Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime


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ROMEO must fly

WEST PROGRESS AVENUE — Oscar wasn’t exactly their favorite customer to begin with, and when the manager saw him heading into the kitchen on the morning of Dec. 11, she informed Oscar that patrons weren’t permitted behind the counter. Mad as hops, Oscar started hollering about how the register trainee who’d taken his order had botched his breakfast, and he wanted it fixed, tout suite. Well aware of Oscar’s prickly temperament, the manager personally corrected the mistake and delivered the proper meal directly to Oscar’s table. Oscar thanked her by directing unflattering names at her back in a stage whisper, and when that didn’t satisfy his appetite for orneriness, he tracked her down and directed them to her face. The manager asked Oscar to leave. “This is a public place!” Oscar thundered. “I do not have to leave!” The manager told him if he didn’t leave peaceable-like, she’d have JCSO escort him out. Not long thereafter, a JCSO deputy arrived to escort Oscar out. Oscar explained that he belongs to a group of retired men who gather to eat out, and that he’s had nothing but trouble with that restaurant’s crew for at least 10 years. Before Oscar could continue, the deputy asked him to stop shouting in his face from a distance of 3 inches. Oscar “snickered,” took a half-step back, and went on, saying his breakfast sandwich had arrived without any bacon on it, and when he tried to get the bacon he had coming, the manager “snapped” at him and gave him “a dirty look.” It was only natural, then, that when she delivered his corrected order, he’d quite rightly “verbalized what I thought of her.” The deputy explained to Oscar that when told to leave an establishment he is legally bound to do so, and that failure to skedaddle could result in trespassing charges. Oscar declared that an injustice and an outrage, but said it didn’t matter anyway because he and pals would just go find some other restaurant to hang out in. That was just fine with the manager, who undoubtedly noticed that none of Oscar’s pals followed him out the door.


What cure have they for wounded pride?

WEST CROSS AVENUE — Although visibly undamaged, the complainant told deputies his neighbor pushed him down the stairs. The deputies offered to summon medical assistance, but he shrugged them off. The complainant said his upstairs neighbor is forever raising a ruckus, and he went upstairs and told his neighbor to pipe down or he’d call the cops. “What would the cops get us for?” his neighbor scoffed. “Disturbing the peace,” the complainant said. “I’ll show you disturbing the peace!” his neighbor growled, and pushed him down the stairs. Again, the officers suggested medical evaluation, but the complainant would have none of it. Deputies spoke to several other residents, many who recalled hearing a brief exchange of words near the stairs but none who remembered specific dialogue or seeing bodies tumbling down stairways. For his part, the complainant’s neighbor told deputies the complainant had pushed his way in the door and poked his chest, and that he’d merely pushed the complainant out again and closed the door behind him. Unable to verify either account, deputies had no choice but to close the case. “It’s gonna escalate,” the complainant warned them. “I’m telling ya.’ ” The officers explained that he was free to seek a restraining order against his neighbor, but that they could find no evidence of a crime. “I’m gonna have to seek medical treatment for my hand now,” the complainant sighed, sadly but bravely. One last time, the officers volunteered to whistle up an EMT. The complainant declined the offer.


It runs about $5 per syllable

WEST BOWLES AVENUE — A guy walks into a department store and asks to return a jar of Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate for cash. The clerk asks to see his receipt, but the guy says he can’t find it, so the clerk issues him a store credit instead. As soon as the guy heads out onto the shopping floor, the clerk realizes that all the Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate in the department store is under lock and key because it’s not supposed to go on sale until after Christmas. The clerk figures the Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate is stolen and suspends the guy’s store credit. The guy goes to the shoe department and finds out his store credit doesn’t work, which is about when the cops show up with a couple questions about his jar of Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate. The guy says his mom gave him the Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate, but that he has no idea where she got it. Although the cops can’t prove a crime, the clerk tells the guy he can have his Lancome Genifique Yeux Eye-Illuminating Youth Activating Concentrate back just as soon as he comes up with the receipt for it.