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By Todd Wildermuth, RPD Public Information Officer
Roswell Police Department officers never know what unique and unusual situations they may deal with during any given day or night. A routine shift can include officers responding to some not-so-routine calls. RPD offers this local sampling from 2019.
CRIME CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH: The 22-year-old man who arrived in the hospital emergency room one night in April had a stab wound to his chest. Police were called to the hospital and the man told them a story of his ex-girlfriend seeing him in Walmart that night and swinging a knife at him, resulting in his injuries. When an officer went to the store to review surveillance footage of the incident, the video told a different story. In the footage, the man entered the sporting goods section of the store, took a knife from the shelf and began to try to open the packaging. While trying to pull the knife from the package, the man stabbed himself in the chest, but managed to get the knife out of the package, put the knife in his pocket and return the package to the shelf before using his hands to cover his bleeding chest wound and running to the restroom. After a brief time in the restroom – long enough to leave blood on the sink, stalls, walls and floor – the man exited the restroom and left the store, apparently on his way to the hospital to get his shoplifting wound treated.
POOR PARKING CHOICE: A woman tried to steal three carts worth of merchandise – totaling more than $3,500 – from Walmart one November evening. The woman was accompanied by her children, the oldest being 11. The kids helped their mom fill up the carts and then push them outside without paying. The shoplifting parent ran into trouble, though, when she and her kids reached their car, with store security in pursuit. A Chaves County Sheriff’s Office deputy was already at the woman’s car, checking it out because the 24-year-old woman had left it in a no-parking zone. The deputy called for an RPD officer to come take care of the arrest.
STAYING ON TOP OF THINGS: It was shortly after midnight on an April night when a drunk driver disrupted the quietness of a northeast Roswell neighborhood when he crashed into five parked vehicles on a residential street. The 31-year-old suspect then ran toward his own home just a few blocks away. The suspect was identified when his vehicle was found at the accident scene and officers went to his residence. They soon found him hiding on the roof of his neighbor’s house across the street.
EAR EVIDENCE: It was a June morning when two brothers who were living in a north Roswell motel got into an argument that led to a physical fight. As they wrestled outside their motel room, one brother (age 33) bit off a portion of his younger (age 29) brother’s ear. The evidence certainly supported the description of the altercation. When an officer arrived, he not only observed the one brother’s injured ear, but also found an ear lobe in the parking lot. The older brother was charged with aggravated battery.
BUSH LEAGUE: An officer working an overnight shift was parked near North Main and 19th streets around midnight one May night when he heard a vehicle with a loud exhaust coming his way. As the car passed, the officer saw it did not have its headlights on, so he began to follow it. However, when the officer turned on the emergency lights on his police unit, the suspect car quickly sped away. But soon after the officer located the car at the Noon Optimist Little League property a few blocks away. The car had crashed through a fence and ended up on one of the baseball fields with a large cloud of dirt rising above it. The driver was not in the car, but officers found him hiding in nearby bushes. A breath test showed the 18-year-old to have a breath alcohol content of more than twice the legal standard for impairment while driving.
ONCE IN A BLUE MAN: When officers responded one May night to a call about a man trying to tear down a fence at an apartment complex, they were quickly able to spot the suspect – the 52-year-old man was completely naked and he was blue. Officers would soon learn the man had rubbed toilet bowl cleaner on his body. He took a crouching, aggressive stance to the officers and began to growl at them. After some further resistance from the man, officers got him under control and into custody.
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL: A local pastor found a backpack outside his church one morning in February. Inside the backpack was 1,000 rounds of gun ammunition. When a man showed up at the church soon after trying to claim the backpack, the pastor questioned him about the contents of it and an argument ensued, which then led to a physical fight. But that came to a quick end as the pastor produced a firearm and held the 28-year-old man at gunpoint until officers arrived. It turned out the ammunition had been shoplifted from a store the previous night.
GARBAGE GANG: Two men charged with multiple burglaries were out of jail on bail in October and they decided to enjoy their freedom by trying to commit another burglary. When the homeowner caught them in the act, they fled. But not far. An officer found both of the suspects, ages 19 and 20, hiding in a nearby trash container.
PILFERED PYTHONS: A 32-year-old woman was arrested for stealing four baby python snakes from the Wildlife Safari store. Store surveillance cameras caught the woman – a regular customer of the store – come into the store on an October afternoon while the owner was dealing with another customer in the back of the store, reach into the snake bin and place the snakes in a bag she carried and leave. She then tried to sell the snakes on Facebook. In the end, three of the four stolen snakes were recovered.
NOT QUITE THE VALUE MENU: A woman who was captured on store surveillance video walking out of Walmart and leaving the area without paying for three 18-packs of beer and two cases of vodka was quickly tracked down after the November incident. The key clue? She was wearing the uniform of a specific fast-food restaurant, the local manager of which was able to identify the suspect when an officer showed her a photo from the video. The 35-year-old suspect was called to the restaurant and met by the officer. She was cited for shoplifting and surrendered the stolen alcohol.
THE STING OF THE LAW: A convenience-store shoplifter walked out of the store on a December afternoon with $101 worth of lollipops. And not just any lollipops, these were a whole box (34 pops) of Hotlicks Scorpion suckers. Store employees got the license plate number of the vehicle driven by the thief. The suspect was then identified by police, and confirmed as the thief by store employees, and soon after issued a shoplifting citation.