Sometimes the couch on the roof is the least of the hazards

West St. Paul

Suspicious activity

— A resident on Charlton Street called police Sept. 9 to say he was concerned that a road-rage incident he was involved in might escalate into a home-rage crime. The man said a tense exchange on the road a few days before ended with the other driver — a man in a champagne-colored truck wearing mirrored sunglasses and a hands-free headset — pulling up beside him and shouting “I’m going to find out where you live and I’m going to kill you!” The caller told police he was now concerned he’d seen the same truck in the parking lot across from his house that night, although he admitted he couldn’t be sure, as he’d been a little on edge lately. Either way, police directed the man to call back if he spotted the other driver in his neighborhood.
—When in doubt, the safe bet is to call the police. That being said, it’s worth noting that assessing suspicious behavior can be harder than it looks. A concerned resident called police to Thompson Park the evening of Sept. 10 to deal with a man swigging from a flask and “acting strange” as he rummaged around in the trunk of his car. An officer met with the man, who was in fact drinking from a water bottle and removing his grill from the trunk for a barbecue. The officer advised the man as long as the cookout was done by the park’s closing time he’d remain in good standing with the law.

Animal call

— A resident on the 400 block of Butler called police Sept. 4 to ask if an officer could remove a dead cat that was lying next to the homeowner’s hose. The caller was evidently unaware that West St. Paul Police don’t deal with cats; the call was referred to a Dakota County employee.

Public assist

— Ever get the feeling that someone’s obeying rules to the letter but not the spirit? Police assisted a former couple with a property transfer Sept. 9 by letting the male half drop off a car in the station’s parking lot to be picked up by the ex-girlfriend. Problems arose, however, when the girlfriend told police she had no keys for the car and assumed her ex would have left them with an officer. Repeated calls to the boyfriend from police and the girlfriend went unanswered.

Disturbing the peace

— It’s great when brothers stay close through life, but there could be such a thing as too close: police responded to a home on the 800 block of Gorman Ave. around dawn Sept. 10 to deal with two feuding adult brothers. Not surprising, each blamed the other. One of the brothers said the spat stemmed from the fact he slept in the living room, and each morning his brother marched in and disturbed his sleep. The other brother was more abstract in his account, simply saying he called the police on his brother to “teach him a lesson he can’t be boning around in my [expletive] house.” Apparently that lesson didn’t take, however: police returned to the house about an hour later after one of the brothers locked the other out of the house. Officers managed to get both men back into the house and advise them to come to a civil resolution; in the report, an officer noted “Nothing either brother complained about remotely appeared to be a matter for the police to be involved with.”

Inver Grove Heights

Disorderly conduct

— Here’s a tip on etiquette: never scream something in wrath at another driver you wouldn’t mind a police officer overhearing. That was the case for one man who jumped out of his car at the intersection of 70th Street and Cahill Avenue and headed over to another vehicle to give the driver a tongue lashing, only to be dissuaded by the sight of a squad car a few vehicles back. The man got back in his vehicle and sped away when the light turned green, but the other driver, a 72-year-old man, flagged down the officer and said the man had been tailgating him and eventually used a turn lane to zip past him, and despite this still seemed angry about the episode. The officer then caught up with the first man and pulled him over. The man admitted he was upset with the elderly man for driving what he believed was a unreasonably slow and also revealed — ready for this? — he has some road rage tendencies. The man was cited for failure to drive with due care.


— You can arrest this drunk driver, but don’t bore him with old news: an officer pulled over a vehicle at Concord and Poplar streets Sept. 3 after he rolled through a stop sign and made a wide turn. The driver told the officer he’d had a couple of beers earlier in the evening. When the officer remarked he’d noticed his vehicle swerving on the road the man shot back, “Yeah, I know.” The man registered a .20 on the breathalyzer, which would be fairly high for two beers, but not when you factor in the mostly-consumed bottle of Captain Morgan officers found rolling around in the back seat. The driver was arrested at the scene.

South St. Paul

Auto theft

— A teal and grey 1993 Chevy pickup was reported stolen on the 200 block of 14th Ave. Sept. 9. The owner said the vehicle was particularly susceptible to theft because the week before she’d been unable to find the keys and opened the steering column to start it with a screwdriver.

Traffic stop

— Some people say trouble finds them wherever they go, but this driver seems to be waving it in: an officer pulled over a vehicle at Ash Street and Third Avenue Sept. 8 after recognizing a driver he knew to have a revoked license. As the officer spoke to the driver, he noticed the man seemed particularly anxious about the encounter. Curious, the officer glanced into the back seat and spotted a full baggie of marijuana sitting in plain sight. The driver was placed in handcuffs while Sammy the K-9 cleared the rest of the car for contraband; the man was then cited for driving with weed and without a valid license.
—If you’re at odds with the law, there’s ways to avoid attracting attention. This is not one of them: an officer patrolling Seventh Street near First Avenue Aug. 12 was dismayed to see a vehicle rolling along with a couch perched on top, secured only by a passenger in the back seat holding onto it through his open window. The officer stopped the car, and that’s when things went downhill: the driver, who protested he was only moving the couch a block, had neither a valid license nor insurance. What he did have, however, was an open can of Coors Light and drug paraphernalia of the type used to smoke methamphetamine. His passenger in the backseat, however, topped that with an outstanding felony warrant for drug possession. The driver in the rear was arrested; the driver and another passenger in the front were cited and released at the scene and the vehicle was impounded. It’s unclear what became of the couch that started this mess.

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