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The Best of The Blotter 2011 

Creative Loafing's annual "Best of The Blotter" issue has hit the streets a little early this year — and that has me thinking about the new way I look at seasons since I started writing this weekly crime column three years ago.

Back in the days of my innocence, I thought of the summer as a time for grilling hot dogs with friends and watching fireworks with the family. But now, I see every social function as an opportunity for the idiots of Charlotte to get creative with their criminal behavior. I've come across too many police reports of teenage kids sending bottle rockets whistling at their neighbor's head, and I've read of more than one occasion when the police have responded to a married couple's house after a hot dog was flung toward someone with malicious intent.

Each season has its ups and downs when it comes to illegal activity. I've never seen any reports of guys pulling out their junk in front of random women and pleasuring themselves on the street in the winter. Most guys know why vagrants choose the warmer seasons for such activity. That said, this year a couple was found making love in the aisles of ImaginOn Children's Library during the cold-weather months ... while the spring brought reports of four men fornicating in the woods of Kilborne Park.

The point is that it doesn't matter if Hurricane Irene has flooded our streets by the time this publication is released or if miniature earthquakes are all we have to worry about — people in the city will still be acting dumb. Whenever you read The Blotter, whether it's Christmas or Labor Day, you're bound to get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. You might want to get that checked out.

Enjoy ...

Girls (and Guys) Behaving Badly

Read It, Beat It: Police were called to the Borders bookstore on Rea Road after a 34-year-old woman was startled to find a man masturbating in a public part of the store. Maybe that's why all the pages in my copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo are stuck together.

Food Fight: Police responded to a call at the Salsarita's near the airport after an employee threw a fit at work. The general manager told officers that he asked the employee to leave the store, and the kid started throwing food items all over the place. The irate employee reportedly threw beverages, meats, vegetables, dairy and salsa around the interior of the store, damaging a hanging light and the cash register. At least one customer in line was probably thinking: "I hope that's not my burrito he's making back there."

U-Turn: Police were interviewing a larceny suspect in the street last week when a black Saturn nearly collided with their patrol vehicle, skidding 20 feet to a stop in front of it. As an officer approached the passenger side, he witnessed the passenger stuffing something in the glove box and attempting to hide his open can of Budweiser on the floorboard. When he was told to step out of the vehicle, he began cursing and yelling at officers and was placed in handcuffs. A search of the glove box turned up five grams of weed. The suspect told officers he shouldn't be charged with anything because it wasn't his car. Yeah, because it's OK to kill people as long as you're in someone else's house and steal things from stores you do not own.

Hissy Fit: A 22-year-old woman called police after her clearly unstable boyfriend assaulted her. The man became enraged one day last week and started throwing and breaking things around the house. The woman went outside to call for help and then went inside to attempt to get her children out. The suspect threatened to shoot the woman and threw a large toy truck at her. He then attempted to slam the windows shut on her fingers. The suspect finally left but hadn't quite finished his rampage. He got into the victim's car with her purse and wallet and then tried hitting her with the vehicle while she stood in the front yard. I swear, Tar Heels fans don't know how to act when their team loses.

Taking A Stand: A 51-year-old man called police after being chased around his apartment complex by a raving lunatic. He told officers that the man chased him around with a huge stick until he found refuge in his friend's apartment. It was from this safe haven that he watched the suspect enter his apartment, where his wife was sleeping. The suspect got a butter knife out of the victim's sink and came back outside again. You might be sleeping on the couch for a long while — or your friend's place if you don't feel safe on the couch.

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