Sheriff's Calls

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Point of no returns
— The convenience store patron was dissatisfied with his purchase and on the evening of July 15 he attempted to return the undefined product to its point of origin. Patron explained the reasons for the return to the clerk, directing his disgruntlements through a small window in the large plexiglass shield separating Cashier from clientele. Sympathetic, but merely a small cog in a vast retail machine, Cashier explained to Patron that he was only allowed to accumulate monies in the cash drawer, not dispense them. Displeasure mounting, Patron strongly suggested that Cashier whistle up somebody who could authorize a refund, pronto. Cashier phoned his manager, who soon joined Cashier behind the plexiglass peacekeeper. Manager explained to Patron that corporate entities with powers far greater than his own forbade the return of Patron’s disappointing product. Erupting in a cataclysmic convulsion of consumer discontent, Patron hurled the unpalatable product through the small window, and then attempted to follow it into Cashier’s cage where he might make his case to Manager more directly. Too generously proportioned to pass through the compact portal, Patron left in a huff. Still safe inside the plexiglass cocoon, Manager called JCSO, telling deputies he didn’t want to press charges, but he did want Patron declared a customer non grata. Officers officially banished Patron from the premises.

Braced for impact
— On the evening of July 21, Ralph and Alice were enjoying all the sound and excitement of NHRA racing. Not far away, Norton was enjoying the latest in a long succession of adult beverages. At some point, an “extremely agitated” Ralph told JCSO deputies, Norton “pushed” Alice “down the hill,” a charge which Norton didn’t necessarily deny. While tottering down the hill behind Alice, Norton explained in a semi-coherent statement to officers, he’d “stumbled” and “braced myself against” Ralph’s wife, which measure saved Norton from a tumble and doomed Alice to one. Having none of it, Ralph demonstrated what he considered the true savagery of the event by “balling a fist and pushing it against (Alice’s) head and nearly knocking her down.” A bit stunned by Ralph’s rather brutish defense of his wife, deputies asked the now twice-pushed Alice to describe her encounter with Norton. She recalled only that “something hit me from behind” and “knocked me off balance.” While Alice agreed that Norton probably didn’t mean to push her down the hill, she believed that his advanced state of inebriation elevated the incident to “assault.” Deputies disagreed, saying that, while unfortunate, the episode fell well within the legal category of “accident.” Free to stay or leave, Norton called Uber and left. Furious to see Norton leaving without handcuffs on his wrists, Ralph demanded both a copy of the JCSO report and all of Norton’s personal information. Officers gladly handed over one, but declined to provide the other.

Reality TV
— On the July 17, deputies watched with great professional interest as the crime unfolded before them on the computer screen. The home-surveillance drama opens with a sanguine scene of suburban serenity including a well-kept side yard and a spiffy blue Trek “multipurpose” bicycle parked on the street-side of a trim and tidy residential fence. Enter the stranger, a man wearing an “orange headband” and black sweat pants “with one leg rolled up.” He carries a backpack and is “walking with a severe limp” along the opposite sidewalk. The man pauses, his gaze drawn across the roadway to where the step-saving convenience stands so tantalizingly close and so temptingly unattended. After only a moment’s hesitation he hobbles purposefully across the street, mounts the enticing Trek, and swiftly disappears into an orderly jungle of green lawns and neatly pruned shrubbery. But if cameras told the story with superb clarity and pathos, they didn’t provide screen credits. Unless he shows up in a sequel, the star may remain forever unsung.