2014-01-24 / On Second Thought

Quirky Crimes in the Capital City

Forest Acres

tLynhaven Drive: Police were called to a business workshop at 1 p.m. Tuesday after a teacher said one of her students assaulted her. The professor told officers one of her students, a 25-year-old man, was using his cell phone while she was lecturing the students. She said she took the phone from the student’s hands, and he asked her to give it back. She told the student she would give the phone to the dean of the school, and he could get it from him. At that point, the professor said the man knocked her to the floor with a punch in the face and then hit her again while she was down. She declined to press charges at the time of the incident.

tRolling Pines Drive: A man called police at 8 p.m. Wednesday after he discovered someone had vandalized his truck. The man told officers thieves had somehow removed his built-in cooler from the bed of his pick-up. The man said the cooler contained a case of beer and was attached to the truck with a very strong cable, but the crooks had used some unidentified tool to cut through with. He said a couple of months ago he had caught a man with an older model of the same truck trying to steal the cooler and thought that man could be the culprit in the theft. He didn’t have any contact information on the man, but the police are following up the incident and trying to identify the man.

Richland County

tDecker Blvd.: A 12-year-old boy was arrested at 2 p.m. Tuesday after the assistant principle of the boy’s school was alerted to the fact he might be carrying illegal weapons to campus. The assistant principle called the youngster to his office and asked him if he had anything questionable on his person. The boy produced two pocket knives, one with a three-inch blade and another with a two-and-ahalf inch blade. He also had three lighters and a small replica of a pistol that was also a lighter/laser pointer. The principle called police, and the boy was charged with weapon law violations and arrested. He told the officer he had the weapons as protection during his walk from the school bus to his home each day. Police called the boy’s grandmother, and he was released into her custody. All of the weapons were confiscated and placed into evidence. tTwo Notch Road: A man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after he was kicked out of a dollar store for creating a disturbance and knocking things off the shelves. The clerk who called police told officers the man came in obviously intoxicated and began to throw things from the shelves to the floor while becoming louder and louder and using profanity. The clerk finally got the man out of the store after she told him the police were on the way, but then he went to a nearby restaurant and caused another scene. When officers tracked him to the restaurant, he began to get loud, started swearing, and used obscene language within earshot of the customers and staff. There were also children in the eatery, and they could hear the man. The officers told him several times he had to calm down, and he did for a few minutes. He told them he was dropped off in the area but couldn’t remember by whom, and he freely admitted to being drunk. He said that’s why he wanted to eat, so the food would “soak up” the alcohol. He agreed to let the officers call him a taxi, but, while they waited, he refused to lower his voice and to stop using foul language. After several more warnings, he was arrested and taken to jail. During the ride to jail, the man began spitting on the seats and windows of the patrol car, which could possibly add more charges to his record.

West Columbia

tAugusta Road: Several people were arrested at 3 p.m. Thursday after a clerk from a discount department store called police about a man suspected of shoplifting. When officers arrived, they found the man outside the store talking on a cell phone. He didn’t have any stolen merchandise on him, and, when the officers asked him what he was doing, he said he had just walked outside the store to make sure his ride was still there. He pointed out a van and told officers his friends were in there waiting for him. They approached the van and found a woman asleep in the back seat and another man in the driver’s seat. As one of the officers was talking to the van’s occupants, the driver got out, and the officer observed a syringe on the driver’s side floorboard. There was another syringe in the back of the van, which gave the police a reason to search it. They found a cloth liquor bag—commonly used to house narcotics— hanging from the rear view mirror. They looked inside and found it contained a plastic baggie with a white powder in it. Further inspection revealed several more baggies filled with the powdery substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine, a popular illegal drug. Two grams of the drug were found, and the back of the van contained all of the necessary items used to manufacture the drug, leading officers to believe the van was a mobile meth lab. Backup was called in, and police confiscated plastic bags filled with chemicals, plastic tubing and bottles, coffee filters, and a camping stove with fluid. There was also a digital scale used to weigh the finished product, typically done before selling it on the streets. More syringes were also found, both new ones and used ones. The people in the van said they were waiting on two women still in the store, and when the officers found them, one had a buggy filled with goods and no money on her person in which to pay for them. They were detained with the others and a computer check revealed one of the men and one woman had warrants in Richland and Lexington counties. All of the van’s occupants admitted to knowing about the drugs and the “meth lab” being in the vehicle. They were all charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and for manufacturing illegal drugs and taken to jail. The “lab” was admitted into evidence after SLED officers were called to handle the clean up duties of the chemical items.

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