Posts tagged police

Tribute to a neighbor

Yesterday, you saw a wave of snow on my neighbor-to-the-north’s home: snOMG.

She is no longer living there. The home is vacant.

Pam was a great neighbor, not only in that she was quiet, clean and kept to herself. She took great care of her yard.

Her backyard was a haven for honey bees and bumblebees. Her flowers brought all the bees to the yard.

She had inherited her home from her mother, who set up the beautiful landscaping. Pam was quick to point out that she was just taking care of what her mother had started.

She had tiered layers of gorgeous perennials. She had a wonderful flowering tree, in which I saw my first — and only, so far — blue bird. She had so many knick-knacks and gnomes and doo-dads, I think she moved them around her yard every day.

One day a couple months ago, as she and her daughter were selling Girl Scout cookies, my neighbor-across-the-street asked if I had seen Pam lately. I hadn’t. I had been on a week-long trip, and since home, had been sick. She pointed out that Pam’s car had been sitting in the driveway for a few days.

The next night, we found out Pam had died, when Pam’s friends stopped by to check on her and called the police.

Her family started visiting the house a couple days later, and for many weekends after that, to clean things out and get the house ready for sale.

Just this last week, the listing went up. And though I was only home for a few hours, I saw at least five groups of people come to check it out. One of them, I know, which is pretty cool. As long as everything goes through, they will be my new neighbors.

My only wish was that the new owner would take care of Pam’s flowers, and I believe my new neighbors will. Pam and her mother left a legacy that will live with this house for years to come.

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About-face after a punch in the face

I understand I used to be young and dumb once. I used to party it up and yell and sometimes fight or cheer for fights.

Now that I am no longer young and dumb, it’s very annoying to witness.

A number of weeks ago, I couldn’t sleep on a Thursday night. As usual, there were people coming and going loudly. Because the temperatures were just right for sleeping with the windows open, I stubbornly refused to close mine.

At about 1:00 a.m., I heard some constant fighting between a male and female. Started out pretty benign, but got more and more heated. It got bad enough that I got up and looked out my living room window, to see if they were indoors or outdoors, and whether or not things looked bad enough to call the cops. It was about that point when the male yelled, “Back off! Back off! I don’t want to hit you!” And the female just kept screaming back. Well, that’s when they went indoors and I didn’t hear anything anymore. I chose not to call the cops, though I have in the past.

Then, about 2:10 a.m., I heard a huge group of people fighting. Guys yelling, and girls screaming. I called the cops. Of course, the cops want to know where the group is, but I can’t see where they are. Honestly, it sounded like they’re in all directions because of the way the sound was echoing. And with the trees growing bigger and more lush, I can’t see around the apartment complex as well.

So, the cops are on their way. Sure enough, once I’m off the phone, things start settling down. Then, I hear them joking. Sounds like at least one guy had punched another guy in the face in the heat of the moment, but now they’re making up! Unbelieveable! Girls are giggling nervously.

I watch the front of the building next door. I see shadows moving, so I realize that’s where this ridiculousness is taking place. I see three guys, all dressed in jeans and black T-shirts, break away from the group and start walking down the sidewalk. At that moment, I see a cop car coming up the street. It turns off its headlights.

The trio see this, and move off the sidewalk and out of sight. I see another cop behind the first one. The group is suddenly completely silent. The cops pull up in front of the correct building, get out and walk around.

My phone rings. “There are officers at the scene, and they’re wondering where they should be looking.” I tell the dispatcher that they’re parked in front of the correct building, but everyone is quiet now. I mention the guys that went walking down the sidewalk.

Duped, again.

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Right in front of my eyes

Last night was quite comical in addition to being quite frustrating.

My next door neighbors were cranking the tunes all weekend. Last night, they made friends with some chicks in the building next to us who were also cranking the tunes. These girls looked like modern day Joan Jetts.

The guys were flirting with the cute girls across balconies. The girls who were with the idiot guys were making friends. (One exchange: “Oh my God! My name is Katelyn too! Out of curiosity, how do you spell your name?” “K-A-T-E-L-I-N.” “Oh, I’m L-Y-N.”)

I was ready to let it slide. But then I heard them making plans.

Cute chicks in the next building: “Hey, come on over!”

Idiot guys in my building: “Okay, we’ll be right over!”

So I called the cops and told them there was a party going on in the next building, second floor, facing the street, in the balcony below the orange lights. (Halloween lights, not Christmas.)

And I watched. A cop car came down the street and went behind the building. No one was the wiser. The cute girls apartment cranked the tunes with abandon. I heard some guys leave my apartment. They brazenly walked down the sidewalk, carrying cases of beer and holding beer cans, lifting them up for a swig every now and then. I thought for sure the cops would see this.

Just then, the phone rang. It was 12:24 a.m. It was dispatch, wondering if I could buzz the cops in. I told them I wasn’t in that building. “But,” I said emphatically, “there are two guys walking down the sidewalk RIGHT NOW carrying beer!” I thought we had them.

But no. A minute after they were in the building, another cop drove up the street, stopping about a block away. He came walking up. All the while, the tunes continue cranking.

A couple more guys came into my building, and went into the next door neighbors’ apartment.

Suddenly, I heard the music stop. I looked out my window. The kids were abandoning that apartment like rats off a sinking ship. They were loudly whispering, “Cops! Cops!”

A couple guys jumped down first, while others handed the beer to them. I saw about 12 people leave, each one of them carrying a case of beer! Each one!

The guys on the balcony next to me were laughing and taunting. One of the girls who was carrying a case of beer made it to the sidewalk before her case broke and beer cans rolled in all directions. She laughed and they laughed as she picked them up. The entire dozen kids, each carrying alcohol, made it to the apartment complex two blocks away. The cops never even noticed.

I heard the guys on the balcony next to me say they made it to the busted apartment just as the cops did, and turned away to avoid arrest.

Well, just five minutes later, five more people come out of that apartment onto the balcony, laughing about how the cops were now gone. They even had beers in their hands at that very moment. They tossed beer cans to the guys in my building. (“You gotta alley-HOOP it! Don’t throw it! Alley-HOOP it!”)

All this as the cop who had parked down the street came driving up the street to leave. They were alley-HOOPing beer as a cop drove by.

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Calling the manager vs. calling the cops

I hate calling the cops.

One reason — though not the most important reason — is that it’s hard not to feel like a nag and a tattletale. Even though police will always tell you to call them rather than take matters into your own hands, they still sound annoyed when you call with a noise complaint.

The bigger reason is that the cops often don’t catch the perps in the act. Either the police pull up to the front of the building and all the loud underage drinkers scatter, or the police knock on their door and nobody answers.

My next door neighbors are not as bad as the previous ones. Instead of standing on their balcony and yelling at cars in the street, the new neighbors’ noise is a constant drone. For two weeks now, they’ve had people over every single night. Some nights, it’s probably an extra three to five people. Some nights, it’s as many at 20 people. They don’t even play loud music late at night. But I can hear all of them talking at the same time even in my bedroom. Sometimes they’ll go out on their balcony — where I can hear them even better — and continue to talk at the same time. Plus, I think they wrestle.

So how do you call the cops when what you’re hearing is a constant annoying not-really-white-noise noise? The cops will show up and be annoyed. So I called the apartment manager this week and left a message. I told them that my neighbors have people over every single night. Just before I called, one of them either fell to the floor or against the wall so hard that it shook stuff in my apartment. I reminded the apartment managers that the lease says “no parties.”

The night after I called, my neighbors had another party. Either they weren’t warned by the managers, or they just didn’t care.

These kids are in college. I did the same thing back then. But nowadays I work at 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. I can’t put up with this crap.

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Think she got fired later on

In the middle of last month, I had something happen to me that was so crazy and perfect that I can’t even believe it.

First, a little background information. My apartment managers decided to finally get the the parking lot fixed. Finally! However, that meant a few of us wouldn’t be able to use our garages (that we pay $50/month for) for “at least” two weeks. Just as the work was starting, I asked my apartment managers if I could pay half the garage rent ($25) for that month, since I wouldn’t be able to use my garage for half the month. The snotty little girl said, “I can ask, but I’m pretty sure my boss will say no. But I can ask.” I left my work number with her to give me the answer. Of course, she called me at home to leave a message on my answering machine to tell me no.

The work on the parking lot took longer than two weeks, of course. It was at the end of three weeks when my apartment people put up a sign saying we could start using our garages on Saturday.
(Note the ridiculous use of exclamation points. These people are idiots.)

The sign about the parking lot

On that fateful Saturday, my car was parked in the street from the night before.

Parking in the street for three weeks was no picnic, mind you. There are a lot of cars to park in very few spots on stupidly curved streets. One night during those three weeks, I just barely wedged myself into a too-small spot. I waited on my balcony for close to an hour for someone else to leave, so I could take their more suitable spot. When I saw someone leave, I raced to my car. But someone else got there before. So I drove around the block for another 10 minutes before someone else left.

So, as I was saying, my car was parked on the street that Saturday. When I left that day to run to the local Starbucks, it was about 2:00 p.m. I came right home, and parked in my garage for the first time in weeks! It was great! Of course, my apartment people hadn’t moved the barricades into the parking lot, but someone had pushed them to the side just far enough so vehicles could get through.

I stayed home until supper time, when I went to the grocery store. I had bought the makings for knepfla soup. When I got to my car and opened the driver side door, I noticed a note.

A little freaked out, I got in, locked the doors, and read it. It said, “We saw someone hit your car at 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 12. If they don’t leave a note, please call us,” and listed their phone number. My blood was boiling! I got out to survey the damage.

The front driver side bumper.

The front driver side bumper.

So the damage wasn’t horrible, but still! This was my first newer car, a real prize to me!

I got home, and called the number. I said, “Do you live around here?”

She said, “No, we were there looking at an apartment to rent. We live in Fargo.”

I said, “Did you see who it was? Could you give me a description of the vehicle?”

She said, “It was the apartment manager! We were there, waiting for her to show up to show us the apartment. She pulled up, and swiped right past your car! When she got out, my husband said, ‘How much damage did you do there?’ She said, ‘Oh, did you see that?'”

I couldn’t believe it!! My own apartment manager hit-and-runned my car!

I called the cops. The officer met me at my garage, after driving around the barricades. He took my report and looked at the damage. He called the wonderful lady who left the note. He said the lady also told him that the apartment manager said, “Oh, that’ll buff right out.” The officer said the damage wouldn’t buff right out, since it was through the paint and down to the plastic.

While the officer was there, the crotchety apartment maintenance man came over to tell the cop he shouldn’t be parking there because the concrete wasn’t ready yet. The officer told him there was a note hanging in the apartment saying he could drive on the concrete. After circling for a minute or so, the old man finally left. Can you believe it? Lecturing an officer.

The officer was able to eventually get a hold of the apartment manager. She told him that she didn’t have time right then and there to leave a note (to which the officer was snarky with, “You were with the people you needed to be with. You had time.”) So, she was charged and her insurance is paying for my damages.

Haven’t seen her working in the office lately. Serves her right.

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It’s never worth it

To set the stage: I’m coming from my brother’s wedding this past Friday. It was a great day – sure, it snowed and was very cold, but it was a good day nonetheless. I’m coming home at about 1:00 a.m.

Witness to the crime: As I’m getting to the second floor of my apartment building, there is a strong scent of pot. My neighbors’ door is open, and I’m hearing an unmistakeable party inside.

Being a good citizen: I call the cops. These particular neighbors had been partying for two nights prior to this night. I’d called the cops about a week ago, and they weren’t able to break up the party somehow, so I hadn’t called again until this night.

The disappointment: The cops show up. I let them in, and wait to hear their knock at the next door. I hear it, then nothing. I look out my bedroom window (where I won’t be detected). Sure enough, the cops left because my neighbors didn’t answer their door. I hear them standing on their balcony as usual.

A small victory: The cops do ticket a pickup truck that’s parked in front of the fire hydrant.

Missed opportunity: At the same time both cops are involved in ticketing that pickup, two men come home in an SUV. They’re obviously having a tough time parking. They get out, and neither can walk in a straight line they’re so drunk. The cops do not notice.

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