Every now and then I wonder about people. This is usually provoked by the Crime Blotter report in the Fort Bragg Advocate News. I wonder about their lives, so foreign from mine. I wonder how they get themselves into such pickles and what course of action could have prevented their being listed in the Crime Blotter.
On August 30, about ten in the morning, officers were called to 140 E. Oak Street “for a report of theft of money.” The victim claimed that “a man unknown to him” came into his apartment and asked for a cigarette. He was invited in by a friend who was visiting at the time.
The unknown man, sat down, “grabbed approximately $1,000” that was on the table and “ran out of the building.”
The unknown man got away in a black Infinity SUV driven by a woman.
I wonder if this crime could have been prevented had the victim done a “scared straight” treatment on his friend by insisting he read my July 19 blog post “The Europeans Are Coming! The Europeans are Coming!”
I wonder what would have happened if the victim had no spare cigarettes. What if he only had one to get him by until he could walk to The Purity and buy a pack? Without a cigarette to smoke, the stranger may not have sat down at the table where he spotted the $1,000 in cash sitting there plain as day and begging to be taken.
I wonder if the victim is doubly angry that the dude who took his money also has a relationship with a woman who drives a black Infinity SUV while he lives in a crummy apartment on Oak Street.
On September 2, again about ten in the morning, a police officer observed a suspect “standing in some bushes next to the First Baptist Church.”
“He was cutting bushes and told [the officer] he felt [they] were a fire danger and wanted to remove them from the property.” When he was finished doing that, he planned to unclog the drain pipes. Apparently this was not the first time the guy had engaged in this type of activity on property not his own.
It was the third time.
After a church member confirmed that the guy had not received permission to trim the bushes, he was arrested.
I wonder if there might be better therapies available other than throwing this guy in jail. He’s obviously a frustrated landscaper. Perhaps the police could escort him to a property, such as mine, where he could be put to work on an overgrown section to hack away to his heart’s content. When he’s finished, he could clean out my rain gutters.
The community could organize a fundraiser to supply him with canisters of salt. He could travel around Fort Bragg sprinkling salt on sidewalk crack gardens. He could earn the nickname Johnny Crack Garden Destroyer and become a hero throughout the town as he saves sidewalks from being eroded by weeds.
My vision goes beyond the criminal. I see a future sidewalk preservationist.
As sympathetic as I am with the eccentric landscaper, I’m equally unsympathetic with the following report. I have a problem with adult males who ride round town on their skateboards. I want to tell them to confine their riding to a skate park. And you might consider getting a job—a real grown up man kind of job.
On September 2, about two in the morning, an officer was flagged down in the 400 block of south Main Street. The victim—age 26—claimed that “two males had taken his skateboard and assaulted him with it.”
I first wondered why a 26-year old was riding a skateboard at two in the morning. I read on—
The victim located them in the 400 block of south Main Street where they beat him with the skateboard.
Fortunately, the responding officers were able to apprehend the two bad boys from out of town and they were thrown in the slammer.
I wonder if the victim’s parents ever warned him about talking to strangers, let alone trusting strangers with his property.
The 22-year old was from Lower Lake; the 28-year old from Cloverdale.
I have two words for them: Stay home!
And nine more: We don’t want scum like you in Fort Bragg.
And a final 11: If you come back, I’ll douse you with salt, you weeds.
Thanks for listening to me wonder.