When people figure out that I'm the guy who writes The Blotter — Creative Loafing's weekly column about Charlotte's most bizarre crimes and criminals, taken straight from the files of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department — they have one of two reactions. Most readers love it; they tell me that it's their favorite part of CL and the reason they pick up the paper every week. And then there are the ones who've been waiting to meet me because they're pissed.
One guy (who is now a friend) once told me he likes the column, but I shouldn't have made fun of the homeless woman who got robbed for a bag of $300 in coins. He knows the woman through a friend; she's apparently really struggling, and I don't doubt that. But hey, maybe she read the piece and my joke about learning what a Coinstar is and now her life is 10 times better ... and she doesn't have back problems anymore. That's how I sleep at night.
The truth is that the law of human nature applies to everyone: victims, suspects and police officers. From morons who are trying to file a police report after losing their wallet in their own home to unstable folks trying to attempt suicide by swallowing pencils — 10 percent of people are great at what they do, 80 percent are mediocre and the other 10 percent just make a big mess of everything. That last 10 percent are the people who keep me employed. And here, in our annual collection of The Blotter's best/worst, are their stories.
Girls (and Guys) Behaving Badly
Like A Fool: A woman was arrested on Trade Street for exhibiting all kinds of behavior that I find attractive in a lady. The suspect was found approaching men and begging for sex, going to the bathroom in public, being nude in public from the waist down and being in possession of rolling papers.
Something Smells Fishy: A man was arrested last week leaving a local Bi-Lo with stolen goods. The man was caught in the parking lot after trying to conceal two bags of shrimp, a bag of flounder and a donut in his clothing before leaving without paying. I'm thinking it probably wasn't too difficult for police to pick up his scent.
Hot New Club: Police were tipped off to a nightclub operation that was taking place in an abandoned Mexican restaurant in Charlotte and set up surveillance on the spot. When officers entered the facility, they found a bartender serving out of 30 different bottles of liquor. They also found women stripping for patrons. Any food specials, you ask? Yep: a pile of hot wings on a hot plate. The bartender, a few women and a couple of patrons were arrested. Hey, you guys are always welcome to throw a party at my house.
Touch Yourself: Police were called to a local beauty salon after employees saw two men masturbating on the sidewalk out in front of the store. This might turn off customers at first, but I see it as a great marketing opportunity. "Our salon will get you looking so good, men won't be able to resist dropping their pants and rubbing one out right there on the street when they see you!"
Drinking Games: Police responded to a loud disturbance at a motel, where they found two middle-aged men who had been fighting. One man, let's call him Ronny, told officers that he just came to visit with his friend, Danny, in his motel room. He then fell asleep, only to wake up later getting punched repeatedly in the face by Danny. Danny admitted to this beating, but said that Ronny had punched him in the face earlier in the night. Both were clearly intoxicated and admitted they couldn't really remember much of the night. Both were taken to jail, and Charlotte was better off for just a few hours.
Clumsy: A 24-year-old man called police after losing one of his most prized possessions. He told officers he was fishing on Lake Norman and was leaning over the boat to grab a fish when he dropped his 9 mm gun, which quickly fell to the bottom of the lake. This reminds me of that time I was hunting. I was just getting ready to hook a huge stag, and I dropped my fishing pole right out of the tree.
Want My Baby Back: A 57-year-old man called police after his wife assaulted him with her own hard work. He told officers the couple got into an argument during dinner, and she picked an entire slab of ribs off of her plate and slammed him over the head with it, causing scratches and bruises. She later tried to break the plate over his head, as well. When all was said and done, I'm sure this guy didn't look any different from how I look after legitimately eating a slab of ribs.