2019 Best of Blotter Part 1

  • Orange, July 28, 4:43 p.m. — Caller advises a man walking toward Walmart not wearing a shirt has an ax. Unable to locate. Staff Illustration/Andy Castillo

  • Greenfield, April 21, 1:19 p.m. — Reporting party reports loose tan terrier-type dog, with long hair and wearing a diaper (no collar or tags), chasing other dogs in the neighborhood. Dog returned to 32 Devens St. Staff Illustration/Andy Castillo

  • Greenfield, March 7, 11:26 a.m. — Shoplifting reported at Adam & Eve at 18 Main St. in Greenfield. Caller reports that 10 days earlier a man opened and tasted flavored lubricants (salted caramel, tiramisu, and creme brulee), rendering them unsellable. Staff Illustration/Andy Castillo

  • Greenfield, June 17, 4:12 p.m. — Report of a domestic disturbance at Pine Ridge Estates. Man was home alone fighting with his oven. He stated he pays a lot of money every month to live in his apartment and the oven provided burns all his food. He advised he lost his cool on the oven. No domestic issues. Staff Illustration/Andy Castillo

Staff Writer
Published: 12/31/2019 11:00:32 PM
Modified: 12/31/2019 11:00:12 PM

As the reporter tasked with the police beat, I begin most of my days by driving to the Greenfield and Montague police departments to review their call logs. This gives me a good glimpse into how officers have spent their time in the previous 24 hours. I have come to learn that people call 911 in a variety of situations — the serious, the somewhat petty, and the downright absurd.

I had been recording the police logs for a few months and spotted some peculiar items when Joan Livingston, our new editor-in-chief, mentioned one of her previous newspapers would publish a “Best of Blotter,” a list of the most outrageous 911 calls made in a year. My new mission started within seconds of learning this information, and I have been waiting nine months to share my masterpiece with all of you. In some of these instances, the calls to police are completely unwarranted; in others, the caller did the right thing and was simply put in an awkward situation. Still others are just worded wonderfully by the dispatcher or officer recording them.

My talented colleague, Andy Castillo, volunteered to illustrate some of his favorite log items to add to the frivolous nature. So, please, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get a biscotti and enjoy a list of the most ridiculous calls emergency dispatchers took in 2019. Also look for Part 2 of this feature in Thursday’s edition.

Greenfield, March 7

11:26 a.m. — Shoplifting reported at Adam & Eve at 18 Main St. in Greenfield. Caller reports that 10 days earlier a man opened and tasted flavored lubricants (salted caramel, tiramisu, and creme brulee), rendering them unsellable.

Greenfield, April 1

1:57 p.m. — Caller on Peabody Lane reports a suspicious man approached a neighbor’s house and may have attempted to gain entry. Neighbor not home at this time. Suspect described as wearing blue windbreakers. Police located man by the tennis courts. Man says he works nearby and went for a walk on his lunch break. He says he needed to urinate and went where he thought no one would see him. He acknowledged it was a bad decision and apologized.

Greenfield, April 9

2:29 a.m. — Third-party caller requests help getting his friend out of handcuffs. Reporting party states a woman is the one in handcuffs and they have lost the key. Police released the woman from the handcuffs placed on her by a former corrections officer.

Greenfield, April 21

1:19 p.m. — Reporting party reports loose tan terrier-type dog, with long hair and wearing a diaper (no collar or tags), chasing other dogs in the neighborhood. Dog returned to 32 Devens St.

Greenfield, April 22

8:46 p.m. — Reporting party, hysterical and crying, on Chapman Street feels “molested” by the noise coming from her neighbor’s television.

Greenfield, April 25

1:25 p.m. — Caller would like to speak to the animal control officer about her neighbor’s cat repeatedly coming onto her property.

Montague, May 6

9:07 a.m. — Employee at Family Dollar on Avenue A reporting she is confronting a shoplifter and things are escalating. Involved woman showing a suspended license status. Involved woman called a friend to drive her car, but that friend also has a suspended license status.

Greenfield, June 9

10:49 a.m. — Caller in a Weldon House apartment at 54 High St. reports a bat in the apartment. Party will open windows in an attempt to let out the bat. Was given contact information for animal control officer. Reporting party called back, unable to get a screen open. Has left messages with maintenance. Catch-and-release program completed. Healthy-looking bat captured and released at Police Department.

Greenfield, June 17

4:12 p.m. — Report of a domestic disturbance at Pine Ridge Estates. Man was home alone fighting with his oven. He stated he pays a lot of money every month to live in his apartment and the oven provided burns all his food. He advised he lost his cool on the oven. No domestic issues.

Greenfield, June 18

5:13 a.m. — Reporting party on Peabody Lane states that he is just now coming home from work and discovered a man naked in a vehicle parked in the road. The two parties from a previous domestic call on Hope Street had reconciled and were fornicating in the vehicle because they did not have a shared place to go.

Greenfield, June 19

6:43 p.m. — Caller reporting she has information she would like to share with an officer. Something she read in the Bible “triggered” her to call and report that a man, who lives in Holyoke, was driving without a license during an incident a long time ago. She wanted to cleanse herself in God’s eyes and didn’t want to feel like she’s withholding information. Conscience cleared. Nothing further needed.

Greenfield, June 20

12:46 p.m. — Reporting party found an item stuck in her door handle. Opened plastic bag and located a note in which an anonymous person was disgruntled about how she parked and drew a hand telling reporting party that she was “number 1.” After a good laugh, caller apologized for bothering the police department.

Orange, June 30

2:39 p.m. — Reporting party advising there is a blonde woman in a white car that appears to be going in and out of it. Reporting party believes it is drug-related and not a medical. Reporting party would like an officer to check same. On arrival, officer spoke with the woman and she was found to be doing her makeup.

Orange, July 1

6:59 p.m. — Caller reports six raccoons living in her attic. She just watched them go up the stairs. Info passed on to animal control officer, who advised she will call the reporting party and give her the number of who handles raccoon issues.

10:24 p.m. — Reporting party advises that he delivered a pizza and the party answered the door with a 2-by-4, appeared to be drunk and then threatened to get his gun, not wanting to pay for his pizza. Reporting party would like to speak with an officer.

Wednesday, July 3

9:41 a.m. — Caller on Water Street would like to speak with an officer regarding the homeless problem in her neighborhood. Spoke with caller who wanted to know why all the homeless can’t go back to living in the jungle and not in her backyard. She was advised. She is also missing a large black cat. Animal control officer advised. Will check the area for tents.

Montague, July 4

3:08 p.m. — Caller reporting there is a possible cobra snake on their grandmother’s grave site. Caller is concerned and doesn’t want anyone to get bit. Reports the snake has a flat head. Officer Joshua Dobosz advised the snake has been moved along.

Montague, July 9

8:40 p.m. — Reporting party states that a red-haired man has been sleeping on her front porch on 11th Street and he has been leaving trash around the property. He is not wanted there. She was advised to notify the landlord and call the police when she sees him on the porch. Officer advised.

Greenfield, July 10

12:48 p.m. — Reporting party at Adam & Eve adult toy store at 18 Main St. reports an incident that occurred yesterday involving a customer making suggestive statements to an employee. Man in store on July 9 for three hours. Same man asking employee inappropriate questions. Man then was at CVS in town and asking a co-worker of the employee inappropriate questions about her co-worker. They would like individual identified so business can get a no trespass order.

1:46 p.m. — Reporting party on Green River Road reports while at the river she observed a man, 60 to 70 years old, wearing shorts and a T-shirt. He approached the reporting party, was chatting with her. He was then swimming but when he came out of the water, part of his genitals were “hanging out.” Caller stated the party was toweling off and took his shorts off, exposing his genitals. He then left in a van. Info given to Shelburne Control.

Greenfield, July 11

7:40 p.m. — Reporting party has concerns about an incident that occurred at a neighbor’s property yesterday and one of the men involved. Caller did not have direct contact with the party. Reporting party calling to have it logged that her neighbor gave her a “nasty look” and she is in fear of him. She does not know his name but states that he is from Chicago and she is aware of the murder rate in that city. Caller specifically stated he did not make any verbal threats or gestures to her, just the look.

Orange, July 11

12:50 p.m. — Reporting party states their 11-week-old puppy is stuck in a recliner; same is breathing. Caller did not know her cellphone number. On arrival, the puppy was freed.

Montague, July 11

8:25 p.m. — Reporting party on Avenue A reporting there is a man lying on the sidewalk passed out, wearing jeans and an orange T-shirt. Turners Falls Fire Department advised and responding. AMR Ambulance contacted and responding. Officer Michael Sevene advises to cancel EMS and call a taxi for the man. Sevene advises the man fell asleep waiting for taxi service earlier and will be waiting for the taxi to arrive. Sgt. John Dempsey advises cab company has picked up the man.

Greenfield, July 12

1:14 a.m. — Caller states she returned home to find a man intoxicated and yelling at her that this is “his hood” in the parking lot. Man gone on arrival.

Orange, July 28

4:43 p.m. — Caller advises a man walking toward Walmart not wearing a shirt has an ax. Unable to locate.


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