MY LOUSY WORLD: From the police files

Posted 2/8/11

Oh sure, we have our sporadic crime that keeps local dispatchers from the unemployment line, but ours are less ominous — sometimes almost cute.

I think this “crime” report from a September 2003 edition says it best: “Person on 21st Street …

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MY LOUSY WORLD: From the police files


For several years I’ve been kicking around the idea of publishing a book of collected police reports from local newspapers. That’s what I do: I kick around productive ideas until there’s no life left in them.

But I’ve invested too much to leave this one for dead. I’ve clipped and saved police blotters for years, compiling the most interesting ones. With this book, I hope to show what a safe, peaceful little berg in which we reside, as compared to crime-infested areas elsewhere.

Oh sure, we have our sporadic crime that keeps local dispatchers from the unemployment line, but ours are less ominous — sometimes almost cute.

I think this “crime” report from a September 2003 edition says it best: “Person on 21st Street reported a deer was lying on the lawn giving birth.” Does that not demonstrate what an innocent, Norman Rockwell-painting town Cody really is? In Phoenix, victims of drive-by-shootings die on lawns. On Cody lawns, life begins anew.

This was reported in the June 28, 2006 edition: “A person at the Urgent Care Clinic reported a man was dancing in the street.” Dancing, was he? Could it be he was simply overjoyed to call Cody, Wyo., his home?

But, that’s not to say jubilant pedestrians and joyous births on well-manicured lawns are the only calls our dispatchers handle. A more serious infraction was reported on December 2007: “Person on Big Horn Avenue reported four pieces of wood were taken from Miller Excavation.”

Now, one might think, “Hey, it’s just four pieces; it’s not like it was a whole cord.” But to Miller, those four particular pieces might have held sentimental value. Also, here in “Pleasantville, USA,” we don’t tolerate slippery slopes. What would come next: Five grapes pilfered from a grocery produce section?

More recently, on January 2010, this chilling report appeared: “Woman on Spicer Lane reported receiving a text message stating if she did not forward the text to 10 people, a clown would kill her.”

But this threat never materialized, as the report concluded: “Sheriff’s Office reports the message is believed to be computer-generated spam and no homicidal clown showed up.”

To date, Cody has never had even one prosecuted case of clown crime.

Other reports lend our imaginations comic relief in stressful times, like this one from June 28, 2006: “Buffalo Bill Historical Center reported a man fell trying to avoid the sprinklers and may have injured himself.”

Ah, that’s funny stuff, and hopefully he had no broken bones. As for us readers? I reported “a severely tickled funny bone.”

Many local reports involve animals, this one being typical: “Man on Goodturn Drive reported Oct. 23 a tan, friendly ferret in his front yard.” Aaah.

Admittedly though, not every call is so benign. The March 24, 2010 edition stated: “Three turkeys reported chasing cars and holding up traffic in middle of South Fork Road.”

That’s disturbing, and quite frankly, those turkeys are cowards. They’re not so tough when you get them alone, but in a gang, that whole turkey-mob mentality takes over. Should you ever spot two or more turkeys approaching your vehicle with their chests puffed out, do not make eye contact, do not exit said vehicle, and promptly call the police. It’s better to be a live coward than a pecked hero.

Similarly, on Aug. 26, 2009: “Woman on Schneider Road reported she was being attacked by her neighbor’s goat.” Just like turkeys, unsupervised goats are better left alone, especially after they’ve been drinking. Simply walk away and don’t give in to their taunts.

Some callers can’t distinguish between actual crime-in-progress and personal reflection. Neither of these reports needed reporting: June 25, 2008: Person on 19th Street reported an intoxicated man yelling at the sky.”

Now, I wasn’t there, but maybe this was just an uninsured roofing contractor angry at another inept weather forecast.

No. 2: “Person reported Aug. 26 man in brown tank top talking to himself in ditch along WYO 120.”

So what was he saying — I know you are, but what am I?” I say “no harm; no foul.” I mean, who are ya gonna talk to if you’re alone in a ditch? As long as he wasn’t threatening himself, leave him alone to finish his conversation.

Some reports are exclusive to our general locale. You wouldn’t read this in Newark, NJ: Oct. 29, 2008: “Person at mile post 16 on US 14-A reported a beet fell off a truck and struck his windshield.” Coincidentally, I once had to swerve to miss a guy who had just fallen off a turnip truck.

Be thankful you live where you do, folks. Nonetheless, don’t take stupid chances. It only takes a few minutes to install an alarm on your wood pile.