The Blotter

Bizarre crimes from the Tampa police department

ONE-MAN CRIME WAVE: While walking on Eighth Avenue in Ybor City, a man was approached by a stranger who asked, "Hey, what's up?" When the man stopped walking to answer the question, the stranger grabbed the necklace from the man's neck and punched him in the side of the head. The Centro Ybor security manager spotted the two men mid-fracas and attempted to intervene, at which point the suspect also punched him in the head. The head-puncher somehow got away from the first two men (the report is unclear exactly how) before approaching another man, whom he "kicked and shoved," and demanding his wallet. But this man refused to turn over his wallet and managed to run away unharmed. The victim spotted the attacker on Seventh Avenue and pointed the man out to police, who made the arrest without anyone getting punched in the head.

PICTURE THIS: SAC squad officers "pulled over a vehicle matching the description of one that had run from them earlier in the day." As the officers approached the car, they "detected the smell of marijuana." In this case, it wasn't just a mostly smoked joint in the ashtray. Per the report, "Further investigation revealed 383 grams of marijuana in the console and the trunk." Where did the two men in the car get close to a pound of pot? The cops also found a couple of cell phones in the car, each containing "pictures of marijuana cultivation." There are some things you probably don't want to carry around pictures of.

HARD TO FIGURE: This one is a real puzzler. Two officers responded to a noise complaint concerning a loud boom box being played at a residence on 24th Street in Tampa. On the scene, a witness reported that "he had just observed three [males], one was wearing a mask and possibly armed with a handgun." More cops showed up, accompanied by a helicopter, and the possibly gun-toting suspect was quickly apprehended. This is where it gets a little confusing. The suspect turned out not to be armed, but "was wearing a black mask, and indicated he was a hard man." His "hard man" status was apparently confirmed by his numerous tattoos "showing guns and shoot me." The report concludes "the defendant was arrested for wearing a mask in public and taken to booking." That's the bad news. The good news: There is still time to call your state representative and petition to get the law changed before Oct. 31.

From the files of the T.P.D.