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The Blotter: Fourth of July High 

Bizarre crime from Charlotte police files

What Goes Up PSA for all dumbasses on the Fourth of July: Do not shoot your gun into the air to add to the firework display. See, fireworks don't come back down at a deadly speed. Police are still trying to find out which idiot shot into the air at around 10:30 p.m. on July 4 in the Plaza Midwood area, because their bullet came down and struck a 35-year-old man in the shoulder, causing serious injury. If found, the suspect faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Next Stop, Please It's bad enough having to work on a holiday, but one CATS bus driver had to deal with an especially rude rider on July 4 while driving a bus through west Charlotte. The driver reported to police that the bus was on its route on Tuckaseegee Road when one of the passengers lit a firework on the bus before hopping off fleeing the scene.

Musket Mistake A woman in northeast Charlotte was probably trying to get into the patriotic spirit when she loaded up what police described as "a black powder firearm" on July 4, but things ended badly for her. Although the report does not state what type of firearm it was, a black powder firearm is one of the earlier gun technologies, most of which use a flintlock and are considered antiques by law enforcement. According to the report, the 66-year-old woman dropped the gun, "causing it to fire accidentally and strike her in the leg," at her home near Reedy Creek Park. While musket balls will do plenty of damage if loaded and shot correctly, the report states the victim suffered no injury in the incident.

Coal In Your Stocking What's worse than planning a cookout for the whole fam and realizing that you forgot the charcoal necessary to grill your dogs and burgers? How about having the charcoal you did remember stolen right out from under you. That's what happened to one victim at Nevin Community Park in north Charlotte. The 45-year-old woman told police that she got to the park at 7 a.m. on July 4 to begin preparing the cookout, but when it came time to throw the coal on the grill at around 11:40 a.m., she found that someone had stolen her $14 bag of charcoal. It's a hot dog eat dog world out there, folks.

Stolen Valor Other suspects near Uptown were also willing to steal in order to make their Fourth of July celebrations go smoothly. On July 2, employees at Target in the Metropolitan shopping center caught a suspect trying to leave the store with $13 worth of "American flags and trinkets," according to the report.

Fallen Posters With the amount of money it costs just to see a movie these days, it's only right that folks be allowed to take a souvenir with them. That was apparently the thinking of one recent moviegoer in south Charlotte. Staff at the Regal Stonecrest at Piper Glen movie theater called police after an unknown suspect opened a movie poster display board in front of the theater and stole a Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom poster at about 8 p.m. All in the name of Chris Pratt.

The Essentials Productive people like to knock out their grocery shopping early, and productive shoplifters get more cranky the earlier you try to confront them. Employees at a Bi-Lo on Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road in northwest Charlotte had to deal with a woman who came into the store at about 8 a.m. and went for the trifecta: chicken wings, beer and baby wipes. The woman tried to leave the store without paying for her bounty, and that's when she was confronted by three Bi-Lo employees. It was then that the shoplifter made it clear that she was not a morning person, threatening all three of the people in her way. It's unclear in the report what exactly happened in the struggle that followed, but police reported that all the beer and baby wipes were recovered, while only $140 of the $200 worth of chicken she had tried to steal could be saved. Whether the rest of the chicken was spilled taking the suspect into custody or she made off with it, we'll never know.

Mr. Potato Head Threatening another person is never nice, but involving an innocent produce in the matter is just hateful. A grandmother opened the front door of her home in the Ballantyne area to find a threat directed towards her grandson. The woman found a note with the words "Fuck you" along with the grandson's name scribbled on a piece of plastic. To further the message, next to the note was a potato with two holes, which grandma believed signified bullets through her grandson's heart. We're usually supporters of symbolism in art, but this has gone too far.

International Conspiracy A 40-year-old man filed a police report after recently learning that his phone has been pranking people without him even knowing it. He said that on one afternoon in early July, he started receiving calls and text messages from strangers upset with him because he was calling them and hanging up. The only problem was, he hadn't personally called any of these people and nobody had used his phone. The man's only answer was that his phone was "spoofed" and that his number was now "dialing numbers and hanging up on people all over the world," according to the report.

All stories are pulled from police reports at CMPD headquarters. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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