Pedantic Policing 

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06/12/06, 15:14, Expectorating on the sidewalk/Resisting, Pioneer Park

“The officer observed [the 21-year-old male suspect] exit the restroom and then spit on the sidewalk. When confronted by the officer, the [suspect] became agitated and would not comply with the officer’s instructions to sit down while the officer issued a ticket for the offense. The officer then attempted to handcuff the [suspect] in order to write the ticket. When the officer stepped toward the [suspect], the [suspect] attempted to punch the officers. The [suspect] was taken into custody and booked into jail for Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest, and Disorderly conduct.

A kindergartener at Robert Frost Elementary School in West Valley City found himself in much the same predicament some 23 years ago. Hocking loogies on the playground netted that spitter a desk in the hallway and a plastic cup. “Fill it up,” ordered Mrs. Ritter. But an afternoon of cottonmouth didn’t break that otherwise upstanding kindergartner of a lifelong habit.

At any rate, Pioneer Park is no playground, unless recess today consists of copping dope and passing bottles. Which makes ticketing a guy for “expectorating on the sidewalk” seem even more futile than Mrs. Ritter’s hard-ass approach.

Kibble and Butts

06/14/06, 22:02, Unknown Problem/K-9 Deployment, near 600 S. 900 East

“Officers responded twice on 911 hang up calls. On the first response, the basement apartment seemed empty, so the officers left. On the second response, [the 20-year old male suspect] was seen inside. Officers contacted the [suspect] through an open window. The [suspect] appeared to be intoxicated and was very uncooperative, refusing to answer questions or allow officers to check and see if anybody else was in the apartment that needed help. Officers finally gained entry and the [suspect] became combative resulting in a K-9 nipping the [suspect] in the buttocks. The [suspect] was checked out by Fire personnel and cleared to go to jail. The [suspect] was booked on Public Intox, consumption by a Minor and interfering with an officer.

Around the World in 20 Minutes

Salt Lake City Police reported no significant activity on any shift for 6/16-6/18/06. It was a very quiet weekend.

Not so from this denizen’s vantage point. Take Friday night, when six Salt Lake City Police officers converged on my stretch of Park Street to arrest a neighbor on suspicion of public intoxication, threatening to use a weapon in a fight and criminal mischief. Incidentally, the same neighbor served time in prison for filching artifacts from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Memorial Museum in 1993.

The next evening, squad cars were parked several houses fore and aft of another Park Street bungalow, where officers verbally sparred with an apparently insolent couple. Incidentally, a wanted man held police at bay into the wee hours at the same address last March, but was ultimately apprehended hiding in the attic.

Later Saturday night, I drew the short straw to drive downtown to pick up Chinese takeout. On the west side of State Street, a block north of 2100 South, I spied a blonde in heels and a low-cut, high-riding black pantsuit saunter over to a Mitsubishi Galant with dealer tags. She leaned over to the gent’s window, exchanged a pleasantry or two, and together they drove off southbound. On my return trip 20 minutes later, I saw the same blonde sashay across State at 1700 South. At the filling station there, she approached a dark man on a Harley. He had a sharper jib than the first bloke. They chatted for a moment before she saddled up, and they were off.

No significant activity to report for Sunday.

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About The Author

Shane Johnson

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