God Bless AmericaTaxi Driver

Seattle Thurs June 17, 3:50 pm: A 23-year-old student from Central Washington University arrived in Seattle by Greyhound bus, and hired a taxi driver to take her to the airport. While on their way, the driver asked her if she was a runaway. The apparently very young-looking woman answered no. The driver asked who she was meeting at the airport. She said she was meeting her father. The taxi driver then did the most extraordinary thing: He offered to call her father on his cell phone, but the father didn't answer his phone. The young woman sat quietly in the back seat.

A couple of miles before reaching the airport, the taxi driver did another extraordinary thing: He made a sudden turn, explaining that he was going home to get a "personal car" to use to drive her to the airport. The driver dropped the "runaway" on the corner of Rainier and Henderson, and told her to wait for him to return with the car. As soon as he left, however, she ran to a pay phone and called her father (who answered the phone this time). Concerned for her safety, he told her not to move; he would catch a cab and pick her up. While waiting for her father, the deviant taxi driver returned with his "personal car," but upon learning that the young woman had betrayed him, he sped away. The taxi driver is still at large.

Truck Driver

Lake City Fri June 25, 4:30 pm: A trucker who lives on 145th St NE is madder than hell because some fool poured salt into the fuel tank of his truck. The trucker explained to the police that since September 1998, he has been the victim of multiple acts of sabotage. He strongly suspects that the previous owner of his truck is behind it all -- though he didn't say why. The trucker will have to pay $713 of his hard-earned money to repair his damaged truck.

Vice.cop

Cyberspace Fri July 2, cybertime: When Vice Detective L. Shirey received a call from a concerned citizen who had discovered child pornography on an Internet newsgroup, the cop who polices sex in the city transformed into the cop who polices sex in cyberspace -- he logged onto the newsgroup in question and located the pornographic video clips, downloaded them onto a disk, and submitted them as evidence.

Mailbox Massacre

Seattle Sun July 4, all day: Of all the property deliberately destroyed by fireworks during the holiday weekend (barbecue grills, glass doors, flower containers, cars, pets, trees, eardrums), none suffered more than the mailboxes of our fair city. Seven mailboxes were "blown up" into "a cloud of smoke," with "debris scattered everywhere." In one report, a distressed family residing on NW 88th St stated that their mailbox was "blown up annually," and that they had tried everything (short of standing guard during the course of the whole fucking holiday) to protect their beloved box, but to no avail. Judging from these reports, the usual suspects for these monstrous crimes are lovesick ex-boyfriends (between the ages of 15 and 19), who can't find a more productive way to ease their suffering.

At the Car Wash

Central District Fri July 9, 3:55 pm: A group of kids holding a fund raising car wash for summer camp were startled when a volley of gunfire erupted at the intersection of 23rd and Cherry (Police Beat heard these shots while walking to the local liquor store). Suddenly,

a blue Pontiac swerved into the parking lot of the gas station where the youths were having their car wash, and hit the power pole that held up their car-wash sign. The sign dropped, and a man leapt from the car yelling, "Help! Help! Help!"; another man spent his last moments on Earth bleeding in the front seat of the Pontiac. When police arrived, they secured the area and handed over the crime scene and witness accounts to the indefatigable homicide unit.

Ghost Cop

West Seattle Fri July 9, 9:55 pm: An honest citizen informed the Seattle Police Department that he had found one of the department's precious badges on the sidewalk at S. Spokane and 15th Ave. The badge was attached with a black clip to the badge holder, and appeared to be authentic. But when the SPD checked its number (2461), they found no record of such a badge being issued. The police do not know how to explain this: a real badge for an unknown cop? A phantom cop? And if there is a phantom cop out there in the city, which side of the law is he or she on?

Death Mall

Northgate Sat July 10, 7:15 pm: Shortly after 7 pm, an employee of the Bon Marche in Northgate Mall decided to take her break. She walked outside and took a seat on a bench. While relaxing, a car, which was backing up into a parking space in front of her, suddenly jumped the curb and killed her. The passenger in the car, who is also the mother of the deadly driver, was seriously hurt during this strange accident, while the driver suffered no injuries. This, so far, is all the information the police offered about this accident, which resulted in yet another death on the premises of the oldest mall in America.

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