Special "Between midnight and 1 a.m." edition

Readers are reminded that this week is, by Presidential Proclamation, National Police Week

Somewhere to the west

It was 1:24 a.m. on a Saturday morning, May 13, when a white pickup was driving down Oak Street and — what made this more special than all the other white pickups driving down all the other Oak Streets in the early morning hours — it had its lights off.

An officer on patrol fell in behind the lightless machine and, after spending about a quarter mile in its wake, saw it cross the centerline "on multiple occasions," the report stated. So yeah, the blue lights, the flashing ones, they came on and the pickup was pulled over.

The officer spoke with the driver, 49, the only person in the machine, asking for the usual paperwork. He had to remind the man several times that he needed this, as the man would forget what he was looking for. At one point he handed over his driver’s license, but the officer reminded him he needed insurance and registration as well. To the officer’s question the man admitted to having been drinking beer at a nearby bar and grill. Paperwork in hand, the officer ran the man’s info through dispatch, to no notable avail.

The officer returned to the truck and had the man step out. As the man got out he said to the officer, "I screwed the pooch, I know it." The officer asked the man how many beers he’d had. "I have no idea," the man replied, the report stated, adding that the man swayed a bit as he spoke with the officer.

Thus then, the field sobriety test. One can imagine. As the test moved to the balancing the man expressed frustration several times, allowing that "I screwed the pooch, I know it," as he would stop balancing or walking or whatever he was in line to do, per the report. The officer, diligent, continued, and - again as the reader can imagine - the man showed a poor sense of balance. The last phase of the test, balancing on one foot, he was prepared to abandon, enunciating the screwed pooch again as well as a need to relieve himself, but the officer encouraged him to continue by telling him he could use the bathroom when he was done. A stumble, arms slung out for balance, and the knowledge sought was known, and the officer cuffed and stuffed the man for a ride downtown.

At the station, after a bathroom break, the man was breath tested, there blowing a 0.17 BAC. Thus the paperwork, thus his being delivered to jail, DWI first offense his charge. (The reader will note the report did not contain the words "odor of intoxicants.")

Problems of life

Police were called to Van Ronkle Street at 14 minutes into May 12, a Friday. They were called to help on a medical incident.

The reporting officer arrived and found two men there, plus "some good Samaritans passing by," the report stated. One of the men had fallen, which had left him with what the officer reported was a "large gash" on his forehead. The second man said he and the man who had fallen had been drinking at a nearby club. An ambulance arrived and the injured man was taken to the hospital.

The officer continued speaking with the second man, 37, who admitted to being drunk ("intoxicated" in report-speak) as well. The officer noted here the man was "swaying slightly" as they spoke, plus having a confused and slow manner of speaking, coupled with slurred speech.

The officer offered to call the man a cab, but the man demurred, telling the officer he didn’t have cab fare. The officer offered the man a ride, but the man, again, turned down the offer stating that he didn’t have a place to stay. He was, he ultimately admitted to the officer, homeless and living on the streets.

Due to the man being as drunk as he was the officer arrested him, as a matter of the man’s own as well as the public’s safety, and took him to jail, where he was held.

Stoves and heat

An officer was on patrol near TJ Drive when he saw an SUV run a stop sign, at 45 minutes into the day Friday, May 12. The SUV, moving fast, was going the other way and the officer had to U turn to catch it. As the officer worked to catch up the SUV turned at several intersections then, as the officer caught up, it turned into a driveway on Norbert Circle. Blue lights went on so the officer could do a traffic stop. By now the officer had seen that there was only one man in the SUV, its driver.

As soon as the officer pointed his spotlight at the car the driver jumped out and started running. The officer, in turn, jumped out and gave chase. Radio calls were made, descriptions given, and the officer continued the foot chase, at one point seeing the man jump a fence, as other officers arrived and worked to set up a perimeter around the area. The officer thought the man might be trying to circle back to the SUV and turned and went in that direction.

As he got close to the SUV another officer called. Near where the officer reported the man having jumped the fence the officer had found a gun. The officer went back to that spot and was shown a semi-automatic pistol with a bullet "stovepiped," adding "indicating that the suspect attempted to chamber a round," the report stated.

("Stovepipe" is when a bullet only partially ejects from a semi-automatic pistol, fouling the movement of the mechanism, in doing so keeping the slide from returning to a firing position. The bullet, round of course, half in and half out of the gun, is sticking up out of the ejection port akin to a stovepipe out the roof of a place, giving the name to this type of malfunction.)

The search for the man, meanwhile continued, but officers were not able to intercept him. In searching the SUV the officers found a cup with some ice and a straw in it, which was taken in order to gather DNA evidence. The SUV was impounded.

The officer was emailed pictures of people who had been ticketed in the SUV in the past, and identified one of them as the man who had run off.