Arcata Police Log: Arcata Devolves Into A Race Of Hunter-Gatherer Slithy Tove Scavengers

Sunday, January 6, 2013

• Monday, Dec. 3 2:03 p.m. A West End Road resident reported a suspected slithy tove casing the ’hood. The lurker had told neighbors several different stories about what he was doing there, including something about needing to retrieve a frisbee from the woman’s backyard.

4:45 p.m. “I want to hit you in the face,” read an e-mail message from a woman’s boyfriend’s roommate, laudable for its specificity if deplorable for its intentions.

• Tuesday, December 4 9:13 a.m. A property manager found two trash toters in a 27th Street garage, one packed with stems and the other fulla pot. They were brought to the station for destruction.

10 a.m. A man in a camouflage jacket threatened people outside the donut shop. It was next revealed that the man had a beard. By the time police arrived, he was gone.

4:22 p.m. Two men and two women smoked their marijuana and sang their songs ever so loudly outside an Arcata Heights theatre. When an officer arrived, the divas were silent and the he-crooners had scampered.

1:52 p.m. A car left unlocked at the foot of 12th Street for three days with $540 worth of stuff inside, well, that just isn’t a sustainable situation.

5:01 p.m. Unknown forces pelted a Valley West sign with water balloons.

• Wednesday, December 5 12:43 a.m. A man at an Alliance Road convenience/refueling mart closed his locked car door with the keys inside, triggering a way-wacky misadventure. His friends attempted to “Slim Jim” the car, but in doing so set off the car alarm. This, in turn, set off a neighbor, who emerged from his apartment to argue with the friends and break the driver side window. One unattributed observation held that the car’s ignition had been “messed with.”

11:02 a.m. More pre-advertised, face-hitting folly in the form of a false disclaimer, this time on Tavern Row. A man wearing a baseball cap with pins in it wrote something on the front of a bar with a Sharpie, then waved another guy over, saying, “I’m not going to punch you in the face.” When the guy walked over, the hat guy punched him on the left side of his face.

1:35 p.m. A man known to hang out at Ninth and J streets walked out of an I Street store with an unpaid-for loaf of bread and cheese. As police responded to this call, a second man was reported stealing beer. One of the suspects was reported ducking into a nearby hardware store, another was found headed toward the Plaza. On Ninth Street, one of the two was found screaming and swinging his arms around, and was arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace.

1:43 p.m. A Hyland Street resident reported a neighbor’s dog entering her yard and killing 15 of her chickens.

4:52 p.m. A screaming man reportedly barricaded himself in the women’s restroom at an Eighth Street restaurant that wasn’t open. Evidently the acoustics were unsatisfying, as he left in short order and wasn’t found.

1:56 p.m. A man stood on an L Street corner not far from the disused train tracks, doing nothing for at least 10 minutes. A witness was concerned that a “drug buy” was in the works, but the man had no contraband. It may have been meditation, street performance, schizophrenia or a hearty cocktail of the three, or something else entirely, like a bird count or the world’s most slow-motion trainspotting.

2:06 p.m. L.K. Wood Boulevard apartment dwellers were turning out to be near-ideal neighbors, except maybe for speeding through the parking lot. And the marijuana solicitations. And being openly armed with guns and big knives. But other than that.

2:54 p.m. It couldn’t have been a pleasant task separating the drunks fighting in the alley behind the Plaza bars, one of whom wore a wholly ineffectual camouflage jacket and the other nothing at all.

4:10 p.m. A “golden” female pit bull roamed around a Valley West shopping center for days, apparently homeless, dragging a red leash and running from anyone who approached it.

4:58 p.m. It must have been a bad day for dogs of gold, as another large, gold-colored dog was reported locked inside a car without ventilation at Ninth and I streets. The car soon drove off.

7:24 p.m. A caller said that after a Spear Avenue neighbor apologized for playing loud music, two gunshots rang out. But later investigation cast doubt on the report.

7:42 p.m. There must be a special place in hell for someone who would vandalize a store’s baby-changing station.

• Thursday, December 6 1:17 a.m. A late-night alcohol heist in Uniontown netted a thief four bottles of quality hooch valued at $100, which he surely chugged down savored delicately.

9:05 a.m. Some 30 spent cannisters of some sort of gas were found in front of a Baldwin Avenue elementary school. Though it didn’t appear that students had been involved, the principal was briefed on signs of inhalant intoxication and methods of ingestion.

9:08 a.m. A woman reported that a man might be “delusional.” The diagnosis wasn’t a professional one, though she had whatever expertise can be imparted by having a husband who works with the mentally ill. In any event, the assessment appeared to have merit, because though the man in question hadn’t made any threats, he had voiced the wholly preposterous notion that “he should be able to eat where he wants to, play his music where he wants to.”

9:22 a.m. A man in hemp with a cloth head wrapping barely sufficient to contain his lofty ideals barked profane invective at a person near the Plaza, and, notes the incident description, “the reporting party did not like that.”

11:08 a.m. A driver reported being “challenged” in some unspecified way by someone who followed him, driving erratically, to the police station. But the other guy said the first driver had actually followed him around in his neighborhood. Both were advised of restraining order procedures. The backstory had to do with a bad breakup with someone’s sister, bad feelings and following incidents not subsiding over the past year.

11:43 a.m. A $6 chocolate bar was stolen from a 13th Street store.

12:36 p.m. A woman left her car keys dangling from her car door in her home’s open carport overnight, and the next morning they were gone. She had noticed someone by the carport she thought might have taken the keys and wanted extra patrols for three weeks or so. But she soon called back to say that she had found her keys.

1:08 p.m. Today’s theft-intensive environment located and exploited another vulnerability, when a Fickle Hill Road resident left a back bedroom window unlocked for two-and-a-half hours. A laptop computer, camera and $150 cash all totaling $1,050 were taken.

2:30 p.m. A man lolled under the Plaza palm trees, vomiting from time to time

3:09 p.m. A suspect was reported selling marijuana without a business license. The information was forwarded to the Drug Task Force.

4:30 p.m. A man at a Valley West golden arches was reported having threatened people on a bus. Then he got off the bus.

4:34 p.m. A man at a Valley West bus stop was reported threatening people, and might have been armed with a knife. The only person at the bus stop seemed non-threatening, though.

5:23 p.m. Another dispatch from the golden arches held that the bus stop sitter was guzzling a beer and threatening people. The beer part was verified, and he was admonished for having an open container. But two witnesses said he had been sitting quietly.

5:49 p.m. A belligerent man in a bandana took to sitting on a business’s porch, lurking and smoking cigarettes.

8:35 p.m. A man on a Garnett Street porch was said to be armed and off his meds. He was briefly detained, then warned of trespassing.

• Friday, December 7 1:51 a.m. Two arrests followed when a man was knocked out in front of a downtown donut shop.

4:54 a.m. The donut shop yielded another soul to the criminal justice system when a warrant suspect was arrested.

8:35 a.m. All four tires were slashed on the police department’s volunteer vehicle, reducing for a time the menace of kindly old dudes cruising around town doing vacation house checks.

8:42 a.m. A ziplock bag of stamps and money was left outside a Giuntoli Lane business, possibly related to campers on the north side.

10:21 a.m. A dispute over room charges at a Valley West motel centered on whether a room had been smoked in. It had, so the lodgers were advised to pursue the dispute civilly.

12:43 p.m. A man knocked on someone’s front door on lower H Street, asking for change and cigarettes. He was next seen jumping into people’s yards.

1:58 p.m. A threateny-harassy guy who had been asked several times to leave again entered a Plaza store to spew bad vibes and worse.

2:08 p.m. A man in a dirty blanket was reported drinking and being obnoxious on the Plaza. He was soon arrested.

2:20 p.m. A woman was reported driving up G Street while smoking something, with an infant in the car. That’s illegal.

2:57 p.m. A Giuntoli Lane credit union reported a robbery by an armed man in a blue jacket and sunglasses who made off with $3,000 to $6,000.

3:47 p.m. A citizen reported being on a plane flight with someone, and somehow he wound up in possession of the person’s passport and other property. Police picked it up for return to the owner.

7:09 p.m. A blonde woman with a child stuffed a furry vest into her bag and walked out of a Plaza clothing store, not stopping when employees asked her to. She was followed by citizens who had witnessed the theft, who reported that she got into a red pickup truck and headed toward the freeway. Police stopped her as she drove southbound. The furry vest was retrieved, and she was both admonished and banished from the store.

8:38 p.m. A red-haired woman in a leather jacket was observed systematically rummaging through a car in Uniontown. Which was fine, since it was her car.

8:49 p.m. A Poplar Avenue argument culminated in a man throwing a hammer at a wall and driving off.

• Saturday, December 8 7:06 a.m. Urban campers at 11th and Lewis Avenue engaged in hunter-gatherer activities, locating survival resources and returning them to their shelter, a van. A man in a denim skirt appeared to be gathering wood and stacking it next to the van, and when encountered by police, was returning with an armload of much-needed clothing from a giveaway box. He and two colleagues were warned about camping.

2:12 p.m. Two H Street standarounders were reported smoking marijuana and blowing smoke in the faces of passersby.

2:13 p.m. Something known only as “Chris” was reported harassing and threatening to beat up people on the Plaza.

3:46 p.m. A man in a blue pullover sweatshirt walked rapidly around a Valley West shopping center with clenched fists, yelling and shouting. Apparently that was all there was to it.

4:19 p.m. A driver wasn’t in the best mood after striking a utility pole at Eighth and G streets, blocking a lane for a while.

8:24 p.m. A woman complained that her mother-in-law landlord wasn’t allowing her access to a room that belongs to her husband.

11:09 p.m. Another unsortable situation when a mother reported that her daughter’s teen rival may have stolen the daughter’s cell phone, as the two had been trash-texting. Or maybe not, since the other girl hadn’t been in the house recently. The daughter was out looking for the rival in order to get her phone back, and the woman said she would call the carrier to see about tracking the phone’s whereabouts via GPS. A bit later, mom called to report new findings: the daughter had lost the phone and was attempting to blame it on someone else.

• Sunday, December 9 12:32 p.m. Two men at a Samoa Boulevard store did nothing to improve the reputability of camouflage pants and head-shaving. First reported stealing three Carhart jackets off a back porch, they were then thought to have taken a costly pair of boots. They were found on Giuntoli Lane, the boots recovered and at least one suspect arrested.

3:10 p.m. A man luxuriated sopoforically in the minimalist lobby of a cheap Valley West motel, so richly enslumbered he couldn’t be awoken. But he came to for the warrant arrest.

5:16 p.m. A particularly unpleasant domestic squabble at a Samoa Boulevard apartment complex resulted in broken glass, yelling, a bleeding elbow and a woman “frantic.”

9:06 p.m. A woman swigging a beer from a tall can and arguing with herself in the middle of the street on Tavern Row didn’t show much commitment to the solo imbroglio, as she soon dispersed herself.

• Monday, December 10 7:54 p.m. A man sat at a Northtown restaurant with a netbook computer next to him. Suddenly, a teenager in a black jacket grabbed the computer and ran off over the pedestrian footbridge.

• Tuesday, December 11 9:46 a.m. A man called from lower H Street to complain about the behavior of the sketchy, no-account travelers he allows to stay in his house. Some of them refuse to leave after a prescribed interval; other have broken down his fence and are camping in his backyard.

11:51 p.m. A caller reported suspicious activity at the South I Street Marsh parking lot. First, a driver parks his car in the very same spot every day. Even worse, he then walks his dog in the area. The concerned caller has observed this questionable activity time and time again.

• Thursday, December 13 12:10 p.m. A woman reported her $1,500 engagement ring having been stolen off the counter of a 12th Street business. The insurance company wanted a police report.

4:10 p.m. A suspected shoplifter responded energetically when confronted outside the store. He argued back, threw the merchandise on the ground and marched screaming down the street. He wasn’t found, but isn’t welcome back.

• Friday, December 14 12:22 a.m. A woman said her neighbor was mildly harassing her by doing things like throwing objects at her door and breaking bottles. This night, he smashed a pumpkin near her doorway.

7:51 a.m. Several persons were reported having entered the interior courtyard of an Alliance Road church. Police found one mentally unwell person, who was taken to the nervous hospital.

11:08 a.m. A woman suspected that a prospective roommate was trying to scam her. She was supposed to cash the check, then send some of the money to another person. The bank said the check was no good.

11:31 a.m. A man in Valley West seemed to have trouble controlling his aggressive yet confused dog, which had gotten its leash wound around a stop sign.

12:05 p.m. An off-leash dog was reported at the Marsh. Near-Marsh residents casually observed that about half the dogs brought to the wildlife sanctuary enter unleashed.

1:17 p.m. A scruffy-looking dreadlocked man at a downtown store spoke inappropriately to employees about sex and drugs, intimidating them, even. He couldn’t find any money to pay for his purchases, instead pulling out a knife. He was told to leave.

3:27 p.m. A baggie filled with a white, powdery substance was found near a bike rack at Ninth and G streets.

3:30 p.m. A baggie filled with a white, powdery substance was found at a Valley West motel and turned in to police.

• Saturday, December 15 12:07 p.m. Eight to 10 gunshots rang out, and were reported by citizens from such far-flung locations as 11th and H streets, Minor Alley, the Arcata Library and HSU’s Wagner House, located on L.K. Wood Boulevard.

12:40 p.m. About 15 gunshots were heard on Alliance Road and Westwood Court.

4:43 a.m. A red-bearded man in jacket and skirt was holding forth from atop an I Street recycling bin, yelling. He was warned away.

6:48 a.m. A woman called 911 from the hospital. Asked if she had a life-or-death emergency, she said no, she just wanted to know what time it was. She was told to ask someone at the hospital.

9:08 a.m. Another drunk was inspired to climb the statue of McKinley, then to resist arrest.

10:32 a.m. An illegal camper who built a fire inside an ancient redwood known as Treebeard set the tree in the Community Forest ablaze. Between Arcata Fire and the rain, Treebeard is likely to survive, though wafting embers kept Trail 15 closed for several days.