Sheriff's Calls

-A A +A

Re-chewed feud
— On the evening of May 11, Mrs. Hatfield and Mrs. McCoy agreed to meet on neutral ground between their two spreads for the purpose of resolving a long-standing property dispute. The peaceful pow-wow “didn’t work out” though, and Mrs. Hatfield asked that JCSO deputies TO come by to document both her noble diplomatic efforts and her belief that negotiations failed because Mrs. McCoy was “on some kind of drug.” After satisfying themselves that Mrs. McCoy wasn’t really baked and securing non-aggression pledges from all parties, deputies hit the trail only to be called back a short spell later by Mrs. Hatfield, who said Mrs. McCoy was planning to “get a gun” and “shoot me and my house.” Asked point-blank if she entertained any such ideas, Mrs. McCoy said Mrs. Hatfield must have misinterpreted harmless statements not intended for her ears. According to Mrs. McCoy, she’d been standing outside talking to her husband by cell phone about obtaining a concealed-carry permit, and subsequently “talking to my dog” about having a gun “for protection,” all the while utterly unaware that her words were being overheard. Mrs. Hatfield, conjectured Mrs. McCoy, eaves-dropped her innocent conversations and jumped to paranoid conclusions. Finding no crime among the testimonies, deputies declared the parlay pointless and advised the neighbors to make nice.

Credit where it’s due
— The good citizen flagged down a deputy on the afternoon of May 7 and handed over some found property. Topping off his tank at a Bailey gas-n-go a few minutes earlier, Good Citizen looked down to see a silver metal wallet lying on the greasy concrete pad surrounded by a colorful spray of plastic money. “I picked up all the credit cards I could find,” he told the officer, “but there was no cash.” There was a driver’s license, though, and the deputy confidently consulted his on-board computer for the rightful owner’s phone number. Curiously, Jefferson County possessed no contact information for temporarily impoverished motorist, and inquiries to the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles came up just as empty. The officer thanked Good Citizen for his goodness and secured the billfold in the JCSO vault.

Opie gone bad
— Early indications suggested just another home security system glitch. The Cunningham house appeared deserted, the alarm was quiet, and all the doors were locked. And if the top of the sliding glass door was slightly off-kilter, the door itself was perfectly secure. The deputy chalked it up as a false alarm and made to leave, but was flagged down by the Cunningham’s neighbor, Arthur, who wondered if the officer had spoken to young Richie Cunningham, who’d locked himself out of the house earlier that morning. The officer hadn’t, but thanked Arthur for the 411 and moved on to more pressing business, only to be called back to the scene about an hour later by Richie’s father, Howard. According to Howard, he’d come home to find some electric clocks flashing 12 o’clock while others still displayed the correct time, which he interpreted as proof-positive that somebody “messed with the electrical panel.” Taken together with the hinky sliding glass door and the mysterious alarm, Howard suspected a break-in. The officer suspected Richie, and after he told Howard about his conversation with Arthur, Howard did, too. Called onto the carpet, Richie pleaded innocent on all counts, insisting that although he’d been temporarily locked out of the house, he’d never touched either the sliding glass door or the breaker box. The deputy wasn’t convinced, but since it wasn’t really a criminal matter, he departed a second time, only to be called back a third time. Apparently Howard wasn’t convinced either, and hounded Richie until the lad crumbled like queso fresco. The very picture of penitence, Richie at last explained to the officer how he’d been rocking around the clock with his no-account buddies, Ralph and Potsie, and had straggled home at about 8:30 a.m. to find Howard and Marion long gone and himself facing a long day on the front porch. He had, of course, tried unsuccessfully to jimmy the sliding glass door and, fearing that might have tripped the alarm, thought to reset the device by cutting power to the main floor. In fact, Richie admitted watching the deputy’s original visit from a downstairs window, but said he played possum because he “didn’t want to get in trouble.” As Richie has since learned, legal trouble isn’t necessarily the worst kind to be in.