Beat Poetry At its Finest

By Vic Fleming

Last week we took a peek at the police blotter work of Sgt. Jennifer Shockley of the Unalaska, Alaska, police department.

Sgt. Shockley has been featured on NPR, on KTUU-TV, in Anchorage and on KUCB radio in Unalaska. Shockley is clearly a wry and witty word wizard, if not, as the TV piece suggested, a frustrated writer.

From the sites of NPR, KTUU and KUCB, here are a few more examples of her work:

“Caller reported a middle-aged Beagle had walked into her home and stayed there for the last hour. Officers tried unsuccessfully to capture the errant canine, which was retrieved by his owner about three hours later.”

“A twitchy bunkhouse resident claimed ... his housemates have been removing his fingerprints from framed photographs in order to incriminate him in nefarious crimes. An officer advised the man to better secure his personal belongings and suggested that reducing illicit drug use might also reduce his paranoia.”

“A grocery store patron demanded that she be given a bag of shrimp for which she claimed to have already paid. The patron stalked off with the shrimp after an employee, believing something fishy might be going on, took the matter to a supervisor.”

“Captain reported a crewman had not returned to the vessel. The missing crewman, who had been enjoying the company of a lady friend, returned about an hour later.”

“Officer assistance was requested at what appeared to be a fight at the Harbor View Bar, but which was in fact a drunken man and woman falling down, getting up, falling down again and then getting up with assistance which was clearly needed but not appreciated.”

“Officers responded to a residence after receiving a garbled phone call about an emergency at that location, and found a man and his son in the midst of a wrestling match. The two were fighting about the son having had some alcohol earlier in the day, and the son began throwing things about the house. Officers were able to defuse the situation.”

“Apparently unable to stay away, a grown man returned to his parents’ home and began banging on the front door. J*** L. M***, 27, was arrested for Criminal Trespass II.”

“Two intoxicated men who fled after breaking a fire extinguisher case while wrestling in the Harbor View Inn hallway actually returned to the scene of the crime and politely offered to both clean up their mess and pay for damages. Their offer was accepted and no charges were filed.”

“Drunken boarding house tenant reported that his equally drunken nemesis had taken his cell phone, and he wanted it back. Officers told both sots they would go to jail if they continued behaving toward one another in such a fashion.”

“An exasperated, exhausted immature eagle which had entrapped itself inside a crab pot was able to fly to safety after an officer climbed a stack of crab pots and cut a raptor-sized hole in the netting.”

“Caller asked officers to check on two men who were inhaling nitrous oxide from Whippit canisters in the Safeway parking lot. An officer contacted the two men, who claimed they would not be driving after inhaling and would cause no problems this evening.”

Got a favorite police blotter story or memory? Share it with me.

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at