After a one-year hiatus, Creative Loafing's Best of the Blotter edition returns. As the Blotter's regular author, I'm proud to introduce the collection of the year's dumbest, most hilarious or flat-out saddest local crimes, compiled for your voyeuristic pleasure.
I've grown since 2008, when my editor took a chance and asked her lowly news intern to begin writing a regular weekly feature. In those five years, I've written stories with more substance, but as my first regular contribution for CL, The Blotter will always occupy a special place in my heart.
I have only one complaint. In the years since I began this column, there is not a single service or database that hasn't been placed online — except for police reports. So every week, I drag my ass into the police department to peruse the antics of local idiots, collecting more than my fair share of papercuts along the way. Here's hoping that next year Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police finally catch up with the times. And here's hoping you, dear reader, never land in my column.
The following incidences occurred throughout 2013 and have been organized by theme.
Mile-High Flub: A man woke up from a peaceful nap during a flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles to find a stranger touching his genitalia. The victim complained, and law enforcement officials told him they would be in touch (pun intended) after reviewing the evidence.
Flight Risk: A man and woman's plan to get over their fear of flying backfired when the woman found herself in the back of an ambulance. Police responded to a report of drug use in a bathroom of Charlotte Douglas International Airport and found the pair in a bad state. One victim had apparently overdosed on prescription medicine, but both had clearly taken too much. Medics treated the woman, and no legal action was taken.
Clean Getaway: A 52-year-old man called police after going through a terrifying trip at a local car wash. The man reported that right before his car entered the wash bay, a man jumped into the passenger seat. While the car was being cleaned, the suspect relieved the man of his cell phone, watch and cash. Once the car was nice and dry, the man hopped out and went on his way.
Dirty Dog: A 21-year-old TSA screener at Charlotte Douglas International Airport was given a surprise when she tried to check a pet crate. Its resident, a 7-year-old, 2-pound Yorkie, bit the woman's hand. The dog was seized.
Nudists for Jesus: Police responded to a call from someone on Providence Road after receiving multiple 911 calls regarding a family taking a stroll through the city. Holding a baby, a woman in her 20s, her mother and a toddler caused a traffic jam as they walked down the street bare-ass naked. Police said that when they arrived, the women told them that "the Lord told them to get naked and walk down the street." Police filed a report for child neglect with the Department of Social Services.
Baby and Clyde: A man was arrested in west Charlotte after a late-night drive with his daughter turned out not to be the bonding experience he had hoped for. Police received a call reporting an armed man in the area and found that the armed person in question had some company. When officers approached the suspect's vehicle, they found the man at the wheel, his 8-year-old daughter in the passenger seat and a shotgun lying across her lap. An open container of alcohol was in the cup holder nearest her. The man failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on multiple charges, including endangering a child.
Hot Box: A couple was arrested in east Charlotte after police searched their car and found Xanax, marijuana, scales, a box of baggies and a gas mask. The couple was also charged with negligence because their 2-year-old child was in the car.
Dip Stick: Police responded to a domestic disturbance in southeast Charlotte and found a victim who will probably never try to make fondue again. The 50-year-old woman said she was trying to make dip with her mother but didn't know how to heat the oil. Her mother became so enraged at this lack of know-how that she grabbed her daughter by the hair and stabbed her in the hand with a fondue fork. The daughter went to the magistrate to fill out papers to commit her mother to an institution but, surprisingly, none were issued, and no arrests were made.
Dad of the Year: A 20-year-old woman called police, saying her baby's father had brutally beaten her in her east Charlotte home. The man allegedly shoved her onto the bed and straddled her before choking her for four seconds. The two were in an argument over which was the better parent.
TANGLING WITH THE PO-PO
Timberrrrr: A Charlotte police officer got the short end of the stick during a foot chase. The man was running after a suspect through the backyards of an east Charlotte neighborhood when the suspect jumped a fence. The officer tried to follow, but a dead tree fell on him before he could climb over. The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for possible internal injuries.
Fool the Fuzz: A woman was arrested in northwest Charlotte after she took advantage of some cops. Police were working an undercover operation to find dealers in the neighborhood when they asked the woman if she could score them some drugs. She told them she could, took their $40 and walked away. After the woman didn't return for some time, police began to look for her and found her walking on a nearby street. Police said the woman admitted that she was going to keep the money.
Ain't From Around Here: Police responded to a call on North Wendover Road in reference to "a bunch of teens hanging around a red truck," because apparently that is a crime now. Police found some weed in the crotch of the jeans of one of the teens, and some more in another teen's pants pocket. This, along with the seizure of some paraphernalia, gave the officers reasonable cause to also seize $95. In a surprising statement that tries to offer "justification" for the actions, the report ends with, "The teens do not live in the community."
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
On Second Thought: A 51-year-old man going through severe depression gave himself more to be depressed about when he accidentally shot himself in the foot. The man told medics that he had been handling his father's gun because he was contemplating suicide. During this contemplation period, the gun slipped and shot a bullet into his right foot. The good news is that he must have changed his mind when he felt the pain, because instead of ending it all then and there he dialed 911 and asked for help.
Road Rage: A woman was arrested on Brookshire Boulevard when she shot a .38 caliber pistol at her own tire after becoming aggravated in traffic.
Gun Control: A 36-year-old woman used a weapon to protect her children but would up being no match for two assailants. The woman told officers that two strangers were on her porch, so she opened the door -- .380 pistol in hand -- to tell them to leave. One of the strangers reportedly grabbed the woman, and the second punched her in the face. The first suspect then pushed her to the ground, causing her to drop the gun. The second suspect grabbed the gun, and both fled the scene.
ON THE JOB
Wobble, Wobble: An officer with the Mecklenburg County ABC took some colleagues into The Gentleman's Club, but not for entertainment. They went after being informed that some of the dancers had been drinking on the job. After checking the dancers' breaths, they deduced that five of 10 had been consuming, which is a violation of the club's ABC permits.
Mechanical Error: A 45-year-old woman probably thought she was shattering a stereotype by hiring a female mechanic to work on her car. Unfortunately, the customer chose the wrong expert. The car had been stalling before, but it wouldn't even start when she got it back. She looked under the hood and found water in the oil well and a hole punched through the radiator with an unknown tool.
That Does Suck: An employee at a local portrait studio arrived at work to find that someone wasn't a fan of the photos in the display case. On the rear door of the business, someone had spray-painted, "Wow this sucks."
Out On Top: Only a couple of days after Black Friday, a local restaurant turned an attempted robbery into profit. A man walked into Sunrise Restaurant on Albemarle Road and asked the cashier to change a $5 bill. When the cashier opened the cash register the suspect reached over and grabbed money and ran away. The suspect was probably miffed when he was able to count his earnings however, as he only grabbed two dollars. The employee was still holding his original bill and the restaurant marked their losses in the police report at (-)$3.
Gassed Up: Apparently, recent education cuts have left CMS workers desperate, as officers found at a transportation center the school system operates in southwest Charlotte. Officers were watching the center when they saw a car drive around its parking lot with its headlights off. Police reportedly intercepted the car as it approached the fuel center and found a CMS employee holding enough equipment to steal several hundred gallons of gas meant for school-system vehicles.
Class Act: Only a month after Daisy Dooks Gentleman's Club got into trouble with ABC inspectors for multiple violations, such as unauthorized guests getting naked in the crowd, the inspectors returned and once again didn't like what they found. One officer reported entering the club and smelling a strong smell of marijuana and then watching patrons as they grabbed bottles of alcohol at random and poured themselves shots. The club was written up for multiple violations.
Tech-no-logic: A 32-year-old woman filed a police report after receiving some disturbing notifications. The woman told police that her husband, whom she is separated from, posted nude pictures of her on his Facebook page. In an unrelated case, a man was picked up by police for posting pictures of his electronic-monitoring device, after he had illegally removed it from his ankle.
Bad tippers: Delivery people are robbed frequently in Charlotte, but one delivery guy was greeted with a slightly more painful surprise. The 29-year-old man, who works for the entire Johns family (Papa and Jimmy), was on the stoop of a University-area home to deliver food when someone answered the door and shocked him with a taser-like electronic device. Apparently, the suspect was just testing his weapon, because nothing was stolen.
iF*&k: A 20-year-old woman filed a report against her boyfriend after he shattered her phone's screen. The woman told officers that her boyfriend asked to use her phone. When she got it back, the screen was cracked. The man told her that a message on her phone had made him so mad that he squeezed the phone until it cracked.
Paint It Black: A kid's Nintendo DS was stolen in southwest Charlotte after he left it on the front porch for a few minutes. Later in the week, the kid was hanging out at a neighbor's house when he noticed that his friend suddenly had a new Nintendo DS. But it didn't look right. The neighbor had painted the Nintendo DS black, concealing most of the original red color. Ultimately, it did not matter to whom the DS belonged, because painting the portable gaming system ruined it.
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