Police Beat

Feb. 1

(2009-51863) 11:57 p.m.: An early nominee for the year's Best Copspeak: Officer Michael George. In describing a shooting, George tells us, "The gun was recovered to be stolen from Oviedo. There were no witnesses who fired the gun."

Feb. 3

(2009-53501) 2:09 a.m.: God, I feel old. See, I remember when the Back Booth was just a hole in the wall over near the University of Central Florida. Then it moved downtown, where it basically ruled the hipster scene before an awkward takeover led some to boycott the place. I'm not among them, if only because I rarely put my principles ahead of a good time.

I mean, so what if it isn't the mid-2000s, when Andy's Beer School would saturate the Back Booth floor with sticky, dried brew and everyone would get so loaded that their only memories of the night were the pictures that popped up on Facebook a few years later? (By the way, now that just about every local politician around is on Facebook, and most of them have friended me, could those of you out there who have incriminating photographs of me please not post them? I'm trying to be a bit more professional these days. Thanks.) That doesn't mean you can't swing by, grab a drink and listen to some music every once in a while.

You're probably wondering when I'm going to get to the point, but I'm busy reading a depressing article on how the alternative weekly industry is collapsing and I'll probably be out of a job soon, so you'll just have to wait a second.

Here's an interesting comment from the piece, playing off Martin Niemöller's famous quote: "Then they came for the newspapers, and I said nothing, because I just read the blogs that quoted them."

But you don't care about that. You want to know why I was talking about Back Booth before I went all ADHD. Well, here's what went down. First there was a Thriving Ivory concert. Then Back Booth tossed out the emo kids and let the adults in for their late-night DJ/dance club thing.

And then someone got stabby.

That someone is a 29-year-old dude with tattoos on his face, which should be your first clue that something might be wrong upstairs. (Mike Tyson had clearly gone off the rails before he got his face inked, so I'll extrapolate from there and assume that all facial tattoos are indicative of a depraved mind. If that doesn't work for you, he also has those ridiculous gauge earrings.) According to the police report, while inside the Booth he pushed a girl who was trying to leave with a couple of guys. (As the cops helpfully explain, she "did not give the defendant permission to strike her.")

One of the guys said "what he did was not right throwing people like that." To this, our future defendant had a perfectly normal and reasonable reaction: "The defendant then threw a punch and then stabbed `victim` in the back and leg."

One of the victim's friends tackled Mr. Stabby from the back, which saved his buddy a bit more hurtin'. On the way down — but not before stabbing our hero in the right arm and leg — the defendant announced that he planned to go to the victim's place of employment and kill him. Nice.

As it turns out, the defendant had been in another fight in the same bar a few hours earlier, before the fight that turned into the stabbing incident. (Security?) The defendant stabbed the aforementioned guy and another as well, though in the police report it's not exactly clear why or how that second stabbing went down.

The police located the stabber in a parking lot a few feet away, where he had a .22 handgun on him.

"What was I supposed to do?" he told the cops. "There was three of them." The cops took him to a downtown holding cell.

Noted without comment, and mild suspicion: "While in the holding cell the defendant banged his head multiple times against the wall causing a red mark on the side of his face."

(2009-54109) 12:30 p.m.: Noted without comment, and mild amusement: "On the above date and time, unknown suspect(s) broke the locks of the gates and gained entrance to the school grounds. Suspect(s) got away with trash can liners."

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