DEC. 26, 3 P.M.: Apparently someone didn’t get what they wanted from St. Nick. One disgruntled Grinch spent Boxing Day breaking into a warehouse in the 300 block of West Grant Street. The perp dismantled a candy vending machine and pocketed “a few dollars in change,” police reports say. On the way out he/she/they/it nabbed some copper from the air conditioning unit. Copper is the next big stocking stuffer, don’t you know.

DEC. 28, 3:45 P.M.: A bike cop with strong olfactory senses smelled something funny on a 15-year-old in the 1200 block of Polk Street. “I smelled the odor of burnt cannabis emanating from [the suspect’s] clothing,” Officer Kurdo tells us. In the kid’s pocket? Crack rock, hidden (not so well) in an Advil bottle. The cops took him down to the Parramore Heritage Bike Unit Office, but while they were finishing paperwork, the juvenile doper confessed that he had just swallowed another piece of crack the cops didn’t find when the first searched him. He was transported to the emergency room, and from there, to kiddie jail.

DEC. 28, 4:56 P.M.: Let’s take a moment to commend the bravery and extreme machoism of Orlando cab drivers, shall we? Last week, we told you about another cabbie whose cell phone battery and fare money were snatched at gunpoint. (Don’t remember? Fine. Be that way.) This week’s cabbie picked up a man in his early 20s in the 4400 block of King Cole Boulevard. Almost immediately, our passenger whipped out his Kimel revolver. “This is what I have for you,” he told the driver, Officer Chase reports.

But our hero was having none of that. He reached back and grabbed the suspect’s “gun and gun hand,” according to police reports, and chomped down. He kept his mouth full of salty, hairy arm meat until the suspect released his gun and ran off – but not before threatening to come back with “a lot of people” to kill the driver.

“[The victim] stated that he did not give anyone permission to rob him nor threaten him,” police reports say.

DEC. 29, 7:02 P.M.: Remember that kid who was snackin’ on crack earlier this week? Well, we think we might’ve found his brother – or at least, his soulmate. Another 15-year-old punk took his bike for a spin around the West Robinson Street/North Westmoreland Drive area when the po-po stopped him for an unnamed “bicycle infraction” (popping a wheelie, perhaps?). The cops saw him shoving a morsel of crack rock down his gullet. Way to keep it cool, kid. Try downing that candy when the cops aren’t looking next time.

DEC. 31, 12:41 P.M.: Police Beat Tip o’ the Week: If you’re on your way to cash a pair of winning lotto tickets, keep them in your wallet, or AT LEAST your pocket. Our 64-year-old victim learned that lesson the hard way as he walked under the I-4/West Kaley Street overpass. “One of the men that was sitting down stood up and took the winning scratch-off tickets out of [the victim’s] hand and would not give them back,” Officer Burch writes.

How rude. Anyway, the tickets were worth $2 and $7, respectively, and our victim would like to press charges.

DEC. 31, 5:38 P.M.: A 48-year-old man was in the laundry room of an apartment complex in the 4500 block of South Kirkman Road when a stranger popped up behind him and poked a gun in his face. The thief absconded with between $350 and $380 in cash – who among us doesn’t carry that much cash when doing laundry? – then fled. Reports don’t say if any tighty-whities went missing.

JAN. 1, 3:57 A.M.: Yes, there were drunken fistfights this New Year’s Eve, too. But we think any guy who breaks into your house – even beset by the confusion that comes with too much Korbel – has a punch in the schnoz coming his way.

This holiday tale begins when our victim, 54, awakes at his abode in the 100 block of East Concord Street and notices an eerie intruder in the bedroom doorway with a glowing cell phone. Naturally, he tells the stranger to get the hell out. Response: but “we used to party together,” Officer Hanson reports.

Our victim, who swears he’s never before seen the man, gets up and socks the dude in the face, then follows that blow with three more to the stomach. “This caused an injury to the suspect’s face and the suspect’s blood ended up on the floor in the kitchen laundry area,” according to the police report. “[The victim] physically forced the suspect out of the front door of his home, during which the suspect asked, ‘Why did you hit me?’”

The pair briefly traded fisticuffs before our suspect was finally vanquished. He “appeared lost and confused” and “stood in the victim’s front yard for approximately one minute, using a cell phone” after the bludgeoning, Hanson adds. Hopefully he was just calling over a cabbie – not a biting one, if he’s lucky.


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