(2008-406669) 4:20 a.m.: Before we get down to business, I have some housekeeping to take care of. I've learned two things this past week: One, this column has a dedicated following of potheads. Two, I could never be a drug dealer, on account of the fact that I can't do simple math.
Yes, as many, many readers pointed out, my screed last week on the idiocy of Florida's drug laws had a bit of factual inaccuracy in it.
I screwed up — badly — the conversion of grams into ounces, and as such claimed that the guy carrying 52 grams of weed didn't have very much weed at all, when in fact he did. One reader said 52 grams would be worth about $750 on the street, and I'll take his word for it. I apologize for the error. Rest assured I spent the weekend lashing myself with a cat-o'-nine-tails to earn my penance.
That said, I still stick by the thrust of the column, which is that marijuana laws are stupid and the world would be a better place if the cops didn't spend so much of their time worrying about what weed the kids are smoking these days.
All right, let's get going. Our column begins at 4:20 a.m. — serendipity! — on West Colonial Drive, where three guys did a smash-and-grab at the Magic Mall.
Point of fact: If they were stoned to all bejesus, they'd be too busy cramming Cheetos down their gullets to steal. Just saying.
(2008-406706) 5:44 a.m.: The other plus to pot is that it doesn't make your liver hurt and your head pound, like the shot of Jack Daniel's and seven beers I had last night did. Booze is the devil.
Anyway, a woman was robbed at gunpoint while waiting for the bus.
(2008-406826) 9:05 a.m.: Sucks to be this guy. He was in his driveway washing his car this morning when "he was struck in the back by a small caliber projectile," Officer Gregg reports. "The round broke the victim's skin and was lodged just under his skin in the muscle." No word on the shooter.
(2008-407477) 7:03 p.m.: OPD had a Lethal Weapon moment with a dude in a Dodge Intrepid who (allegedly) was involved in an armed robbery and carjacking. The 25-year-old suspect led the cops on a chase down Orange Blossom Trail, and during the pursuit, apparently pointed his gun out the window and shot at the cop cars.
Shockingly, this didn't get them to stop chasing him, though he did succeed in dinging three cop cars. He was eventually apprehended and charged with attempted murder.
(2008-407577) 8:52 p.m.: If you leave your garage door open, your golf clubs will grow legs and walk away.
(2008-407611) 9:20 p.m.: A man walking to his apartment was accosted by an armed robber who took his money, jewelry and car and house keys. "Suspect was last seen walking northbound through the complex," Officer Mills tells us.
(2008-408011) 2:52 a.m.: Another day, another armed robbery.
(2008-408017) 2:59 a.m.: Oh look, one more. Awesome.
Listen. I'm tired of this. It's time for a Police Beat armed-robbery boycott. That means, armed robbers, your crimes will not be mentioned herein. You'll be ignored, as I will be dedicating the space in this column to more inventive crooks.
Unless, of course, you go above and beyond the call of duty. Or I'm short on material. Or I forget.
(2008-408106) 5:24 a.m.: Someone ransacked a law office but didn't take anything.
(2008-408210) 8:47 a.m.: And here we have a resourceful burglar. He broke into a juice café by chucking a potted plant through the glass front door, then he removed the cash register.
(2008-408219) 8:56 a.m.: Boycott.
(2008-408739) 6:40 p.m.: Officer Stites was walking through an apartment complex when he saw three men in the back sparking a doob or whatever. During his investigation, one suspect allegedly battered the copper and went to jail.
The other two probably found this highly firstname.lastname@example.org