Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Criminals Do the Darndest Things

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Criminals Do the Darndest Things

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY

STROLLING NAKED

SMELLING FISHY

TUNNELING TO FREEDOM

BEGGING TO BE ARRESTED

PAINTING POLICE HEADQUARTERS

FIGHTING THE POLICE

DRINKING IN THE BATHROOM

STEALING PEANUTS

TAUNTING THE POLICE

MISTAKING COLOGNE

BUYING BAD CRACK

So there was a 250-pound naked guy pushing a cart along an Arlington street and when someone called police, what did he tell the officer who arrived to investigate? -- If you're waiting for the punch line, don't worry: That 56-year-old Jacksonville resident, along with many others, didn't disappoint when it came to giving police an excuse. -- "The subject admitted to being entirely exposed," officer D.R. Powe wrote on the naked guy's April arrest report, "and also informed this officer the reason for being exposed entirely was to get a tan and join a nudist colony." -- It was just one of among many strange incidents police in the Jacksonville area investigated in 2006.

SOMETHING'S FISHY AROUND HERE

In July, patrol officers called for homicide investigators to come to a Lenox Avenue tow lot after someone got a whiff of a foul odor coming from a car's trunk.

After blocking off the potential crime scene, detectives solved the stinky mystery by popping the trunk. Inside was a dead fish.

SOME WANT OUT, SOME WANT IN

In September police found a 22-year-old auto theft suspect hanging out of the ceiling of a Sheriff's Office interview room.

Left alone in the room, the 5-foot-7, 135-pound Jacksonville man tried to tunnel his way to freedom by removing ceiling tiles and crawling into the rafters. Instead, police charged him with attempting to escape and criminal mischief for $5,000 damage to the building.

Then in December, police answered a call from an Arlington man who reported he'd battered his wife and needed officers to come to their home.

When police got there, the man's wife said he hadn't hit her and was trying "anything and everything" to get out of the house, including claiming he'd committed a crime so he could go see his girlfriend.

The 35-year-old man finally told police, "I will say whatever it takes for you to arrest me and take me to jail. Just get me away from her."

WANTED: A SMARTER PAINTER

In the category of dumbest criminals, consider the fugitive who took the job painting the Jacksonville Beach Police Department's headquarters in March.

While wanted for a probation violation in South Carolina, the 25-year-old Jacksonville man showed up to paint both the outside and inside of headquarters. A background check landed him a little farther inside than he'd intended: behind bars.

SOME GO HARD, SOME GO EASY

Some suspects can't resist tangling with the law. In a May confrontation on West 41st Street, a 64-year-old man taunted police who arrived to investigate a battery. …

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