By Todd Wildermuth
RPD Public Information Officer
Roswell, N.M. — Roswell Police Department officers never know what unique and unusual situations they may deal with during any given day. A routine shift often includes officers responding to some not-so-routine calls. RPD offers this local sampling from 2017.
SELF-DETERMINED DWI: An officer waiting at a stop sign watched a woman drive her car through the intersection and then come to a stop nearby and yell to the officer, requesting to speak to the officer. The driver got out of her car, staggered around and was incoherent for the most part. However, before the officer asked her anything, the woman managed to volunteer: “I did drink. I’m not a drinker, but you might need to arrest me.” She was indeed arrested after she failed field sobriety tests, at one point simply putting her wrists together in front of her and saying, “Take me to jail.” A breath alcohol concentration test later confirmed she was driving while intoxicated. Of course, she knew that already.
‘PURSE’-SUIT OF A SHOPLIFTER: A 23-year-old woman who had been seen shoplifting by a store security staff member at Kmart got away from the security employee by throwing her purse at him after he had followed her outside the store. The purse may have been a good distraction for the shoplifter to make her getaway, but it was also a convenient aid to officers who found the woman’s I.D. card inside. She was eventually tracked down and arrested for shoplifting $59 worth of clothing, which she had concealed in the purse. So police were able to get the goods back right away and find the alleged thief soon after. All the proof was in the purse.
EARLY-MORNING EXPOSURE: It was just after 6 a.m. on a Monday when a 49-year-old man walked into the lobby of the police department. He was not a usual-type visitor since he was completely naked. He was also intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. He asked the front-desk personnel (who are in a secure area behind tinted glass) to let him into another area of the building. He was refused and when officers arrived, the man unsuccessfully tried to resist their actions to arrest him. Thankfully, an officer was able to locate a pair of shorts the man is believed to have discarded. Officers placed the shorts on the man to bring a much-needed end to an unwanted display.
HE’LL DEFINITELY BE UN-FRIENDING HER: In the world of online dating and relationships, sometimes things don’t work out. A local man met a woman on Facebook and invited her to his home. She showed up, along with another man, who held the first man at knifepoint while the woman stole items from the home before she and her accomplice fled. They were arrested after their vehicle was spotted and stopped by an officer a short time later.
MUCH LESS THAN THE PERFECT CRIME: A robbery attempt at a convenience store ended badly for the robber, who departed the store with less than he had come in with. The man had two backpacks with him when he came into the store and brandished a knife as he demanded money from the female clerk, who did not give him anything. A male store clerk soon entered the store from an outside office, produced his own knife and approached the robber, who grabbed the female clerk’s cell phone from a counter, but left behind his two backpacks, and fled outside. The male clerk followed him out to the parking lot. Realizing he was missing his backpacks, the robber told the clerk he would trade the phone for his backpacks and the money in the registers. Chaves County Sheriff’s Office deputies were the first to arrive while the man, who then tossed away the knife, was still in the parking lot. They had him detained on the ground as a city officer arrived soon after.
WARRANT WAVE: A man was walking along a street late on a cold January night when he decided to wave down officers in hopes of getting a ride to his residence so he could get out of the weather. The man ended up accomplishing half his goal. He got out of the weather, but didn’t get to go home. Turns out he had a couple warrants for shoplifting and failure to pay fines, so he wound up getting a ride to jail from the officers he had waved down.
COLOR CRIME: A woman awoke one morning to discover someone had changed her mailbox overnight. She reported her gray mailbox in front of her home was gone, replaced by a black one. The woman could offer no ideas about why someone would do that, and neighbors said they didn’t see who did it.
RIFLE REACH: Retrieving a bottle of lotion from under a bed generally isn’t a dangerous task. Unless someone decides to use a rifle in the endeavor. That’s what one man did when a lotion bottle fell and landed under his bed. While using a rifle to try to reach the bottle, the rifle accidentally discharged, firing a shot that struck the man in the arm and the calf. The man was treated at a local hospital.
LANDSCAPING LARCENY: Parkview Elementary School reported one of its desert willow trees was missing from where it had been planted in front of the school. The school had recently undergone some building and landscape renovations. A school employee noticed the tree had apparently been stolen.
A DRAINING EXPERIENCE: Police and firefighters were called to a drainage pipe along the Hondo Riverbed a short distance from downtown on a March afternoon. A 36-year-old woman had crawled into the pipe and couldn’t find her way out. A little scared as a result of her predicament, and fortunate to have a phone with her, she called 911, informing a dispatcher where she had entered the pipe and that she was now under a grate and could see some light. The first-responders were able to locate and rescue her. She was OK and was given instructions to not wander into any drainage pipes again.
EASY I.D.: A man who was in a store trying to pay for a cell phone with a credit card that was being declined decided to just grab the phone and leave. As he pulled the phone away from the clerk, he dropped his driver’s license and passport. Those documents allowed police to easily identify the man – who even had an account at the store – and track him down to his house not very far from the store. The suspect refused to exit his house when officers arrived, leading to police eventually entering the house and having to use a Taser to gain control of the resistant man.
WOODEN WARRIOR: Officers were called to a section of North Garden Avenue one afternoon when a man was seen swinging what appeared to be a sword. He was swinging it at fences and trees, but then began walking and swinging the item at passing vehicles. The sword turned out to be a replica made of wood, which the officers learned after the man complied with orders to drop it. His wooden-sword swinging only resulted in a charge of disorderly conduct, but paired with a marijuana pipe found in his pocket, the final result was a trip to jail.
DARE TO BARE: It was a little past midnight when an RPD officer was out at a traffic stop and was approached by a couple people reporting seeing a naked woman walking along West Second Street. The officer headed the direction the people pointed and it wasn't too long before he came upon the woman in question, who was indeed completely nude as she strolled along. She was holding her clothes, which she said she had taken off because she had been dared to.
NO, REALLY, I’M FINE: A drunk driver caused considerable property damage and claimed he didn’t even realize he had been in an accident – or perhaps what could be considered several accidents. The intoxicated man driving an SUV late one night hit a stop sign and then drove down an alley where he struck two parked vehicles, a fence, a car port and a barbecue grill. An officer investigated the scene and spoke with the driver, who, through slurred speech, explained to the officer, “I didn’t drink enough to be involved in an accident.” His parade of property damage indicated otherwise.