The Blotter April 02 2003

Around 2 a.m., police went to an apartment complex on Lawton Street. A middle-aged man — wearing nothing but an Atlanta Fire Department T-shirt — was walking around the parking lot. He was talking to himself. While holding his crotch area, the man said he was on fire.

The man wasn't on fire. The officer spoke with the man's roommate, who said he and the man had been drinking and smoking crack. The roommate said he heard the man screaming on the balcony. Then, the roommate looked down and saw the man in the parking lot.

There were abrasions on the man's elbows and knees. The officer tried to talk to him, but he was combative. The roommate found some pants for the man to wear. The roommate also turned over some medications that the man was taking. According to the report, the man apparently jumped from a second-floor balcony to a first-floor porch roof. Then, he jumped to the ground (about a 10-foot drop). The man was taken to Grady Hospital with minor injuries.

Security personnel at Hartsfield Airport were running luggage through the new Explosives Detection Systems machines. An X-ray picture showed a grenade inside a suitcase that belonged to a 34-year-old Italian man. The man's wife said that during their vacation in America, her husband bought several items at an Army-Navy store including an American flag, camouflage outfits and a novelty grenade. An officer opened the bag and saw the novelty grenade (which had a hollowed-out center). Airport security said the grenade couldn't be checked through, and it must be confiscated. The 34-year-old agreed.

An officer got a call from a very drunk woman on Rhodesia Avenue. It was about 10:30 a.m. The drunk woman, age 33, said the police came to her home around 2 a.m. that morning. She said the police were dressed in Red Dog attire (Red Dog is a police unit that specializes in drug investigations). The drunk woman said a masked man ordered her to "shut up." Nothing was taken from the home, and no one was arrested. The reporting officer noted, "I inquired as to why it took such a lengthy time period [for her] to call the police, if she felt she had been violated." The drunk woman replied, "I was so frightened that I started drinking more than I already was drinking. The only reason I called now, because I talked to a friend and they told me to."

The officer had a "difficult time establishing credibility" from the woman's version of events.

A 30-year-old woman told police that she "met" a Roswell man on a chat line. The woman gave him directions to a parking lot near her apartment on Peachtree Street so she could see what he looked like. She saw the man from her apartment balcony. The man also saw her on the balcony and called her. She decided not to see him. He got mad and called several times. She said the Roswell man threatened her by saying she "would have a surprise this weekend." The Roswell man is in his mid-30s, has short black hair and weighs about 200 pounds. He drives a gold minivan.

A 27-year-old man on Elizabeth Avenue called police and said he "met" a woman called "Nicey" two years ago on an Internet chat site. He said Nicey is now harassing him, and she changed the recorded message on his telephone. He also said Nicey has private/confidential information about him. He doesn't know Nicey's real name or address. But he did say that Nicey is between the ages of 18 and 35.

One Friday, a 44-year-old man walked into a government building on Walton Street to meet with his caseworker. "Who do I have to kill to get any food stamps around here?" he asked the caseworker. She called a security guard. The 44-year-old told the guard that he "would not live long enough to see his grandchildren." The security guard removed the man from the building, and told him not to return without an appointment.

The following Monday morning, the 44-year-old returned. He pointed at the security guard and left. The caseworker said the 44-year-old only needed to see her about once a year to verify his food-stamp information. She said he has a history of mental illness, but he never threatened her before.

A 20-year-old woman on Brownlee Street called police and said her mother has been "using her credit" ever since she was a little girl. She didn't know about it, nor did she ever give her mother permission to use her credit. She said her mother got a fake ID that lists her information, but has her mother's picture on the ID. The mother is 37 years old. No further information.

A 36-year-old woman on Paoli Avenue said a man tried to set fire to her shrub and mailbox. An officer spoke with the man, age 27, who lives a few houses down from the woman. He said the woman's son tried to set his jacket on fire. The officer told them both that it was in their best interest to stay away from each other. The woman wanted a police report so she could take out a warrant against the man in DeKalb County.

A woman said someone vandalized her burgundy convertible while it was parked in a lot on Peachtree Road. Someone wrote "Boy I'm GAY" on one side of the convertible top, and scrawled gang graffiti on the other side.

An officer saw a bearded 23-year-old man grab a metal trashcan and throw it in front of moving cars on Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. Then, the man grabbed large amounts of trash and threw it all over the street. The man said he was homeless and hungry. The officer asked why he threw the trashcan. "Because I wanted to," said the man. He went to jail for disorderly conduct and littering.

All items in The Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports and are public record.

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