So, How Bad Is The Economy?
Back in the Jurassic when I was a young patrolman workin’ a “below Broadway” beat downtown, every time the weather turned wet and cold, some of the Sidewalk Saints would approach me, applying for a stint in city jail.
“Three hots and a cot ain’t bad, Officer Gilmore,” they would say. “Might get ta see the dentist too, and I could use a couple of them Vitamin B shots.”
Often they would present me with some cheap article they claimed to have stolen, and confess to a theft, just so they’d have a beef to be charged with.
Deputies working the night shift at the Butler County Jail in Hamilton, Ohio, were faced with the same kind of dilemma when they caught Tiffany Hurd, 36, trying to climb over the security fence to get into the calaboose. They told her to leave several times, and each time she demanded they arrest her. They got the definite impression she had nowhere else to go — at least nowhere with the same benefits as a stay in the GrayBar Hotel.
After giving her a last warning, she spun around and began climbing the fence again. Finally, deputies gave up and arrested her for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. She was apparently very relieved to be walked into jail.
Just consider the phrase “a fight broke out in the dormitory,” and what kinda scene do you imagine? A dozen drunken frat boys dukin’ it out? Eight guys throwing punches and overturning a lamp on a nightstand? Now just add “in China” to the sentence.
Sources in Taiyuan, an industrial city in northern China, reported a fight erupted in one dormitory building occupied mostly by young single men working at a cell-phone factory. Apparently, the company’s dorm “floor monitors” had been bullying the residents, and a couple of ’em finally had enough — and somebody got poked in the nose. As other monitors and more employees jumped into the dog pile, the numbers quickly rose, like, to over 2,000 brawlers.
The company sent about 500 security officers to quell the fracas, and when it appeared they were gettin’ their butts whupped, the police were called. They sent 5,000 cops. Kinda makes you wonder if they left a skeleton crew of maybe only 1,000 cops at the local precinct station, right?
Final figures were confused, but sources said “several” people were arrested, 40 were reported injured, and it took police four hours to restore order. It could have been worse. Seventy-nine thousand people — again, mostly young, single guys — work at that one factory. That might actually qualify as a “big fight” in China — and require more than 5,000 cops.
Just Another Disgruntled Client
We assume if you call an FBI field office and leave an angry voicemail for an agent that’s loaded with over a dozen “F bombs,” miscellaneous insults and an outright threat to “break (the agent’s) #&!#! neck,” you can expect a visit from the feds, right? Well, Thomas Bitter left such a message with the Bureau’s San Diego office, and he got some attention, all right! That is, attention of the handcuffs-and-charges variety.
That drew some attention from journalists, who were later kinda mystified when Bitter’s prosecution was quietly dropped. What, no charges for a guy who threatened an FBI agent?
Newsies did some snooping, apparently running into walls of silence and blind alleys. OC Weekly suggested — without revealing what they had found — that Bitter had been acting as a confidential informant, and he was angry — you might say “Bitter was bitter” — because the feds were tardy in making payments to him.
Hey, if you don’t pay your bills, you gotta expect nasty calls!
A Pretty Nice Place To Live
A patrol cop on the graveyard shift in Goshen, Ind., was cruising past a Kroger’s grocery store when he noticed first, that the 24/7 lights were on as usual, but second, the store, which was supposed to be closed at that hour, appeared to be open.
The officer checked it out and found the electronic door locks had apparently malfunctioned and were unlocked, leaving the market wide open for theft. He reported there were about a dozen people inside, lined up with their purchases and holding their credit or debit cards, trying to get the self-checkout register to work for them. When told the store wasn’t supposed to be open and the self-checkout wouldn’t work, they cheerfully put their groceries back where they belonged and left quietly.
Store management later reported that not a stick of gum or a bottle of pop appeared to be missing.
“That’s just the way folks are here,” an officer said.
By Commander Gilmore
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