Wall of McCoy” — a low railroad-tie fence lined with crushed rock that will divide their respective properties. In reviewing recent surveillance footage, Hatfield became convinced that McCoy occasionally and maliciously throws rocks into his mulch pile, and on the afternoon of Dec. 12 he called JCSO to demand that occasional-and-malicious-rock-throwing charges be filed. Deputies asked Hatfield why he thought McCoy would throw rocks into his mulch pile. Hatfield explained that he once found a dead bird in his yard and he’s pretty sure McCoy put it there, and the man who will throw dead birds is capable of any outrage. Officers next spoke with McCoy, who denied throwing a dead bird in Hatfield’s yard, and offered that somebody had pulled up one of his boundary stakes and hung it from the stop sign on the corner, and he was reasonably sure that somebody was Hatfield. He also believed Hatfield to be the “anonymous” neighbor who’d written him an unsigned letter objecting to his railroad-tie project. Trying to stay on point, deputies asked McCoy if he occasionally and maliciously throws rocks into Hatfield’s mulch pile. McCoy said he does not, but admitted to occasionally — but without malice — throwing fragments of Hatfield’s mulch into Hatfield’s mulch pile, portions of which are forever washing down into McCoy territory thanks to the ill-considered landscaping project that started all the trouble in the first place. After failing to locate anything but mulch in Hatfield’s mulch pile, deputies informed the complainant that no charges would be forthcoming. Hatfield was “disappointed.”