The Memorial Day weekend began on Friday with an influx of traffic into town. Surprisingly, there were only three traffic accidents during the entire weekend. In one, a DNR Conservation Officer who was returning from the funeral for DNR Officer Sarah Grell was rear-ended on 4th Street North. The driver of the other vehicle was ticketed for driving with a revoked license.
Officers handled one hundred two calls over the three-day weekend. Many of them had to do with the use of alcohol. Sergeant Jeff Carlson responded to a local park on Friday night. A fifty-one year old man phoned the dispatch center stating he was drunk, had been riding his bicycle and his legs gave out. He was asking that police give him a ride to Detox. Jeff met with the man and called for an ambulance to take him to the hospital emergency room due to his medical condition. This wasn’t the first time officers have interacted with the man due to his drinking and it won’t be the last. In fact, at 3:00 AM two nights later, officers were called to an apartment complex on a report of loud music. It was the same intoxicated man.
As I write this, it is Tuesday afternoon. We just got done with a call to a local restaurant in which manager was reporting a very drunk, unruly man on the patio who was disturbing patrons trying to enjoy their lunch. It was the man from the above call. His alcohol concentration was .35%. Again, he was taken to taken to the emergency room.
In another call from over the weekend, the citizens reported a man passed out in a park. When Officer Troy Scott arrived, he awoke the man who was obviously intoxicated. He provided a preliminary breath test that showed an alcohol concentration of .35%. By comparison, this is over four times the legal limit to operate a vehicle. Due to the man’s high alcohol level, Troy transported the man to the hospital. This individual is also one who law enforcement has had frequent contact with when he has been drinking.
On Saturday night at 9:30 PM, Officer Bill Saw was called to a residence on a report of an unresponsive man found lying on the ground. The man was incoherent, extremely intoxicated and on probation with a condition that he not drink alcohol. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
Shortly after 9:00 PM on Monday night, Officer Gary O’Brien and Matt O’Rourke received a call of an automobile travelling on Fourth Street North that was “All over the road,” literally bouncing off the curb. They located the vehicle in the parking lot of the M&H gas station. Nobody was in the vehicle. A short time later two young ladies walked out of the store and got into the vehicle. Matt and Gary quickly approached them, asking them to step out of the vehicle. Both were extremely intoxicated. The driver was twenty years old and the passenger was eighteen. The driver provided a preliminary breath test of .19%, over twice the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle. Within the car, officers found marijuana and prescription medication that belonged to neither of them. The driver was arrested for DWI. The passenger was released to a relative.
Officers also responded to a half dozen calls of people in mental health crisis. In one such call a woman was sitting in a motel parking lot hallucinating. In another, a woman ran from Walmart after shoplifting clothes. Officers found her a short distance away. She had removed some of her own clothing, placing hand cream on her face and spraying perfume. She was not making much sense. Officers took her to the hospital emergency room. In another, a woman attempted to overdose on prescription medicine. As you can see, people who cannot care for themselves frequently end up in the hospital emergency room.
Sometimes calls that officers respond to have an interesting twist. Such was the case when a man texted some concerning comments that resulted in relatives asking police to check on the man. As officers were leaving his house he asked if they would mind swinging by his friend’s house and drop off a guitar.
Then there was a call of two people throwing a rope over the Pokegama Avenue Bridge. When officers spoke with them they explained that they were “magnet fishing” in the river. Finally, there was a man who walked out of his house on Saturday morning to find an arrow sticking out of his roof.
Other calls make officers pause. As stated, the Memorial Day weekend began with the funeral for DNR Conservation Officer Sarah Grell. The photo in the newspaper and the memorial pamphlets distributed at the funeral depict Sarah cradling a young fawn in her arms. The Memorial Day weekend ended with a call handled by Officer Troy Scott. Something was in the roadway on 29th Street. When Troy arrived, he saw something very unusual. A fawn was lying next to the curb. Troy stopped his squad car. The fawn looked at Troy, got up and disappeared into the woods.