From Conway Police Department reports

Issues with property

Police were called to an area near Salem Road and Club Lane on Thursday, Aug. 3 at about 3:11 a.m. An older man, dispatch told the responding officer, was seen running from a burning trash can toward a nearby McDonalds. As the officer arrived he saw a man nearby who matched the description walking rapidly down Club Lane.

The officer stopped to speak with the man, getting his name. The man said he was lost and looking for a nearby ministry site. He gave, to the officer’s questions, confusing answers, including that he was coming from "the south" despite being walking south when the officer spotted him. The officer searched the man and found three lighters in one of his front pants pockets.

He read the man his rights, at which point the man said he wanted a lawyer and the officer ended his questioning.

A second officer was with two people who’d seen the fires get set and the reporting officer spoke with him. That officer brought one of the two by and he identified the man, 56, as the one they’d seen set the fires. A phone conversation with a second officer resulted in the report that not only had the one trash can been set on fire, but two dumpsters had also been set ablaze. The trash can was a city-owned type, and had been destroyed by the fire. "Additionally, there were items at Kroger which had been set on fire," the officer reported, citing two grills and a shopping cart.

A consultation with an investigator was held, and the man was arrested for possessing the instruments of a crime (the lighters) and criminal mischief.

The man said he needed to go to the hospital, so the police took him there, and, later, to jail. The lighters were entered as evidence.

Not my dog

A woman came to police Thursday, Aug. 3, just before 7 p.m. to report lost money.

She had, the woman told the reporting officer, wired $450 to "an unknown person," in report-speak, for a Pomeranian dog found via a website. She’d sent the money the day before and it had been picked up that evening, she told the officer.

She had been emailing the man selling the dog, but since the money had been picked up there had been no contact, she told the officer. She planned to contact the state Attorney General, she told the officer.

(Pomeranian is a popular breed, of the Spitz family. The "Spitz" term is German, from the Spitz’s pointy nose and muzzle. James Boswell, famously the biographer of Samuel Johnson, was the first person to mention the Pomeranian breed, in 1764 correspondence. Two Pomeranians were of the three dogs which survived the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, escaping in the arms of their owners in lifeboats number seven and six, respectively.)

A dodge in a Dodge

An officer was on patrol at 5 p.m. that Wednesday, Aug. 2, when he spotted a red Dodge Caliber with, it turned out, a license plate assigned to a black Ford Explorer. There, by the flashing blue lights, he spoke with the driver, the only person in the car.

She did not have the paperwork for the car because she just bought it — hence the license plate issue, she told the officer. She also did not have a license, but did have a name and birthdate to provide. However, she had some trouble spelling her name, finally asking the officer for his pen and pad so she could write it down. During this, she also wrote her date of birth, at the last minute changing the last digit for the year, writing over what she’d originally written.

The officer chatted with her about things in general ("I engaged the female in unimportant conversation," in report-speak, or a throwback to my dating days come to think of it) stopping to ask her age. The woman replied "33," which the officer reported found odd, since the date she wrote out would make her 32. The investigation continued, the officer calling in the information.

A picture of the woman with the name and birth date returned, this woman obviously not the woman driving the Dodge. The woman in the picture, for example, had gapped front teeth. Confronted, the woman explained to the officer that she’d gotten braces since the picture was taken, and she was almost 33, hence the confusion on her January birth year.

The woman, with some additional questioning, admitted it was time for her to be honest, and gave a second name and birth date. The officer noticed she, during this phase, showed signs of what he called "mental blocking" in the report. The officer called in the new ID and a picture was returned, one obviously not of the woman the officer was investigating.

He had the woman step out of the car and handcuffed her. A search of the red Dodge found an ID card issued by the state, the photo matching the driver. Calling that name in revealed a failure to appear warrant in Conway, for a traffic violation of not wearing a seat belt.

She told the officer, when confronted, this is why she lied — she was worried about the warrant. She was now, the officer explained, being picked up on not just the warrant, but on obstruction of governmental operations. She was taken to jail, the car impounded.