Archive for July, 2010

Tales from the night shift, Round 2

Full moon.

They’re dispatching domestics like they’re on sale. Saturday is not the night of love around here between midnight and 4 a.m.:

• Man screaming behind a grocery store. Witness said he’s throwing things. He was mad at his girlfriend and screaming at her on his cell phone.

• Woman, described as blond, large chest, skinny body, babbling incoherently and saying something about suicide at a gas station near 285 and 400, later changed to an intersection a couple of miles north — said she was near a crack house. Never found her.

• Missing person. Later found to have been on a fling with a new “friend” who the parents would surely not approve of. When you’re 25 years old, don’t sneak around. Your parents will accept it better than thinking you’re missing.

• Caught a few minutes of Chris Isaak at Chastain before monitoring the traffic coming from the show.

• Snake on the front porch, later found to be a copperhead. Officer bagged it in a pillow …

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Tales from the night shift

We rotate around for a week of night duty. I enjoy it because I sometimes forget the joy of sleep deprivation.

11 p.m. Did you know “male-enhancement” ads are very popular on TV between 2 and 4 a.m.? They all say “See our ad in Golf Magazine.” Is there a connection?

11:30 p.m. I discover bus fires are very colorful. Fortunately, there are no injuries, so I can concentrate on the 30-foot flames.

Around midnight: I find a couple of regular homeless guys behind a building on Roswell Road. We talk awhile. They’re living in the woods. (These two don’t prefer the various shelters because they can’t drink at the shelter.)

Raul tells me he’s a former millionaire, boxing champ and Green Beret. He’s about five-feet-five with a head full of Harpo Marx hair. I remind him that the last time we spoke he was a Navy Seal. He puts some thought to it and decides he was both a Navy Seal and a Green Beret at some point.

His friend Beotis just wants a cigarette. He asks me five …

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How not to be a theft victim at the gym

A guy walks into a gym and pays 15 bucks for a one-time workout. Inside the gym bag he’s carrying is a bolt cutter.

He goes in the men’s locker room, waits until the room is empty and then cuts a lock. Luck of the draw. He finds a wallet. He takes the credit card from the wallet and closes the locker and places the lock back as best he can so it won’t look cut open at first glance.

The man walks out, stopping to get his 15 bucks back, claiming he has been called away.

It took less than 10 minutes.

The man knows he has only a short amount of time until the owner of the credit card discovers the theft and cancels the card. The bad guy goes directly across the street to an electronic store and purchases a 42- inch flat-screen TV.

Within30 minutes, the sale is done and the salesman is helping the man load the television in the car.

The victim is still on the treadmill.

The salesman stops in his tracks, slaps himself in the head.

“I almost forgot. We have a special on this …

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Drivers on the phone drift off to their own world

Do you ever notice how we don’t really notice things around us?

That’s good news for people who don’t want to be noticed but — short of harping on our inability to multitask — we just zone out too much at the wrong times.

I was on GA 400 about 7 p.m. this week, heading home. Although ready at a moment’s notice to respond to any crime, or maybe not, I was headed north. Traffic was light and everyone was doing the speed limit, which was about 80 that night. Up ahead, traffic was slowing down in the left lane. Cars were darting around a car. The car looked as if it were was breaking down and coasting to a stop.

Nope. He was on the phone.

Yep. He was on the phone and totally tuned out as he sputtered along in the left lane at just under 50 mph. This guy looked like he was practically taking a nap. His head was back on the headrest and his elbow was propped up on the top of the door frame and he was just blabbing away.

Now that’s okay on some roads, but even 55 mph is …

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Off-duty: Celebrate July 4th, but do be careful

We’ve rounded the corner of spring and now headed into the seventh month of the year, meaning it’s hot as hell, the humidity is over 100% and public indecency cases are at a steady climb.

Summer also means July Fourth, which now is upon us. This means we celebrate Independence Day. July Fourth also means good food, plenty of beer and other adult beverages and fireworks.

For many years, Uncle Dewey hosted his annual July Fourth BBQ and bluegrass concert. Over the years the annual event created many memories, including the sacred bonfire dance incident of 1987 when an intoxicated Uncle Dewey threw a basketball into the roaring bonfire to celebrate the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants’ win over Denver. (We never really knew why he waited until July to celebrate it.)

The resulting explosion accidentally set Uncle Dewey’s dog, Mr. Belvedere, on fire, which resulted in the loss of Officer Bassett’s squad car. Officer Bassett had just arrived to respond to the noise …

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