From Conway Police Department reports

Happy face

Tuesday then, Nov. 28, in the evening at 8:15 p.m. when police were called to the Valero Station on East Oak Street. There had been, officers were told, an assault there.

The reporting officer arrived, a second officer already on site. The second officer was in conversation with a man, the manager of TC’s Midtown Grill, across the street from the gas station. He had followed a man over to the gas station after the man hit the restaurant’s doorman in the face, the officer reported.

The officer then spoke with the man. The man "smelled strongly of intoxicants, was very unsteady on his feet, he speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy." Further the man was very confused about why police were talking to him "and what was going on," the officer reported.

The 37-year-old man was cuffed and stuffed for the ride to jail, where he was turned over to staff there, charged with public intoxication.

Big money

It begins in an alley, in this case the alley behind the Salvation Army on Harkrider. An officer pair were on patrol there, knowing - as was stated in the report - that it was a high crime area. It was Nov. 28, early Tuesday at 43 minutes after midnight. Early, dark and cold, one can image the officers in the cocoon of the patrol vehicle, electronic din of radio chatter in the background, wrapped in the weight of required equipment and uniforms, the machine’s LED panels showing frequencies and number, watching, patrolling, peering through the glass and into the early morning darkness.

A man came out of the laundromat there. The reporting officer stepped out to speak with him, asking the man if he had time for a conversation. The man did. He told the officer he was inside the laundromat, washing some clothes and eating and was on his way back to a camp he’d set up, in the field behind Lowe’s. The officer asked the man for ID and it was handed over. The man had a warrant out of Jackson County, but was out of extradition, dispatch told the officer.

The man explained he had recently finished a program at Phoenix House and was working on getting a ride back to Newport, his home. He was, the officer noted, nervous as they spoke, jerky and shaky. The officer got the man’s permission and searched, first him, finding nothing, then his backpack and a second briefcase he was carrying. As this was searched it was found the man’s wallet had somehow fallen to the ground by the backpack. The second officer picked it up to search it.

As he did so, the man said the check in it was something he found. Meanwhile the reporting officer found paperwork in the backpack for a farm’s purchase of equipment. And with that the second officer found a check for $40,863.68 in the man’s wallet, made out to the farm called out in the paperwork.

(Picture it: Cold, dark, early hours, not much noise other than radios and conversation, twitchy, nervous, flashlight in one hand, investigating, in an alley, off away from it all, and that moment of finding a piece of paper with "$40" and a bunch of numbers after it. Just for a moment, a second, maybe two, nobody would say anything. No light but patrol car and flashlights - but awareness dawns….)

The man was read his Miranda rights, and agreed to speak. He said he had found the check Sunday in a nearby dumpster. The check and the paperwork were in a FedEx envelope, he said. He was put in handcuffs and supervisors were radioed for consultation.

The supervisors were working to reach the check owner. As the officers waited for that phase of the investigation they asked the man why he had the check. He didn’t know what he was going to do with it, the man said, but he was worried he’d get in trouble for turning it in, having been in trouble in the past for possession of meth.

A call back. The owner of the check had been reached, a further consultation with the Investigation Division had taken place, and the man was to be arrested for theft by receiving.

The man, 56, was jailed for theft by receiving.

Bicycle time

It was 10:30 p.m. that Tuesday night, Nov. 28, and an officer on patrol spotted a man riding a bicycle down Washington Avenue. The bicycle did not have a light, and the officer went blue lights in order to pull it over.

As soon as the blue lights hit the bike rider turned west and, using the bike, ran, taking it through a ditch and into an area between apartment buildings. The officer turned into the apartment parking lot and got out, trying to head the man off. As he watched the man dropped the bike and began to run. The officer ran after him, and was able to catch him before either were off the apartment complex.

The man was "placed under arrest." A second officer arrived to assist.

As the officer was reviewing the situation with the man, including the charges forthcoming, the man said he had gotten a ticket in the past for not having a light on his bicycle "and he knew what was about to happen," per the report.

The officer searched the man and found a cigar package in his pocket. Inside the package was a bundle of aluminum foil, and inside it the officer found marijuana and some partially consumed marijuana cigarettes.

As the officer put the handcuffed man in his patrol car the second officer searched the area where the man had been running. There in a trash can he found "a baggy of marijuana." This was turned over to the reporting officer for processing.

The man was jailed, charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, as well as not having a light on his bicycle and fleeing. He was held pending first appearance.

("Baggies," is actually a trademark of Pactiv Corporation, and is considered the first of consumer food storage bags. "The Baggies" is one of the nicknames of the West Bromwich Albion Football Club of England.)