Sheriff's Calls

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An Offbeat Look at Area Crime

History comes alive

WEST QUINCY AVENUE — It sounds like a scene from every Hollywood Western ever made. On the night of Aug. 16, a wild brawl outside a busy saloon ends with a young buck getting thrown through the establishment’s front window. Sheriff’s deputies question a bitter and bloody Dusty, who complains that he and his best gal, Kitty, were just keeping their own nevermind on the sidewalk out front when a drunken stranger in a yellow shirt lurches out of the bar, fixes him with a double-barrelled glare and snarls, “I know you, and I’m gonna’ kick your (caboose).” After two swings and as many misses, the angry hombre shoves Dusty through the window and hits the trail. Quickly bustling Dusty off to Doc Anthony’s to get patched up, the deputies run his story by a shopkeeper who saw the whole thing. The other fellow’s name is Festus, says the shopkeeper, and Dusty hasn’t exactly been shooting straight with you. Turns out both cowboys had been riding for trouble that night, and it’s just Dusty’s bad luck to be the one going home with glass splinters in his saddle. The deputies roped both dogies for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.


Being Tippi Hedren

SOUTH NELSON CIRCLE — Relaxing in bed with her beloved dog on the night of Aug. 17, the young lady was startled by two sharp impacts against her back screen door, followed by the sound of the door clattering to the ground. Leaping up to investigate, she saw the door lying on the patio and no obvious reason why, which seemed like reason enough to call the cops. Rushing over to investigate, deputies found no sign of foul play, but did uncover credible indications of fowl play. While examining the area near the young lady’s patio, an officer was repeatedly “dive-bombed” by a brace of belligerent birds. The young lady directed the deputies’ attention to a sparrow’s nest clinging to the roof of the adjacent breezeway. Further scrutiny revealed two beak-size rips in the toppled door’s screen. Lacking dominion over creatures of the air, the officers grounded the investigation.


Curious George

SOUTH FLOWER STREET — Stepping outside to start his side-yard lawn sprinkler about 1:30 a.m. Aug. 19, the wakeful homeowner was surprised to see a tall, skinny fellow with long, curly hair walking down the slumbering street with a folded “scooter” in one hand and a leashed pit bull terrier in the other. His surprise became concern as he observed the lanky apparition proceed slowly down the block, stopping at each house along the way to peer at length into its darkened windows. When the puppy-packing peeper approached his own home and started scrutinizing his living room furniture, the homeowner stepped out of the shadows and announced himself. “Can I help you?” he asked politely. Not visibly self-conscious, the man replied that he was a “neighbor” from “up the street” but declined to explain how that excused his late-night snooping. After man and dog padded off down West Hileah Place, the homeowner notified JCSO. When a thorough patrol of the area turned up no sign of the nosy “neighbor,” deputies closed the case.


But thanks for calling

WEST KEN CARYL AVENUE — As the deputy responding to the grocery store parking lot on Aug. 16 would quickly discover, some people just can’t be helped. The complainant complained that she’d been “chased by some kids.” Asked to flesh out her complaint, she said a young girl had been “tailgating me … and earlier today I was forced off the road.” Attempting to determine the nature and urgency of the threat, the officer inquired as to the specific number of incidents she was reporting, and whether the same young girl was involved in each case. “You’re not going to do anything about it,” she snorted for answer, “just like everyone else.” Although perhaps a bit nonplussed, the deputy calmly explained that he would like very much to do something about it, but he was coming onto the case cold, and the more information she could provide him, the more quickly he could find a resolution to her problem. The woman just stared at him like he was the last bite of a day-old squirrel sandwich. “You’re not going to help me,” she finally announced, then drove away even as the officer continued assuring her of his genuinely helpful intentions.