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When life bears an eerie resemblance to a Carrie Underwood song
IGH: Wiser heads prevail in found-mattress debate
Also: Man insists 'No, really -- I'm wanted'
South-West Review police reports published Aug. 10, 2014 for Inver Grove Heights, and West St. Paul
Inver Grove Heights
-- Police were called at 6:50 p.m. July 26 to intervene in a brawl between two women outside the SuperAmerica on Concord Avenue. On arrival, they found a 39-year-old Minneapolis woman lying on the ground and a 30-year-old Minneapolis woman leaning against the former Eddy's Bar building nearby.
The incident started, according to a witness, when a man pulled a car into the SA lot "at a high rate of speed," stopped the car and yelled "I don't know you people! Get out!" as the women and several children spilled from the vehicle. The man, later identified as the older woman's brother, then drove away.
The 39-year-old said the other woman was her cousin -- and also her roommate. She said she was in the front seat of the vehicle and her cousin started hitting her in the back of the head from the rear seat. She had multiple abrasions and raised lumps on the back of her head to support her story.
The 30-year-old, however, who herself had an inch-long cut above her lip, a cut on the bridge of her nose and a "knot" on top of her head, said she had fallen and refused to tell officers any more.
The 39-year-old refused to take a preliminary breath test; the 30-year-old agreed to one and blew a .202 blood-alcohol percent.
Three children were present at the scene; one whose mother was the 39-year-old and two whose mother was the 30-year-old.
The women were taken to the hospital in separate ambulances, but were placed in the ER in beds without walls or substantial dividers between them; as she was being wheeled in next to the 30-year-old's cubicle, the 39-year-old asked her "What did we do?"
After stitches and treatment, the women were taken to the Dakota County Jail. The children were taken to St. Joseph's Children's Home.
Observing the physical advantage -- of nearly 85 pounds -- of the 39-year-old and the multiple lacerations to the 30-year-old's face, police forwarded charges of third-degree assault, a felony, against the older woman.
The Dakota County Attorney's office declined to file the felony charge, so each woman has been charged with the same offenses: two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
-- A 27-year-old woman was arrested for fouth-degree DWI after "having a few beers" the night of Aug. 25-26. She was pulled over after her vehicle was seen weaving several feet across lane lines on Airport Road, and had a blood-alcohol level tested at .15 percent.
-- A woman reported July 22 that a valuable Barbie doll is missing from her collection. It seems to have disappeared overnight July 15-16, when a grandchild, the grandchild's friend and the the friend's daughters were all staying with her. It's a first in clothing designer Bob Mackie's series of Barbie dolls, released in 1990 and featuring Barbie in a gold lamé gown with a fur boa. The caller says the doll is worth $1,000; the investigating officer reported finding online auctions selling it for $100. Whatever its value, it doesn't appear to have made its way to local pawnshops or back to the owner.
-- After a hit-and-run damaged her parked car in the lot of a local bar July 20, the vehicle's owner was pretty sure she could ID the offending driver. And when police checked the man's car registration they found he does own a silver vehicle, which could have left the silver paint transfer on her navy car. However, he's proving elusive, and they're trying to work through Washington County to contact the St. Paul Park man.
-- "Once again," a small white dog has been inpounded at South St. Paul Animal Hospital, this time on July 25 after being found wandering around the 3500 block of 67th Street. Previously, the dog was impounded July 16 as a stray, but no one answered the phone number left from that incident and the owner's handwritten signature on the release form was illegible.
-- The mystery of the used mattress, box springs and bed found at the intersection of 78th Street and Concord Boulevard the afternoon of July 19 only deepened when police got a call from a tipster a little while later who had seen a man dumping the items there July 17.
Tracking down the man from the caller's accurate description and license plate information, police found a resident who insisted that he hadn't dumped the bedding there initially; he had just spotted it, thought it looked like a good deal, loaded it up and took it home to his wife -- who refused to let the stuff into the house. What the caller had seen, he said, was him taking it back to its location after she put her foot down.
Meanwhile, city street crews had picked up the items and disposed of them, so the point was moot.
West St. Paul
-- They must be getting tired; police had a week of mainly "cooperative" shoplifting suspects calmly awaiting their arrests in the security offices of various retail stores:
• Two male shoplifters were in security officers' custody already at Walmart the morning of July 28; the 34-year-old was taken to jail when it was found he was wanted on a warrant.
• Two adult women were arrested for theft at Rainbow after being detained by security the afternoon of July 28.
• A man was arrested in a crack-of-dawn caper at Walmart at 5:59 a.m. July 29.
• Three juvenile girls were arrested for shoplifting at Kmart July 29 and released to the custody of their mothers.
• Two women who appeared to be related, one in her 30s and the other in her 60s, were confronted for shoplifting at Walmart Aug. 21 at 5:56 p.m.; the younger one was arrested.
• A man fled the scene at Kmart July 23 after only paying for part of his merchandise. However, police have a description of him and the license plate number of his getaway vehicle.
• And the three boys who thought they got away with those phones and socks (?) July 31: Walmart has you on video.
-- There wasn't much question about the problem with a 52-year-old man whose vehicle was pulled over at Oakdale Avenue and West View Drive Aug. 2 at 2:14 a.m. The officer had seen the driver turn without signaling and weave erratically across lanes, but the man capped off the performance by passing out while the officer was checking his driving and insurance status. He was charged with fourth-degree DWI and taken to jail.
-- At Smith and Cope Aug. 2 at 5:37 p.m., a 34-year-old man was arrested for second-degree DWI.
-- A man was arrested for domestic assault Aug. 2 after his girlfriend called police. At first afraid to talk, she got to another room in the apartment and told dispatchers she'd been hit, slammed bodily in a door and dragged by her hair. She said she had pepper-sprayed him to get away.
-- A woman was arrested for felony possession of stolen property Aug. 2 after a bizarre incident in which she tried to get into a couple's car as they were leaving a parking lot and then sat in her own car while they called police, with her head resting on the steering wheel.
-- Despite a flurry of new laws and an avalanche of safety statistics, texting-while-driving amateur field studies continue on local roadways. One experimenter in multitasking was arrested the evening of July 28 after being observed weaving over the white line "with almost the width of the entire vehicle."
-- A 22-year-old man was arrested after driving 50-55 mph down Robert Street (a 35 mph zone) July 29 and having no driver's license.
-- A 45-year-old woman was arrested for having no proof of insurance after she caught an officer's attention by driving through a red light July 29.
-- A driver was arrested near Robert Street and Wentworth at 12:32 p.m. July 29 for not wearing a seatbelt; the vehicle also had a cracked windshield.
-- Shortly thereafter, at 1:09 p.m., another driver was arrested for a seatbelt violation at Robert and Wentworth.
-- And the trifecta was hit at 1:39 p.m., with a woman with no proof of insurance, a cracked windshield and no seat belt on.
-- A 35-year-old man driving a vehicle with a non-operating taillight was stopped at Highway 110 and Robert Street at 11:18 a.m. July 23 but fled on foot. He was captured and found to have outstanding warrants.
-- A 27-year-old man was arrested for felony-level drug possession July 23 at 9 a.m.
-- A 60-year-old man wanted on multiple domestic-assault warrants called police July 23 to announce that due to disabilities he is unable to drive or walk and needs some assistance reporting to court. Police arranged for him to speak to the clerk of courts in Hastings about a date to self-report there.
-- At 10:47 a.m. July 28, a man walked into the police department lobby with $500 cash in hand and announced he was supposed to turn himself in on a warrant, and the $500 was to immediately post his bail. Officers started consulting their computerized warrant lists, but were confronted with a severe case of the Monday-mornings; there was no record of the man being wanted.
The guy stuck to his story, insisting there must be "at least one" request for his presence, and further aided the case by identifying the issuer as Dakota County and disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process as his offenses.
Perhaps due to restrictions placed on some of other man's records, the warrant that he did have -- for the offenses he'd cited -- wasn't visible in the routine computer search, but was eventually found in the "Jail Management System" program used by the sheriff's office.
The problem took until after noon to sort out, but the man did post his bail and left once the warrant was confirmed.
-- A officer making a warrant arrest July 28 at 1:08 a.m. didn't enjoy the same kind of cooperation; the woman being arrested used her transport time to jail to try to spit through the grate separating the front and back seats of the squad car. Jail staffers were warned she was literally spitting mad.
-- Society can't have gone that far down the tubes; it turns out you can still be arrested (via citation) for littering. A woman who tossed a cigarette package out a parked car window July 29 at 2:38 p.m. was not only cited, she was made to get out of the car and pick up the pack.
-- Some kind of a fracas broke out between a woman and two men at the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant during the dinner hour July 28, but police trying to sort out the reported fight couldn't find video evidence that agreed with the complainant's description of her attackers.
-- A teenage boy reported being jumped by a group of other teen boys near Arion Street and Gorman Avenue between 9:30 and 10 p.m. July 28. The group took his cell phone and iPod. A couple from the neighborhood were helping him, with the woman talking to him while the man called police and relayed the information.
-- West St. Paul police were notified July 28 that a local resident who'd been terminated from a transportation firm following a vehicle crash had called the company's Indiana headquarters and threatened to "blow up the office."
-- A package that had been delivered in the 200 block of Curtice St. was stolen before its rightful recipient could get to it. The theft was reported July 28.
-- Three TVs and some clothing were reported stolen from a storage locker on Thompson Avenue July 28.
-- A resident reported July 29 that several items stolen from his home have turned up at area pawnshops. He provided a suspect's name and description.
-- A man in the police department lobby July 29 had a convoluted story to tell: his father had lost his wallet at a local bar and the owner had called to let him know where to pick it up, but in the interim a light-fingered bus boy (the theory goes) stole it.
-- Someone's ready for some fun in the sun after reaching into the open window of a vehicle in the 1000 block of MacArthur and taking two pairs of sunglasses and a first-aid kit.
-- One caller last week reported someone used ID information stolen from her last year to purchase a phone; a second reported someone claiming to be from Xcel tried to bully her into paying a bill she didn't owe and another said even though he recognized and thwarted a phone scammer weeks ago, the same crooks won't stop calling him. Undoubtedly the saddest: the woman reporting her mom has apparently stolen her identity in order to purchase cable service, with the bills being sent to the daughter.
-- The morning of July 28, city workers discovered "letters" written in a newly-poured concrete apron outside the community center; they simply covered them with a new coat of cement. It was never divulged what the letters spelled.
-- A vehicle owner reported someone broke the windshield of a vehicle parked overnight July 27-28 in the 1900 block of Oakdale Avenue.
-- A restaurant employee drove her mom's car home from her shift the evening of July 28 and Mom noticed the passenger-side door handle had been torn off the vehicle sometime that day.
-- A car was broken into and the pool door was damaged overnight July 28-29 at an apartment building on Thompson Avenue. Building managers provided video footage of the crimes to police.
-- A man came to the police lobby the afternoon of July 28 to report vandalism to the exterior of his truck -- of the "I dug my key into the side/Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive" type. He suspects a woman he dated a few times, and was advised to call if he spots her around the vehicle. He said he will and wanted this incident on record. No word yet about the integrity of his leather seats or both headlights.
-- A woman whose iPhone was stolen from her workplace in March was contacted by PawnAmerica staff who said they had the phone.
-- A caller reported finding a "Hate List" at the Emerson Park tennis courts July 28. The list included about a dozen female names and -- drumroll please -- appeared to the caller to have been written in a girl's handwriting.
-- Dispatchers fielded a call from a woman trying to reach her granddaughter in Vermont the afternoon of July 28; the granddaughter's number has a 9-1-1 sequence in it and was apparently triggering the emergency communications line. Grandma was instructed to dial the numeric combination carefully and was described as "profusely apologetic" about the incident.
-- An officer was dispatched to the Harmon Park basketball court July 28 to accost four to five junior-high-age boys who were reportedly using profanity, throwing rocks and climbing buildings in the area. However, what the officer found was "a fine group of young men playing basketball... they said they had heard a group before them had been being loud." Seeing nothing more disturbing than perhaps some close guarding under the net, the officer cleared the scene.
-- A call came in at about noon Aug. 2 to report someone in the 200 block of Haskell was stretching the definition of "recreational fire" to include "burning old furniture." The neighbors didn't appreciate the musty smudge drifting down the block. The fire department was dispatched
-- An 11-year-old boy called 911 Aug. 2 at 4:22 p.m. to report his mother and 16-year-old brother were having a pitched argument about use of a credit card and car keys and were using "bad words." The dispatcher could hear shouting in the background, and the mother was advised on how to get help with such disputes without alarming her younger son.
-- This 25-year-old skater might not live to see his 26th if he continues skateboarding down the middle of vehicle traffic lanes, as he was doing at 11:30 a.m. July 29. An officer advised him accordingly.
-- A tree trimmer at Thompson Park found a sawed-off shotgun under a tree the afternoon of July 29.
-- A woman called from Walmart at 5:40 p.m. July 29 to report that her ex-boyfriend, having spotted her there after they split-up a year ago, was tailing her and her children around the store.
-- Callers reported an alarming scene around 7 p.m. July 29, with a man and woman yelling at each other and the man "putting his hands on" the woman in an alley behind Robert Street. When an officer pulled up, they were surprised and claimed they were just waiting to go to Bingo. They were advised to do it less actively.
-- A car on fire was reported July 31 at 6 p.m. on southbound Highway 52 near Southview Boulevard. The driver said he had just picked the car up from a repair shop, where they said they'd replaced the fuel pump.
-- A caller reported that when she confronted a man whose truck and trailer were blocking a handicapped parking spot near Marie and Robert Aug. 1 at 6:24 p.m., he countered with a claim that his brother was "a federal agent" and would be "getting her information." She was advised to call police next time rather than confronting other drivers.
-- A call came in Aug. 2 at 10:18 a.m. about a car parked in the Cub Foods lot with four unattended children crying inside. The responding officer found the children's mother, who said it was her wedding day "and a lot was going on." It didn't get better from there; a license check revealed her driver's license was suspended and she had to find a licensed driver to leave the lot. She was also advised on use of proper child seats.
-- At about 11:30 the morning of Aug. 2, police were summoned to deal with a woman who'd reportedly been lying on the grass in front of Walgreens for 20 minutes. They found a woman who didn't appear to be under the influence and gave her a ride home.
-- A resident on Butler corralled two black Labs and placed n a fenced yard for their safety at 6:14 p.m. July 31. The only tag on the pair had a non-answering California phone number, and the canines were impounded at South St. Paul Animal Hospital.
-- Another citizen caught a stray pit bull by the simple trick of opening the door of his Buick. The dog hopped in for a car ride, which took it to the animal hospital.
-- And here's a recipe for trouble: "two small dogs at large" on Haskell July 31, happily following the caller toward the Robert Street bus stop. On seeing a police officer, the animals -- "a weiner dog and a small black dog" -- turned tail and headed for home. The officer followed them and gave the owner some advice about the city's animal ordinances.
That's why the little guys wear black masks
Some West St. Paul residents have been getting a closer look at wildlife than they'd like, thanks to an apparent influx of raccoons in town. Reports on the masked marauders from just last week:
• July 28, 9:59 a.m.: a resident calls to complain about a raccoon getting into his trash can "and going to the bathroom on his roof." He is advised of the city's system of lending out live traps, but also warned that if he catches the raccoon, the two are on their own as far as working out relocation arrangements.
• Aug. 1, 3:25 p.m.: a resident reports "three small raccoons sick on a driveway" in the first block of Thompson Avenue. The animals are nowhere to be seen when the officer arrives.
• Aug. 2, 12:10 p.m.: a caller from an apartment building on Thompson Avenue reports seeing "two raccoons fumbling around like they are drunk" in the woods behind her building; she's afraid they may have been poisoned. As she talks to a dispatcher, the raccoons disappear from view, but she says she'll call if she spots them again.
• And finally, at 11:33 p.m. Aug. 2, an officer on another call reports seeing a group of people stampeding out from behind the Holiday Acres apartment building, across Marie Avenue and into the Public Storage parking lot. A second officer responds and discovers the runners, still agitated, saying the reason they bolted across the road is they were frightened by a group of raccoons.
The officer, armed with the confidence that comes from patrol experience, "located suspect raccoons, who were occupying the area behind the garages, and scared them away."