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May 23

(2008-224573) 7:17 a.m.: Indulge me in a thought experiment. This, as you may have noticed, is the Queer Issue, and the edict went out from on high that all sections of the paper are supposed to queer it up a little. We’ve got queer news, queer music, queer dining … and Police Beat. So here’s the million-dollar question: How do I write a homocentric cop column? What exactly constitutes a queer crime? Picking up a gay hooker would qualify, as would snorting meth in the Parliament House bathroom. But beyond that, what makes a particular offense gay?

I have no idea, so let’s dispatch with the existential questions and just do what we do. But! Because I’m a team player, I’ll make this week’s Beat a bit more fabulous and engage in all sorts of sexual-identity stereotyping, because I can. I’m getting an assist from resident gay expert and actual homosexual Billy Manes, which gives me cover to write pretty much whatever I want.

“It’s so cute to be marginalized,” Manes says. Indeed it is.

So anyway, this week’s copper wire theft comes from a Florida Hospital parking garage construction site. Gays do not steal copper.

(2008-224979) 1:32 p.m.: A cop said hello to an alleged gang member, who then slugged him. For those keeping track: Open-hand is gay, closed-fist is Spike TV. Says Manes, “Let’s not even get into fisting.” Such a dirty mind.

(2008-225087) 2:53 p.m.: A man jacked an old lady’s purse and knocked her to the ground. The ’mos would never be so inconsiderate. A man with a purse, on the other hand … kinda gay.

(2008-225096) 3:02 p.m.: Some guys with bandanas on their faces, one of whom had a gun in his hand, tried to open the door to a bank on South Kirkman Road this afternoon. It was locked, so they took off. On a related note, what bank closes down at 3 p.m. on a Friday? What if I needed cash to pay for Friday-evening drinks, like a cosmo or something? `Editor’s note: Ever hear of an ATM?`

(2008-225331) 6:04 p.m.: Cops found a guy with 16 baggies of weed in Parramore. Do gays buy dope in the ’hood? “Only gays leaving the Parliament House at 3 a.m.,” says Manes, who reportedly knows about such things.

(2008-225757) 11:18 p.m.: A 66-year-old homeless man was arrested for battering a cop. See the aforementioned open-hand-versus-closed-fist rule.

May 24

(2008-225942) 1:45 a.m.: Yet another cop battery, this time from a suspected car thief who tried to run. According to Officer Dougherty, the 26-year-old’s alleged offenses include “petit theft,” which sounds really gay.

(2008-226121) 4:56 a.m.: And now for Stupid Criminal of the Week! Some idiot under the impression that restaurants leave cash in the register after they close smashed a fast-food drive-in window with a brick and tried to jack the cash drawer, which was of course empty. Gays don’t throw bricks,
do they? `Editor’s note: Ever hear of the Stonewall riots?`

(2008-226678) 4:56 p.m.: A male-female burglary team kicked open the front door of a house on Violet Drive, but ran away when an alarm went off. Would that it had been Lavender Drive, but Violet is close.

(2008-227186) 11:52 a.m.: Some nosy neighbors saw a tall, skinny 17-year-old man “pulling on door handles of vehicles” in their neighborhood. Eventually he found one that was open, but the cops caught him before he could get anywhere. Take it away, Manes: “He’ll be pulling different knobs in the can!” Ouch.

May 25

(2008-227373) 2:53 a.m.: Ten guys were in a fistfight (not gay) downtown early this morning. Our victim, apparently an innocent bystander, was walking to his car when he heard a gunshot, and then a bullet struck his right thigh.

(2008-227376) 2:55 a.m.: A man broke into a convenience store and stole cigarettes, then escaped in a newer-model Nissan. Since the car was neither a Saab nor a convertible, and since we don’t know what brands of smokes were taken (manly Marlboro Reds or super-queer Marlboro Menthol 100s), we cannot effectively render judgment on the gayness of said crime.

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