Going Against The Flow.
On Wednesday, February 10, at 3:30pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department who had been assigned to patrol the downtown area of Santa Monica watched aghast as a man drove on the wrong side of the street against oncoming traffic on Fifth Street next to the exit ramp of the 10 Freeway. The officers immediately turned on their sirens and lights in order to alert the driver about the danger that appeared imminent. The driver of the vehicle stopped while still facing oncoming traffic and the officers approached the man. The officers immediately noticed that the driver had a blank stare upon his face and when the officers asked this man to follow rudimentary instructions they noticed that he was slow to react and that he fumbled with his wallet when they asked him to produce identification. This man seemed disorientated. The officers looked inside the vehicle and spotted two things that caused concern in their minds; there was a child sitting on the back seat as well as two open bottles of tequila on the passenger side floorboard of the car. The officers also detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from the man’s breath. The officers decided that it would be a good idea to administer a roadside sobriety test (these test include one or more of the following: standing with feet together and tipping the head backwards; counting the number of fingers an officer raises; reciting the alphabet; counting backwards; standing and leaning back to look up at the sky while holding arms to the side; or closing the eyes and touching nose with finger). Not surprisingly, based upon the circumstances, this man failed the test and also admitted that he had been drinking that day. The officers arrested this 59-year-old Los Angeles resident and he was charged with driving under the influence, driving the wrong way against traffic, possession of an open container of alcohol and child endangerment. Bail was set at $100,000.
He Was Faking It.
On Thursday, February 11, at 2:12pm officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to the Bloomingdale’s Department Store, located at 315 Colorado Avenue, after security staff at the store had apprehended a suspect who had attempted to purchase goods using forged $100 bills. When the officers arrived at the location they spoke with the loss prevention agent at the store who told them that the suspect had entered the store and purchased a bottle of water using a $100 bill. The loss prevention agent said that an eagle-eyed register clerk had alerted the security department about the forged bill and that while the bill was being verified as being a fake they had observed the suspect. This suspect had continued to wander around the store looking at merchandise. They said that the suspect had selected a Coach handbag and had then attempted to pay for this item by using five $100 dollar bills that also appeared to be counterfeit. The loss prevention agents at that time detained the suspect until the officers had arrived at the location. The officers confirmed that these $100 bills were fakes so they arrested this 21-year-old Lawndale resident and he was charged with forgery and violation of probation (he was at the time already on probation for forgery). Bail was not granted.
Walk This Way.
On Thursday, February 11, at 9:19pm on officer of the Santa Monica Police Department, who was on a routine patrol in the area of Neilson Way and Strand Street, spotted a man who was walking along the sidewalk whilst flailing his arms around manically and kicking his legs out to the side in a way that was reminiscent of a badly operated string puppet. The officer pulled alongside this individual in order to check on his welfare and immediately noticed that in addition to his strange method of walking he appeared to be nervous and fidgety. This man also kept putting his hands into his pockets in a way that aroused suspicion in the mind of the officer. The officer exited his police vehicle and began to ask the man some questions. The officer performed a computer check on this man and as result discovered that this person had a warrant out from The State of Mississippi for burglary. This warrant however was limited in scope pertaining to extradition up to a range of 300 miles. The officer asked this man if he would consent to a search and the man he agreed. The officer then discovered numerous gift, debit and credit cards in other people’s names. The man told the officer that he did not know any of the people named on the cards, and could not provide a reason why he was in possession of the cards. This 28-year-old homeless man was arrested and charged with misappropriation of lost property. Bail was set at $500.
On Wednesday, February 10, at 12:09am officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were called out to the Pavilions Motel, located at 2338 Ocean Park Boulevard in order to investigate a report of burglary. The officers were told that the motel clerk had reported that a guest had returned to his room and had discovered that someone had broken into the room. The officers learned that the guest had, upon his return, discovered that a man was sleeping in his bed wearing only boxer shorts. The guest yelled at this man to get out of his room and as the man was getting dressed the guest noticed that an envelope containing $1,200 in cash was missing from the room. The officers arrived at the location and discovered the suspect sitting on a wall outside the motel. After hearing statements by the motel clerk and the victim the officers searched the suspect but did not discover the whereabouts of the envelope containing the $1,200 in cash. The officers deduced that this man had entered the room via an unlocked glass door so they arrested him and this 48-year-old homeless man was charged with burglary. Bail was set at $20,000.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of The Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.