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 times if I have a smoke. Five times I tell him that I already told him I don’t smoke. He’s not happy with that. He cusses, smiles and sits back down. The conversation costs me two bucks.

I suggest they hit the shelter for the night, preferring not to see them sleeping in the woods again. I’ll see them tomorrow to find out what branch of the service Raul was in. I’m sure it’s jet pilot for the Air Force.

3:30 a.m. A tragic “head-shop” related crime. A guys steals another guy’s wallet at a “tobacco and tobacco accessories” shop in one of the cities north of Sandy Springs. The dude’s wallet is lifted while checking out the bongs on aisle five.

The bad guys flee and the victim gives chase. They wreck. They run. They run across some fashionable Dunwoody yards, on pristine Bermuda grass full of 3 a.m. dew, where they leave really good dew-tracks.

The tracks end at the edge of the woods. There are three of them, six eyes total, looking out of the woods when the flashlights light them up. They’re trying to be invisible. It isn’t working. They’re arrested.

None of them look older than 18. It’s almost 4 a.m. and they should be home. Wrecked car and going to jail. It doesn’t look good on your resume.

Raul and Beotis are walking north. I drive by and they turn and begin walking south. That was our deal. One night in the shelter won’t kill you. Beotis has a cigarette. He’s happy, looks back at me and waves just before he walks into a trash can.

Nights are different, that’s for sure.

28 comments Add your comment


July 21st, 2010
6:05 pm

Looks like Beotis had more than a cigarette!

jackie baines

July 21st, 2010
10:30 pm


Marcus Graham

July 21st, 2010
10:47 pm

Keep it all and the lack of dealing with it in Sandy Springs. Gee, glad to see the 7th largest city in GA is putting all that tax revenue to use enforcing and fighting crime oh yeah, and writing a blog about not enforcing laws that were broken…PRICELESS.


July 22nd, 2010
10:54 am

Chill out Marcus. You’d prefer that the two homelss guys be transported to a taxpayer funded facility when they are harming no one? Times are hard, and Detective Rose made a judgement call on this one. Had he taken these guys in he would not have been available to track down other law breakers that were harming society directly with their actions.

Van Jones

July 22nd, 2010
12:35 pm

As usual, another enjoyable column.

And as usual, someone who can’t live in Sandy Springs (Marcus this time) is whining about something he knows nothing about. Marcus says, “Man, I could live there if I wanted to but I don’t”. Yeah, riiiiiight.


July 22nd, 2010
1:22 pm

I’m sure Beotis finally got his cigarette, but that ain’t no Marlboro he was smoking!

Just sayin’.

As for Raul, last I spoke to him he said he once served as part of President Clinton’s Secret Service detail.

Cop Supporter

July 22nd, 2010
2:02 pm

Breat article. Thank you.

Cop Supporter

July 22nd, 2010
2:03 pm

Sorry. Great article. Thank you.


July 22nd, 2010
2:11 pm

Working only a half day, Loot?

Way Prettier Than You are

July 22nd, 2010
2:44 pm

Ok. I live in Sandy Springs and The Sandy Springs Police Department is one of the better, if not THE best-run & very top-notch Police Departments around Atlanta…Hey Marcus do you live in Dekalb County????

Sad Brotha

July 22nd, 2010
4:59 pm

Did the Raul, the Navy SEAL, know the Cobb County Public Safety Director (fellow “SEAL claimer”) Mickey Lloyd?

Sandy Springs Rocks

July 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

I live in Sandy Springs. Guess what Marcus? According to NATIONAL police stats, it is the safest neighborhood in Georgia. I almost purchased a home in Dekalb, beautiful home on the Country Club with a waterfall. I checked the same NATIONAL police stats and decided I did not want to liv in Dekalb. Everything including the Country Club was close to or in foreclosure, including the city. Crime was high and the most SHOCKING news was that getting shot by a policeman in Dekalb County was high.

Sandy Springs has it all. The best Police Department, The best Fire Department and the most educated and experience Mayor and council in developing the young city.

Great place, great people, great promise for a wonderful future.

Good job Lt. Rose, and I respect that in addition to working a fulltime job as a police officer you have a 2nd job as a writer. Good for you.

Lt. Steve

July 23rd, 2010
12:49 am

I’ll bet none of you are up right now.

Lt. Steve

July 23rd, 2010
12:50 am

Marcus, it’s 6th largest according to Raul.


July 23rd, 2010
7:14 am

For all you “Springers”, the K in DeKalb is capitalized. Being shot by the police in DeKalb is not as likely now. You rarely see them except when they’re working second jobs or when they do their 4/3 work week shift change on Wednesdays. Then it’s like a police convention.

As far as which place is better/safer to live in the metro area, there ain’t none. I’ve been here a long time. Like Jerry Jeff, I’ll be movin’ on soon.

“Pack up all your dishes
Make note of all good wishes
Say goodbye to the landlord for me
That sum-b***h has always bored me
Throw out them old ATL papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers
Adios to all this concrete
Gonna get me some dirt road back street…”


July 23rd, 2010
7:46 am

Good blog. Keep yourself safe.


July 23rd, 2010
10:45 am

Thanks for the Jerry Jeff lyrics, Festus. I’m sure there’s some Jerry Jeff in the music catalog of Detective Rose’s household, with a Parrothead in his house!


July 23rd, 2010
11:50 am

Gosh Marcus, thanks for the education. i didn’t know that being homeless was a crime………

Retired Alive

July 23rd, 2010
12:51 pm

@Marcus Graham

Get a life . . .

Retired Alive

July 23rd, 2010
12:55 pm

@Sandy Springs Rocks

. . . and the best thing about it is that Marcus doesn’t live there!

Retired Alive

July 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

Great article – and factually humorous. There isn’t any need to say it because you already know but you deal with the homeless as best you can for all concerned. There appears no evisence they posed a threat to anyone.


July 23rd, 2010
2:13 pm

i swear i met raul once, he said he used to be an olympic diver, and there are 5,000 people coming to his wedding. His fiance will cater it.


July 23rd, 2010
5:15 pm

Haven’t met Raul, but love him already. Steve lets find Raul and help him someway, make a difference….and keep up the humor, this city needs it…..

Sandy Springs Rocks

July 23rd, 2010
6:01 pm

God Bless all of our officers. They will give their life for you and your children.

Dudly Do Right

July 23rd, 2010
11:45 pm

This is what they pay you the big bucks for. keep up the good work of reporting stupid criminals. We all need a laugh at their expense.


July 25th, 2010
5:57 pm

Beotis?? What kind of name is Beotis, or did Raul give him that name after he was knighted in the Royal British Army?

Marcus Graham

July 26th, 2010
6:38 pm

@Fred it’s called VAGRANCY/PROWLING, @everyone else, no I don’t like in Dekalb. I live just south of SS off of Wiueca in a private neighborhood. SS trash/crime keeps moving back this way. First from all the old run down apts in SS, now the vagrants and vandals. National
police stats? Please………..


July 28th, 2010
9:18 pm

A couple of years ago I moved to rural northeast Georgia after living in Sandy Springs for 21 years. I am still so proud of everything that transpired in Sandy Springs, but am glad for the peace of country living. About the time I moved here the county elected a new, younger, sheriff to replace a ‘good ‘ol boy’ type and he has done well. He occassionally submits very well written information pieces to the local weekly; I find it surprising and it makes me miss Steve Rose. I tell everyone here about Steve and how Sandy Springs is structured as well as how neighborhoods are organized. They are slowly moving towards more sophistication. There’s less traffic here, but just as much crime.