They evaded, fled, argued with and eventually fought the law, and the law still won

South-West Review police reports Jan. 19, 2014

West St. Paul

— Sometimes it seems  it would be easier just to pay: employees at a liquor store on the 1100 block of Robert St. accused a couple of stashing a bottle of brandy in the woman’s purse Jan. 13. The couple denied the claim and left the store, but that didn’t sit well with the staff. One of the employees jumped in his vehicle and tailed the suspects as they walked away while another got on the phone to police. An officer caught up with the couple as they emerged from an alley off Livingston Avenue; while the purse was now empty, the officer searched the alley and found the unopened bottle. The brandy was returned to the store and the woman was cited for theft.

— Sometimes it’s best to know when to fold: loss prevention staff at Kmart called police Jan. 8 to say they were about to confront a man who concealed drill bits and a flashlight under layers of winter clothing and they wanted an officer standing by. When stopped, the man initially seemed cooperative, but then changed his mind and headed for the exit. There he was confronted by the waiting officer, who found the man had an outstanding warrant from Ramsey County and arrested him on the spot.

Suspicious activity
— Certainly no risk of overheating here: an officer who found two dogs locked in a vehicle outside a 24-hour fitness center just after midnight Jan. 9 waited for the owner to emerge and advised him against leaving his pets in the car in subzero temperatures.

Disturbing the peace
— With an airtight scheme like this it’s hard to see what went wrong: two couples who shoplifted one bottle of soda from a gas station on the 1200 block of Robert St. Jan. 8 became irate when they attempted to return the merchandise and were turned away. The group apparently didn’t feel the matter was worth police mediation, however, and left before an officer arrived.

— Maybe it’s time to invest in a stress ball: tenants in an apartment complex on the 1900 block of Oakdale Ave. called police to complain of a woman who was hurling items down the hallway and slamming her door. An officer met with the woman in question, who said she’d had a friend over and her friend was upset after an argument with her boyfriend, hence the throwing. When the officer presented the woman with some of the thrown items, including a travel mug, she denied ownership. The officer advised the woman that regardless of who did the throwing, the practice was more likely to spread frustration than relieve it.

— The hasty cover story is probably more embarrassing than the truth: officers pulled into the parking lot of a bar on the 400 block of Mendota Road Jan. 11 after spotting four men kicking and punching each other. The fighting ceased immediately and the men explained they were only “play wrestling.” Officers advised them whatever it was, they should knock it off.

Check welfare
— Who needs the Ghostbusters when you have West St. Paul Police? Dispatch received a call Jan. 13 from a man who said he believed he was carrying the spirit of a World War II pilot and would like an officer to call him with some advice. The dispatcher told him there was no guarantee of a callback, but the man was able to rendezvous with officers at the public works building later that day. The report did not disclose whether officers were able to put the spirit to rest.

— Getting too drunk to drive is one problem, but being too drunk to take a cab takes it to a whole new level: a rowdy patron at a bar on the 400 block of Mendota Road was eventually coaxed out of the bar and into a cab, but was returned a few minutes later because the cabbie said the man was too obnoxious. Eventually the man settled down and the cabbie agreed to give it another try; a patrol officer tailed the vehicle for a time in case there were more problems, but broke off after the cab made a quick stop at the White Castle drive-through.

Inver Grove Heights

— If only all customers were this loyal: a manager at Applebees called police Dec. 20 to report an intoxicated man who’d previously been banned from the restaurant had just stumbled in. The manager said they’d had numerous problems with the man in the past, and in fact the officer who responded to the call recognized the man because he’d had to remove him from Applebees twice before. Upon confrontation, the man said he knew he wasn’t supposed to be there, but he was waiting for a ride and needed a place to warm up. The officer cited the man for trespassing and drove him back to his apartment.

Warrant arrest
— A woman called police from the 6900 block of Craig Ave. Dec. 26 to report an unknown man sitting in his car in her driveway. The responding officer approached the man and asked him his business there, and the man replied he was a contractor and had an appointment at the home. The officer then contacted the caller, who said she was not aware any such appointment. She added it was possible the man had been hired by her husband, but since he wasn’t home she did not feel comfortable answering the door. The officer then advised the man he’d have to reschedule. As the man drove away, the officer ran his plates and learned he had a suspended license and a misdemeanor theft warrant out of Washington County. The officer managed to catch up with the man near 66th Street and Concord Boulevard and place him under arrest.

— Say what you will about public urination, it’s an effective substitute for field sobriety tests: police responded to a bar on the 6400 block of Concord Blvd. in the wee hours of Dec. 29 on a report of a patron relieving himself in the parking lot. An officer found the suspect swaying gently outside the front doors of the bar and administered a breathalyzer test, which registered the man at a .36 blood alcohol content. He was promptly transported to Ramsey County Detox.

— Officers responded to an apartment on the 5800 block of Carmen Ave. Dec. 31 on a report of a domestic disturbance. The couple involved said the dispute wasn’t physical, but the woman said she wanted her boyfriend gone. The boyfriend agreed and made off for the bus stop. A few minutes later police were called back to the home, however, as the boyfriend had returned with a six-back of beer and a canvas sack. The man said he’d come back to collect a few possessions, but his girlfriend accused him of attempting to make off with her credit card. The man then invited police to search his bag; the credit card was not found but officers did confiscate a pill bottle containing a small amount of marijuana. After the man blew a .23 on the breathalyzer, officers decided to help him out with a place to stay for the night and dropped him off at detox with a citation for the weed.

South St. Paul

Traffic stop
–- Never brag when jail time is on the line: an officer pulled over a vehicle near I-494 and Concord Street Jan. 13 after a check on the plates revealed the owner had a misdemeanor warrant out of Marshall County. When the officer approached the vehicle and asked the driver if he knew why he’d been pulled over, the man replied calmly, “The warrant.” He went on to boast that he’d been stopped several times already, but because he was outside a 100-mile radius Marshall County law enforcement routinely declined to collect him. Given this information, the officer returned to his squad car and contacted Marshall County authorities, who agreed to amend the radius and collect the man if he was placed in custody. The officer then returned to the man and placed him under arrest, at which he shed his nonchalant demeanor and said some very unkind things. He also claimed he’d already paid the fee to settle his warrant at the South St. Paul Police station in June; however, after he’d been transported to Dakota County Jail the officer looked through the warrant receipts and learned the fee actually went to another warrant from another county.

— “Going for broke” in this case covers both the individual’s antics and his eventual court fees: after determining the driver ahead of him on the 200 block of 13th Ave. had a suspended license, an officer attempted to pull the man over but couldn’t convince him to stop until he pulled into the parking lot at Knowlan’s, parked, then backed up and selected a different parking spot. After confirming the man had neither a valid license nor car insurance, the officer informed the man he would be cited for both offenses and his car would be towed. The man became irate and refused to step away from his vehicle; after arguing for a while he took a few steps, then stopped near the rear of the vehicle. When the officer gave him a shove and told him to keep moving, the man adopted a fighting stance and came after him. The officer eventually managed to take the man to the ground, and, with the help of an off-duty Rosemount officer, get him into handcuffs. After arriving at Dakota Jail, the man displayed the same reluctance to leave the squad car, and began kicking and squirming, despite threats of tasing. He was eventually fitted with a spit mask, shackles and a restraint chair; in addition to the two traffic citations he started with he was booked on assault on a peace officer and disorderly conduct (and his vehicle was towed after all).

Auto theft
— A tan 2007 Ford Taurus was reported stolen on the 100 block of S Third Ave.  Jan. 12.

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