One man, one gaming console and a neighborhood wondering ‘Where’s the riot?’

Who deals with ‘problem parents’ these days?

West St. Paul

-- A woman called police from Rainbow Foods Sept. 23 to report her purse, which contained her keys and wallet, had been stolen from her shopping cart. While waiting for police, loss prevention staff at the store reviewed surveillance tapes to see if they could spot the purse snatcher. Instead, the tape revealed the woman had accidentally switched carts in a moment of distraction. The police call was cancelled and the woman was reunited with her purse, which had sat in the cart undisturbed during the investigation.

-- A man called police from the 900 block of Livingston Ave. Sept. 20 to forewarn them his neighbors might call with noise complaints later on. The man said he was a dog breeder and would have a pair in the backyard mating throughout the day. He explained this particular breed, basenji, never barks, but would likely scream during the act, which may alarm the uninitiated. The dispatcher promised to pass the information along to patrol officers.
For those who are curious, apparently the basenji does make noise. According to dog trainer and behavior consultant Michele Welton on her breed description website, “they do whine, growl, chortle, yodel and scream, so they are far from soundless.”

Disturbing the peace
-- Want to trick people into thinking you’re so popular it’s problematic? Police were called to an apartment on the 200 block of Wentworth Ave. in the early morning hours of Sept. 21 on a report of a huge party with loud music and shouting. Instead, officers found one man, alone, playing video games. The man agreed to turn the volume down at the officer’s request.
-- Videos figured in yet another Saturday-night disturbance: an employee at a movie rental store on the 1500 block of Robert St. called police Sept. 21 to complain about two juveniles who careened through the store knocking DVDs off the shelves. The employee said he confronted the offenders’ parents about the problem, but instead of helping they rebuffed him for trying to tell them how to raise their children. They left before an officer could respond to the scene.
-- Even diehard Vikings fans are finding this a tough season to stay faithful, but it’s still considered an affront to suggest other allegiances, especially to the young and impressionable. A resident of an apartment building on the 1000 block of Waterloo Ave. called police the morning of Sept. 22 to complain that her upstairs neighbors had been screaming at each other for nearly an hour. When an officer responded to the apartment, he learned the spat started when the male resident caught his girlfriend attempting to get their son pumped up for the upcoming Bears game; the boyfriend, naturally, was furious she’d poisoned his heir against the purple and gold. Eventually the boyfriend agreed to take a walk, but the upset loss to Browns that afternoon probably didn’t help his nerves.

Suspicious activity
-- Turns out even if you don’t have to drive home after drinking, you should still know your limits: police responded to a report of a man sleeping in an elevator in an apartment building on the 2000 block of Oakdale Ave. Sept. 18. When the man woke up, he explained he’d been drinking in a friend’s apartment on the first floor the night before and had left to return to his own apartment on the third floor, but apparently never made it. An officer made sure the man completed his journey before clearing the scene.

Inver Grove Heights

Auto theft
-- A gray 1995 Toyota Corolla was reported stolen from a parking lot on the 5800 block of Carmen Ave. Sept. 11.

Disorderly conduct
-- If you struggle with shyness, just remember you don’t need to know someone to start a feud with them: an officer responded to a report of a heated dispute between two women near the intersection of Carmen Avenue and Claude Way Sept. 6. When he arrived, one of the women explained she’d never met her nemesis before, but recognized her and her vehicle from a road rage incident weeks before. The other woman apparently made the connection as well, and seized the opportunity to make a crude gesture. The first woman couldn’t tolerate this, of course, so she followed the vehicle. Finally the second woman pulled over and the pair exited their vehicles to settle the dispute face to face. The officer advised the women if they were serious about avoiding problems, they should file restraining orders. Otherwise, he said, they should shape up for the good of the children watching from their cars, or at the very least to avoid disorderly conduct citations.

-- Tall tales, tears and tooth marks -- all hallmarks of a relaxing day on the water: police responded to a disturbance at a bar along the Mississippi River on the 4400 block of 66th St. Sept. 13. When they arrived, the caller explained there was a group on a boat at the dock who’d been swearing and scuffling for an hour. Officers made their way to the boat, where they found one man shouting at a woman who was lying in a fetal position on the deck and another man on his back on a bench seat holding a woman to him. All four smelled of alcohol. When the officers asked for an explanation, the group told a long story about how the boat had come unmoored and drifted down the river, and how the shouting man jumped in the river, swam to the boat and drove it back. The protagonist of this tale interjected repeatedly to let the officers know that he actually swam back, pulling the 20-foot boat behind him. Besides expressing incredulity at the feat, the officers asked how that story explained the current altercation -- a question no one would answer. Finally, one of the officers separated the woman lying on the deck from the group after noting bite imprints on her arm, and she explained the other woman (the one who was being restrained) had attacked her, and the two men had sided with the aggressor. Police arrested the alleged attacker on assault charges and cited the two men for disorderly conduct. As the officers were leaving the scene, the man stressed again that he’d swam back pulling the boat. As a side note, he reported his wallet ended up in the river during the dispute.

South St. Paul


Warrant arrest
-- It’s so hard to find a subtle way to let guests know when they’ve overstayed their welcome: a woman called police to her apartment on the 900 block of Concord St. Sept. 24 to say she had a person she wanted removed from her apartment. When officers arrived, the caller explained she was leaving her apartment for the day and wanted her acquaintance to do the same. Officers obliged the guest with a new place to stay at Dakota County Jail after learning she had multiple warrants out of Anoka and Hennepin Counties.
-- If you’re wanted by the law, the best way to avoid attention is act normal -- unless in your case normal behavior draws attention, in which case you should act like somebody else: an officer on a routine patrol near Fifth and Marie avenues in the early morning hours Sept. 24 spotted a man standing in the middle of the intersection, looking in all directions. When the man spotted the officer, he finally started walking northbound on Fifth. The officer caught up with the man, who said he was on his way home and didn’t need any help, although he noted there were “a lot of weird things going on lately.” (He declined to expound on this observation.) The officer bid the man goodnight, but quickly ran his name through the database to check for warrants, and found one misdemeanor count for property damage. The officer then caught up with the man again an informed him he was under arrest. During the arrest, the officer also recovered a small baggie of marijuana from the man’s pants pocket (which may also explain his late-night philosophizing). He was cited for the weed and transported to Dakota County Jail without incident.

Auto theft
-- A while 2002 Ford pickup was reported stolen from a business on the 100 block of Bridgepoint Way Sept. 24.

-- It seems tales of star-crossed lovers and just-plain-cross fathers are timeless: police responded to a home on the 200 block of First Ave. Sept. 20 to deal with a trespassing complaint. The homeowner explained that his daughter’s boyfriend was inside the house, despite numerous warnings to stay off the property. The man insisted it was not the first time he’d had to call police to kick the boyfriend out. Police then met with the boyfriend, who said he was aware he was unwelcome at the home but thought he was owed a formal trespass notice before he could get in legal trouble for coming around. Police allowed him to leave with his girlfriend, but later reviewed the case and learned that he had, in fact, been removed by officers once before in an incident where he was found hiding under his girlfriend’s bed. Officers mailed a trespassing citation to the boyfriend at his home address.


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