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Blotter Fodder 

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Partners in Crime

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08/18/06, 11:21, Robbery, 325 N. 300 West

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“The victim was in his motel room when the suspects entered and told him to empty his pockets. The suspects took all of the victim’s cash and a credit card. One of the suspects, a male Polynesian adult, approximately 25 years old, 6-feet-2-inches, muscular build, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, appeared to be carrying a gun in his waistband under his shirt. The second suspect is described as a male Hispanic adult, approximately 25 years old, 5-feet-1-inch, thin build, short black hair, tattoos on both arms, wearing a gray shirt and blue pants. The suspects fled the scene in a white Honda Accord southbound on 300 West.nn

What a sight this pair of ruffians must make'like Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins. Or, perhaps, Ricardo Montalban (Mr. Roarke) and Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo) in Fantasy Island. Or Dr. Evil and Mini Me. This blotter item has “buddy flick” written all over it.

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Passing Through

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08/16/06, 16:44, Attempted Burglary/Foot Pursuit, near 100 West and Zane Avenue

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The 38-year-old male suspect “dropped down through an open skylight into an enclosed rear deck area at this address. The homeowner saw this and was seen by [the suspect], who then dropped down through the floor of the deck and fled through several yards. Several people in the area gave police updates on the direction that [the suspect] went. An officer patrolling the area saw the suspect in the area of 700 N. 240 W. The officer got into a short foot pursuit and was able to take [the suspect] into custody behind 236 W. 700 North.nn

Is this house made out of Swiss cheese or what? Anyway, put yourself in the would-be bandit’s shoes for a moment. Imagine the forethought that went into this foiled caper. After scouting the location for what must have been minutes, he figured the skylight for his ticket in and perhaps shimmied up to the roof on a trellis overgrown with ivy. But despite an entry befitting the stealth of a ninja, this rookie apparently failed to note whether anyone was home and wound up scurrying away like a sheepish child. Oh, the indignity.

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Call Me Crazy

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08/14/06, 07:58, CED deployment, 1168 E. 2100 South

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“Officers were dispatched to an unwanted person behind the Old Navy store at this location. [The 22-year-old male suspect] was punching a garbage can and was incoherent. [The suspect] became aggressive with officers, and after the CED [conducted energy device] was deployed, [he] was taken safely into custody. [The suspect] was transported to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.nn

Whatever are the “unwanted” to do? In this case, a deranged man dukes it out with refuse and babbles incoherently until the cops show up to cart him off for much-needed psychiatric intervention. States once maintained public hospitals to deal with this man’s ilk. But since the dawn of “deinstitutionalization” in the 1950s, culminating in the near-total dismantlement of state-run asylums in the 1980s, prisons and jails now serve as the asylums of last resort.

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Ironically, inmates are the only class of people with a constitutionally guaranteed right to health care. Hence, 500,000 “unwanted” persons receive top-notch mental-health services in U.S. prisons and jails whereas, in 1955, an equal number of the severely mentally ill received inpatient treatment in public hospitals. Today, fewer than 55,000 receive inpatient psychiatric care outside of correctional institutions, according to the 2005 PBS Frontline documentary The New Asylums. With that, the man beating his fists against a garbage can tends to make more sense.

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About The Author

Shane Johnson

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