Classic, bizarre zaniness from the Police Beat files

The other day I hung out on the UA Mall and took a quick survey of what people liked most about the Wildcat. The first 10 people all said the same thing Ä Police Beat.

Within the past month, Police Beat has taken on a life of its own. It's been making appearances in the Tucson Weekly. The other day, Police Beat reporter Laura Ingalls even received a phone call from a Houston radio morning show. The show wanted a copy of the infamous Sept. 19 Police Beat involving a man arrested for "soliciting oral sex from a herd of horses." Now whenever Laura comes down to the Wildcat offices, two gnomes scurry out from under a news desk and roll a red carpet before her. One of the gnomes blows on a little trumpet and yells,"Hear ye! Hear ye! The Police Beat is coming! It is coming!"

In an effort to give you more of what you want, I delved into the files of Police Beat. Presented are some of the more bizarre entries. Enough blather, on with the show.


(Nov. 3, 1987)

A 19-year-old University of Arizona student reported Sunday that his pet fish was dead on his desk in Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall. The student left his room at about 8:30 p.m., and returned at about 11 p.m. to find his fish outside his fish bowl. The student said he had been receiving strange phone calls and believes someone wanted to harm the fish. He will notify campus police if the phone calls continue. Police said the fish appeared to have jumped out of the fish bowl. They have no suspects.


(May 3, 1982)

A man was reported attempting to sell sandwiches and fruit to employees in front of the Home Economics Building.

Police said the man was offering free samples of pudding to people passing by and that he would lick the sample spoon clean before putting it back in his apron pocket.

A UA employee said the man also was seen selling sandwiches in front of the Center for English as Second Language several mornings during the past week.

Police said it is illegal to sell food without permission on the UA campus.


(Sept. 8, 1993)

A drive-by involving a "wooden tool" was reported Saturday morning near the Park Student Center.

Two UA students said they were walking in an alley north of the center when a car drove by with a passenger "who displayed a wooden tool," police said. The students told police they felt threatened by the man and ran.

The driver of the car then tried to follow the students in reverse, but the driver had difficulty shifting gears and drove off, police said.

Police have no suspects.


(Jan. 18, 1984)

A University of Arizona freshman reported that three men entered her dormitory room Monday evening and vandalized her stuffed donkey.

The victim said three men entered her room in Coronado Residence Hall after knocking and picked up the stuffed donkey. One produced a machete and hacked off the animal's head, then stabbed the donkey several times with a pocketknife, police said.

The three men then left the room. Police are investigating the case.


(March 29, 1993)

A UA student reported the theft of her shoe Tuesday afternoon from the third floor of the Main Library.

Police said the victim was studying at about 3 p.m. when she removed her shoes.

She told police a man across the table from her said,"Where's your other shoe? You had two of them a short time ago."

The victim looked down and saw her shoe was missing. She began to gather her belongings to leave.

The suspect then said,"Do you have far to go? I can carry you on my back."

The victim said she quickly left the area and went down to the second floor. A library employee talked to the victim and then called police.


(March 22, 1982)

A Tucson man was cited on a charge of criminal trespass Tuesday afternoon after two witnesses reported a suspicious male at the entrance to the McKale Center.

Richard Grosso, 24, allegedly yelled,"Hey baby, what's your name?" to the two witnesses.

Ä If Police Beat gets any more bizarre, it may make the Wildcat into a one-pony show.

Jon Burstein is a journalism and political science senior. Like it or not, his columns appear every Tuesday. When you see him, buy his pudding. It's yummy.

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