Queen City Nerve

Charlotte's Cultural Pulse

Best of The Scanner 2019

By Ryan Pitkin

November 25, 2019

It’s a strange world out there, and nothing proves that more than sitting in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department rifling through incident reports night after night. When going back through each one of our Scanner columns since we launched in December 2018, we noticed a few themes: the weaponization of anything and everything, the tendency for friends and loved ones to target each other, everyone’s favorite bumbling crook category, and the outright bizarre. So without further ado, we give to you the weirdest crimes of 2019.

The Right to Bear Arms: Nobody’s unarmed if you use your imagination.

GUN IT (December) A football fan was apparently surprised by the metal detectors leading into Bank of America Stadium before a Panthers game in Third Ward, and quickly needed a place to hide their gun. Rather than returning to where they came from to put the gun up, their next move was even dumber. Police officers were surprised when they lifted up a traffic cone about halfway through the game and found a handgun underneath.

NEGAN (January) Police responded to a man’s home in north Charlotte after it was brought to their attention that the man was going through a manic episode and should not be in possession of anything with which he could harm himself or others. Police seized the man’s pocket knife and a bat with barbed wire wrapped around it, because that’s an absolutely normal thing to be in possession of.

(All photos from AdobeStock)

CONCHED OUT (February) A 41-year-old man was hospitalized with minor injuries after being assaulted with a strange weapon in southwest Charlotte. The report only states that the suspect “struck the victim with a weapon,” but the only evidence listed in the report was a “white seashell with victim’s blood on it.”

TAKING ITS TOLL (April) A 62-year-old man in south Charlotte filed a report stating that a stranger became upset with him over who had the right-of-way while he was stopped on Runnymede Lane near Barclay Downs Drive. During the argument, the suspect attacked the man’s Lexus with a large stick, doing $600 in damage. Police withheld the name of the victim from the report, although he later identified himself on the radio; he was none other than former governor and current radio blowhard Pat McCrory. He told the story on his WBT morning show the next day, stating that the suspect was carrying a large tree across the street and when McCrory stopped to let him continue on, the suspect recognized him and went on the attack.

HUNGER GAMES (February) A 49-year-old man in the Highland Creek neighborhood of north Charlotte fell victim to a crime that hasn’t been regularly reported since the pioneer days. The man told officers that someone attacked his home with a bow and arrow, resulting in $10 in damage to his garage door.

THE REVENANT (April) A 30-year-old south Charlotte woman and her kids were attacked in the parking lot of the Marvin Villas apartment complex in the Grier Heights neighborhood of southeast Charlotte, but luckily escaped unharmed, as the suspect used a weapon meant for an entirely different species. The woman told police that she was in a car with her three children — ages 11, 9 and 3 — and another person when the suspect approached and sprayed the whole group with aerosol bear deterrent. Seeing as how they were all human and not the Berenstain Bears, all five only suffered minor injuries and did not need treatment from Medic.

MASSAGE OILS (July) Employees at a spa are usually knowledgeable about different liquids, but a 56-year-old woman working at Aura Spa on North Tryon Street in north Charlotte was mystified by a secret substance used against her in an alleged recent assault. The woman filed a report stating that a stranger came into the spa and sprayed an unknown fluid in her face before walking out one afternoon.

BOUNCER BASH (July) A member of the security team at WhiteHouse NightClub in west Charlotte got overly aggressive during a fight inside the club on a Saturday night and ended up with assault charges. According to a 25-year-old woman who was in the club at the time of the fight, the bouncer picked up a stanchion — those metal posts that hold the red velvet ropes in place — and threw it, striking her in the face. The bouncer was charged with aggravated assault.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job: Thieves and criminals who need to find a new line of work.

LEAVE YOUR MARK (December) According to one report, two unknown suspects broke into a secure area on Orr Road shared by multiple auto-related businesses on that street. The suspects got into a Mercedes and tried to drive off in it, but soon learned that the tire was flat. However, that didn’t stop these two rascals from continuing their real-life version of Grand Theft Auto. They then went to the other side of the business and tried to drive a Nissan Titan truck through the gate, but couldn’t get it open. They took a sledgehammer to the lock on the gate until it broke. They got back into the truck but the bad transmission finally gave out and they couldn’t drive that anymore either. Third time’s a charm, so they got into a Ford Explorer and drove off with that, but not before ramming two trucks and a van with it on their way out of the lot.

GINGERBREAD MAN (February) A car thief in northeast Charlotte gave police one hell of a fight last week, and while officers were able to recover one stolen car, they did so at the expense of their own. According to the report, officers spotted the suspect driving a stolen car in the Belmont at Tryon apartment complex near the Cabarrus County border. The suspect ran when he saw police, and eventually fought them when they caught up to him. They were able to get him into custody, however, if only for a short time. Officers said the suspect did “significant damage to a police vehicle” — the electronics, specifically — to the tune of $400 in damage after being detained, then he was able to somehow escape custody while still in handcuffs.

WE WILL ROCK YOU (May) An electrifying act of absent-mindedness was reported when a driver was dumping rocks in the driveway of a house in north Charlotte with a dump truck. The driver tried to leave the driveway with the bed of the truck still raised, catching the overhead power lines and pulling them down, breaking a power pole in the process. Instead of sticking around to own up to the $50,000 in damages, the driver fled in the truck without leaving driver or insurance information. It’s OK, Duke will just pass the cleanup costs on to us customers.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL (August) Police responded to a Shell gas station on Glenwood Drive in west Charlotte after receiving a call about a man who was sleeping in his running car at a gas pump. Officers quickly recognized the car as the suspect vehicle in a recent nearby robbery, and would eventually find that it was in fact the car used in the robbery. Upon searching the suspect, officers found a crack pipe, which probably explains where all the money from the robbery went. In a similar incident on the same week, police responded to a welfare check on Carmel Road after a woman was seen laying unconscious near the street. When officers woke the woman, she was found to be in possession of two purses, $200 worth of jewelry, two pairs of sunglasses, two unmatching shoes, $200 worth of prescription pills, a jewelry box and the driver’s license of the person she had stolen all these things from during a break-in at a nearby home.

BURY THE PAIN (August) Police responded to a 7-Eleven on Tuckaseegee Road in west Charlotte after someone stole alcohol from the store, but he did it in such a way that I can only look on in awe. An employee in the store told police that the suspect walked into the store just before 8 p.m. on a Monday evening and went to the beer cooler. According to the report, he picked out a Clubhouse Cocktail alcoholic beverage, then walked over to the soda and Slurpee area. The man poured the drink into a Slurpee cup, then poured Slurpee on top of it. He then went to the register and paid in full for the Slurpee, but not the alcoholic beverage.

With Friends Like These: Sometimes those who hurt you the most are the ones closest to you.

NO GOOD DEED (February) A 33-year-old east Charlotte woman found out the hard way that she shouldn’t be doing any favors for friends. The woman told police that a friend of hers asked for a ride to the bank so she took him, and when they got there, he somehow took her bank card without her noticing and withdrew $400 from her account.

MISSED CONNECTIONS (January) A 53-year-old north Charlotte man filed a police report claiming that sometime over the span of a month, multiple people had been given his address through dating websites, leading to a slew of uninvited guests for him and his wife. The victims are unsure who keeps giving away the address, so the report was filed as a non-criminal incident, but needless to say, they’d like the parade of romantic hopefuls to stop.

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (March) A 47-year-old woman also won’t be doing any more favors for one former friend after learning that her house guest had been stealing from her over the span of a two-week stay. The woman reported that the guest admitted to her one night that they had been slowly stealing things and bringing them to the pawn shop throughout their stay at her house, and in the end, the stolen items amounted to $11,000 worth of shoes and $6,000 worth of purses.

INDEPENDENT WOMAN (March) A 67-year-old man filed a police report last week after he called a woman’s bluff and soon regretted it. The man told police that he had been away from his west Charlotte residence since Jan. 2, but a female acquaintance of his was still living in his home with the understanding that she would pay for the utilities while he was gone. This agreement lasted a whole three months until the man received a call from the tenant stating that the lights were about to get turned off, and warning that if he didn’t pay her light bill, “she would get rid of his property,” presumably by selling it off. The man refused to pay the bill and returned home as soon as he could only to find that she had followed through on the threat. The man reported the following as missing: three suits worth $678 total; socks, underwear and t-shirts worth $643 total; a $250 tablet; a television worth $250; a Blu-ray player worth $45; a Bluetooth speaker worth $100; and three skill saws worth a total of $290.

THE GREAT ESCAPE (June) A 44-year-old University City woman filed a police report after her daughter ran away and made a big fuss out of her exit. The mother told officers that her daughter got angry with her, then tried to smash a TV over her head. Then, the daughter sprayed bathroom cleaner in her mother’s eyes before grabbing some clothes and running out of the home. The mother did not see which way her daughter went … for obvious reasons.

 

WHAT’S YOURS IS MINE (June) A 49-year-old east Charlotte man can’t even trust his own family members around his property — even when he’s standing right there. The man called police on one afternoon after he had some family over who weren’t there just for a good time. The man told police that he went outside to smoke a cigarette at around 4 p.m., and when he came back in, he saw his two nephews running out the back door holding four car tires with rims that he had been keeping in his home.

POPULAR (July) An east Charlotte woman filed a non-criminal incident report last week after becoming aware of a situation that didn’t sit right with her. According to the report, “the victim stated that her number has been handed out to strangers” on the block where she lives.

ALLIGATOR TEARS (April) A 50-year-old woman was on the receiving end of both a favor and a grotesque assault in south Charlotte recently, and the two didn’t exactly even out. The victim told police that she was walking toward the lobby of the Woodlawn House Apartments where she lives when she dropped a napkin. Then, according to the report, “the suspect bent down and picked up the napkin, gave it to the victim and spit in her eye.” The victim did not seek medical attention. After all, she only needed the napkin.

PATIENTLY WAITING (August) We all go through those times when we don’t see a friend for a year or so, but those instances take on a different urgency when that friend has your car. A 50-year-old west Charlotte man was very patient with one of his friends but had to turn to police for help recently when he decided that maybe the two weren’t so close after all. The man called police on July 10 and told them that he had let his friend use his car in July 2018 and that “he had not brought it back yet.”

COOL PARENTS (August) One woman filed a report after her husband was even more inconsiderate with her Chevrolet Trailblazer. The 41-year-old west Charlotte woman called police at around 7 p.m. on a Saturday evening and told officers that her husband had “let an unknown teen borrow her car” at midnight on the previous night, and surprisingly, this mystery Gen Z-er hadn’t returned with the vehicle yet.

WE’LL SEE YA (September) It’s every parent’s nightmare to leave their kids with a babysitter who’s
not going to take proper care of their children. What’s worse than that? How about a babysitter who quits halfway through the job? Police responded to the Timber Crest at Greenway apartments in southeast Charlotte on a Monday afternoon after neighbors called about a 3-year-old boy and his 6-year-old brother wandering the complex with no supervision. Responding officers were able to reach the kids’ parents and find that, at some point between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the babysitter who had agreed to watch the kids had simply abandoned their post.

Just Plain Weird: These are the reports that left us throwing up our arms in disbelief.

PANHANDLING PROBLEMS (March) A 55-year-old man filed a police report recently after a bad day turned worse for him in north Charlotte. The man told police that he was panhandling at the intersection of Reames and Sunset roads when he got into a territorial fight with another man who was panhandling at the same corner. While the two men battled it out, a woman who had been hanging around watching the men realized it was her time to strike and grabbed the victim’s backpack and ran off. The man reported that the woman made off with his ID, his Social Security card and $30 in cash.

HAPPY ENDING (March) A woman reported that a man attempted to kidnap her by forcing her into his car in a shopping center on Statesville Avenue in north Charlotte. The woman escaped the man, then smartly ran into the nearby Bushiken Karate Charlotte Dojo. Not so smartly, the suspect followed her inside, where he met with sensei Randall Ephraim, who administered an ass beating. The suspect was transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries before being taken to jail.

UNDERCOVER BOSS (April) Police responded to Arcadia Student Living, an apartment complex near UNC Charlotte’s campus, in response to a person pulling a power move after being banned from the property. According to the report, the property manager banned the suspect from the complex at around 10 a.m., though it does not state the reason why. Just minutes later, the suspect returned, and when he was asked to leave, he insisted that he was actually the owner of the entire complex and therefore could not be banned. A quick Google search shows that the complex is actually owned by a real estate firm called Landmark Properties and not, in fact, a kid who’s already busy getting banned from an apartment complex before most college kids are even awake.

INCOMING (May) A 72-year-old woman called police to her home in the Carmel Valley neighborhood in south Charlotte one afternoon after falling victim to one of the more perplexing crimes to ever appear in The Scanner. The woman told police that an unknown suspect broke her full-length dining room window “with a fish launched from an unknown apparatus.” Unfortunately, the report does not go any further into detail than that.

TED WAS HERE (May) Police responded to an apartment complex near the Hidden Valley neighborhood in north Charlotte to help on an “attempt to locate” call, but what they found was something out of The Shining. According to the report, the officer spoke with a property manager at the Hunters Pointe apartments, who told them that while doing the rounds of vacant units, they found blood splatter, and nearby someone had written, “I killed someone here” across the wall in a red substance that looked like blood.

IT’S ALL PERCEPTION (August) A 28-year-old man showed up at CMPD’s North Division field office one recent afternoon to file a reasonable complaint: “a box he received from eBay was too small and empty.”

NO SHIT (June) A 36-year-old man called police after making an odd find in front of his home. The man, who lives in the Orchard Hill neighborhood in Ballantyne, filed a police report stating that he walked out of his home at around 2:30 a.m. one recent morning and “found human feces in the street in front of his home.” The man said that he knew the pooping occurred at some point between 1 and 2:30 a.m., but I don’t even want to know how he found that out.

BATHROOM BOTTLE (August) Police responded to Target at Metropolitan on a Sunday morning after a man was caught kicking the new week into high gear early. According to the report, the man entered the store at about 8:40 a.m. and picked out a bottle of Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel rose wine and took it to the bathroom. It was there that the man spent the next hour drinking, until staff members realized what was happening and came to drag his happy ass out of there.

BLEED PANTHER BLUE (August) A 56-year-old woman filed a police report after she was grossly assaulted by another woman at a Panthers game. The woman told officers that the suspect assaulted her “by poking her in the back and shoulder and rubbing her blood on the victim’s back and shoulder.”

HEAR NO EVIL (November) Police responded to the Crest on Providence Apartments in south Charlotte after an ongoing argument between neighbors over a parking spot came to a head. According to the report, apartment staff called police after an able-bodied resident removed the handicap sign from a parking spot and placed it on their porch. The suspect told police that they removed the sign because a neighbor who always uses the spot only has an auditory disability and the suspect didn’t think the person should get preferred parking due to deafness

All Scanner entries are pulled from CMPD reports. Suspects are innocent until proven guilty.

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