The Blotter February 13 2008

Bizarre crimes from Atlanta police reports

Revenge of the Clermont Lounge: Around 2:30 a.m., an officer reported a green Saturn weaving on I-75/85. The officer stopped the car and spoke with the driver, a 32-year-old man. "He looked at me with a disappointed look on his face and said he was out with his friend at the Cleremont Lounge [sic] on PDL and had four beers over the last four hours," the officer wrote. The officer asked: "Do you think that might have been too much?" The driver replied, "Potentially yes!" The officer asked him to get out of his car for a sobriety test. "He nearly fell over the brick wall," the officer noted. Apparently, this brick wall is a barrier between the highway overpass and about a 100-foot drop to the ground. "Initially, I thought he might have stumbled on something or just [been] clumsy, so I continued," the officer noted. Then, the man "fell off balance bad" near the brick wall again. "When I reached out to catch his arm, he just began crying and said, 'I'm sorry,'" the officer wrote. For the man's safety, all tests were stopped. The officer took him to jail, where he allegedly failed a Breathalyzer test by a wide margin. He was charged with DUI.

Name-dropping? Around 1 a.m., an officer said he saw a man soliciting rides on Cypress Street. (The man wore gold tennis shoes.) The man stopped a car and "[he] did not know the occupants of the car," the officer noted. "This area is a known area of male prostitution." The man had no ID and was "not cooperative," the officer noted. "When he was asked questions, he would respond, 'Bill Campell is my uncle.'" The officer arrested the man, age 28, for soliciting rides and took him to jail. (The Blotter Diva must note: "Bill Campell" could be a typo/reference to "Bill Campbell" — Atlanta's disgraced former mayor, who is currently in jail himself. If so, invoking the name of Bill Campbell, who was convicted for tax evasion, may not be the smartest strategy for any suspect.)

What would Jesus do? A man said his gray Nissan Altima was damaged in the parking lot of his apartment building on 26th Street. There was mud and white paint on the car and debris on the ground, an officer noted. The man said a white car had been parked near his car when he left — and now this white car was gone. He said the car was dirty and had an "I Love Jesus" bumper sticker on it. The man said he contacted the maintenance office and was told the car belongs to a maintenance worker.

Scary caller: A 26-year-old man said he got prank phone calls on his cell phone from a man identifying himself as a Fulton County deputy's sheriff. According to the man, the caller said he wanted to meet him in the 800 block of Peachtree Street because the man is spreading AIDS. The man said he doesn't know the caller, and he wants the Atlanta Police Department to investigate, so he can prosecute the man for impersonating a law-enforcement official.

Sweet scam: At a chocolate store in Lenox Square, an employee said she got a call from a woman named Rachel, who said she worked at the store's sister location at Mall of Georgia. Rachel said a dissatisfied customer would be stopping by the Lenox Square store for a refund — and Rachel gave instructions for handling the transaction, the employee said. About three minutes later, a heavyset woman walked into the store and identified herself as the dissatisfied customer. The employee said she refunded the woman $324 in cash — as Rachel had instructed her to do. After the woman left, the employee said she called the Mall of Georgia store and asked to speak with Rachel. She said she was told no one named Rachel worked there — and no one had authorized a $324 cash refund to any disgruntled customer.

Happy birthday in jail: Around 2:30 a.m., an officer said he saw a red Mustang going way too fast and swerving on I-85. The officer followed the red Mustang — and noted that his police car was going 120 mph during the chase. The officer stopped the car and talked with the driver. "I'm rushing to go see my brother, man. He got shot," the driver said, indicating his brother was at St. Joseph's Hospital. "Knowing that St. Joseph's generally did not provide trauma care, I was skeptical of his statements, however, I did not want to assume he was not being truthful," the officer wrote. The officer asked: "How fast do you think you were driving?" "About 90 mph," the driver replied. The driver appeared extremely nervous and he was pacing and perspiring, the officer noted. The officer noted: A female passenger backed up his claim about the shot brother, but a male passenger said he didn't "know nothing." The officer radioed in and asked for the phone number to St. Joseph's Hospital. Then he asked the driver again if his story was truthful. "He finally admitted that he lied, stating instead that he was going to meet his sister to celebrate his birthday. [He] apologized for lying," the officer wrote. He was charged with making false statements to police, and four other charges. So how old is our birthday boy? He had just turned 25 years old. Happy birthday — in jail.

Lotion wars: At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, an airport screener said a passenger hit her hand with a bottle of lotion. There were no visible signs of injury, an officer noted. "Several other TSA supervisors were on scene and loudly demanding that the passenger be charged and arrested," the officer noted, adding that the airport screener was "loud and uncooperative."

The passenger is a 46-year-old woman from Greenwood Village, Colo. She said she was told the bottle of lotion was going to be thrown into the trash, so she asked that the lotion be given to the homeless instead. Then, she said, the airport screener became loud and adamant that the lotion was going into the trash. She said she did hit the airport screener's hand, but not to harm her. There was no evidence of intent by the passenger, the officer noted. A security videotape didn't clearly show the incident, an airport supervisor said. No charges filed.

Items in the Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports. The Blotter Diva compiles them and puts them into her own words.

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