Gene Weingarten: Soft-boiled detectives

January 26, 2012

I’ve always lived in big cities, where police blotters tend to read like this: “Officers called to scene of machine-gun altercation between heroin-crazed pimp and eye-gouge gang; 600 dead.”

Turns out that not everywhere is like that. The following actual police blotter items were taken from the 2011 reports of the 41-person police department of upscale Vienna, Va., a distant suburb of Washington.

A concerned citizen reported an apparently intoxicated individual stumbling in the park. Ofcr. Sheeran located the suspect and had to physically detain him. During the search, some freshly prepared sushi was discovered inside the front of suspect’s pants. It is unclear from where the sushi was taken.

A citizen brought a loaded handgun to Vienna Police Headquarters. The citizen wanted the gun to be made safe. Ofcr. Simon unloaded the handgun for the citizen.

Ofcr. Evans investigated a case regarding an all-you-can-eat steak promotion. The customer had been served his first steak, wanted more, was told it would take 30 minutes to cook. The customer felt this was a deceptive practice and a way to get him to eat off the buffet instead of continuing to eat steak.


(by Eric Shansby)

The restaurant manager reduced the amount of the customer’s check and banned him from the property. The still-hungry customer left without incident.

A citizen reported that after dining at a restaurant he was confronted by a subject. The subject pointed his finger at the complainant and told him to respect women. He then left.

Tenant reported that his landlord would not allow him to use a particular bathroom inside the home. The tenant’s usual toilet was unavailable. There was also a third toilet in the basement, but the tenant refused to use that one as it is necessary to hold the handle down for it to properly flush.

A citizen reported that a mother and her adult daughter were arguing over the daughter’s moral behavior. After counseling from Sgt. Farhan, the two agreed to separate and go to their respective bedrooms.

A citizen reported that she ordered some pizzas from Joe’s Pizza. Upon the arrival of the pizza, the complainant noted that the order was wrong and took over an hour to be delivered. When the complainant called the restaurant to complain, an employee reportedly told her that if she “didn’t speak nicely, he would have to kill her.” Ofcr. Lose investigated and determined that the employee had actually stated, “Speak nicely so I can help you.”

A citizen reported that a resident was housing chickens on his property. Ofcr. Barker investigated and determined that the animals are actually ducks and they live with a rabbit in a pen. There was no violation of law.

A woman reported that she and her husband are getting divorced. As they both passed in the hallway, she reported that he bumped into her with his belly and told her to move out of his way.

Employee of Bridal Closet reported that she was assisting a client that was trying to fit into a dress. When the dress did not fit correctly, the client became disorderly and verbally abusive toward the employee.

A citizen reported that a squirrel was refusing to get off of the top of his truck tire. Ofcr. Sheeran was able to convince the squirrel to leave the area and he scampered off into a wooded area.

E-mail Gene at weingarten@washpost.com. Chat with him Tuesday at noon at washingtonpost.com/magazine.

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