From Conway Police Department reports

A story of the Christmas bolt cutters

Christmas day, that morning, that dawn, fresh winter air, a magical time, a time of hope, a time to celebrate, a time for police to chase a man running from Tractor Supply. It was, yes, Monday, Dec. 25, 5:55 a.m.

An alarm had gone off at the store.

The reporting officer was called to the store by a second officer. The second officer (who was actually the first officer there, to respond to the alarm) was chasing a man, that man running. As the reporting officer arrived he saw the second officer, joined by, yes, in the spirit of community so important to this national holiday, a third officer, the two of whom were chasing a man.

They caught up with the man in the Walmart parking lot, and he was, in police-report-speak, “placed into custody” (“handcuffed,” to you and I) and read his Miranda rights.

“Why,” the reporting officer asked, “had he ran?”

The 29 year old man replied he was living in a tent by the Interstate and was not doing anything wrong, he saw simply fearful of police. The reporting officer and others went to the tent to check for stolen items. As they drew close to the tent the man who had been running said that actually he had not been living in the tent, that his saying so was a lie. And it was here police found a second man, sleeping in the tent.

Police woke the man, asking him if he knew the handcuffed man in their company. He did not, the man replied. No stolen items were noted.

Now police retraced the man’s steps from where he’d been spotted to where he’d been “placed into custody.” In doing so, an officer found a pair of bolt cutters, fairly new looking, with a price tag on them. They asked the man who had been running if these were his bolt cutters. They were not, he said. One of the officers inspected the tool and realized it had come from the nearby Harbor Freight store.

They asked the man: Had he gotten these bolt cutters from Harbor Freight?

He had, the man admitted. He had not, however, stolen them, but paid the $28.99 they were stickered for.

Why, the reporting officer asked, was he at Tractor Supply with a pair of (duly gained) bolt cutters?

The man said he had grown tired of walking, and went there to steal a lawn mower, which he would then ride, so as to not have to walk.

He was taken to jail, charged with attempted theft, fleeing and criminal mischief.

The officer, in wrapping up the investigation, spoke with the store manager who arrived on site. He said the locking cable was damaged, about a $350 item, and the lawn mower the man was trying to steal was priced at $4,000.99

The holiday haze

Police were called to the Kum & Go on Prince Street on Christmas morning, Dec. 25. They were being asked to, in that language of police reports, “check on the welfare” of a man parked there, near the front door to the store. He was (more police-speak ahoy) parked in a “maroon vehicle.”

The reporting officer arrived and there, yes, was a man in a maroon vehicle. He was the only person in the car, a Daewoom, its engine running. The officer called the tag in which returned to a black Chevrolet Impala. The officer asked the man about this, and was told he had just purchased the Daewoo about a month earlier.

They were talking, yes. And here the officer noted the 22 year old man’s speech was slurred and sluggish. The officer had him get out of the car.

Outside the car the man admitted that he had “multiple prescription medications.” The officer found this easy to believe, he reported, as he had been to the man’s house in the past (the reason not disclosed in the report). The man admitted to the officer that he had taken some of his medication that morning.

He was given a field sobriety test. It was not detailed in the report, but the results were such that the officer believed the man to be (police-speak) “impaired.” He was handcuffed (“custody”) and taken downtown for a breath test at the police station. There he gave a breath test, blowing a 0.0 BAC.

A drug recognition expert was called, but none were available that Christmas morning. The man did agree to having his blood drawn and was taken to the hospital, after which he was taken to jail, charged with DWI first offense.