A sampling of police calls in Gulfport from August 27 to September 2.
Source: Gulfport Police Department
August 27: This Lyft Has Really Uncomfortable Seats
Gulfport police officers answered an emergency call about a person “down” (we assume they mean prostate on the ground, not cool with things) along the 5100 block of Gulfport Boulevard South. Paramedics checked out the person and determined he or she was drunk but otherwise not in distress, so according to the police report, “he was transported” home. The report obfuscates who took this person home — the police or a hired car.
August 30: How Much Did He Steal?
When Gulfport Officer Zack Mills pulled into the parking lot at the 5000 block of Gulfport Boulevard South, an employee from one of the stores got his attention and let him know they’d had a theft. The person they suspected of stealing had left the store, but Officer Mills caught him. A search confirmed that the 37-year-old Ronald Hardin of St. Petersburg had items on his person he had not purchased. While the police report doesn’t tell us what Hardin purloined, it must have been a lot, because police charged him with felony retail theft.
August 27: It Puts the Lotion on the Tide Pods?
A Walgreens employee saw a man taking Dove lotion and Tide Pods and putting them in his backpack. When Donald McRoberts, a 35-year-old Gulfportian, didn’t pay for those items before leaving the store, a customer tried to stop him. McRoberts and that customer got into a fight. Police caught McRoberts behind the Walgreens and found — along with the lotion and laundry soap — a syringe containing heroin. Police charged him with retail theft and felony possession of a controlled substance.
August 31: These Shoes Were Made for Walking
When a woman living on the 5100 block of 8th Avenue South realized she needed to change her shoes, she figured she’d be back outside in a second, and didn’t need to shut off her car. By the time she changed her shoes and came back out however, her car had vanished. Lucky for her, a surveillance camera down the street revealed, according to the police, “a man known to Gulfport officers as Da’Quan Sheppard” strolling through her neighborhood right before her car disappeared. Police checked, and they learned the 19-year-old St. Pete resident had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear (on a charge of obstructing justice.) A St. Petersburg police officer apprehended Sheppard a half-hour later in the Childs Park area. Although police found Sheppard walking, not driving the stolen car, he had the key to that car in his pocket. Police arrested Sheppard and charged him with grand theft auto; they also found the stolen car by I-275 that same day.
August 31: Everyone’s a Critic
Look, we get it: Art is subjective. Not everyone likes the same thing. That doesn’t give anyone the right to vandalize art, as happened in Gulfport’s Clymer Park (the 2300 block of Beach Boulevard South) two weekends ago. When city employees reported for work Monday morning, they found a broken light in Clymer Park, as well as two vandalized pieces of art in the sculpture garden in the park as well.
August 31: Sometimes They Come Back
A resident living along the 2700 block of 45th Street South in Gulfport allowed a buddy to stay at his or her house — temporarily. As the movie title suggests, sometimes they come back, and that’s what this visitor did – this time taking things out of the home without permission.
September 1: That’s Not How Emergency Lights Work
When Gulfport Officer Christopher Priest stopped a drunk person at the 6200 block of Gulfport Boulevard South, he remembered to turn on his emergency lights — officers face consequences in they don’t do this — but that didn’t help. A South Pasadena resident, 54-year-old Davis Lermond, rear-ended Priest’s car with his pickup truck. Why? Lermond told police the lights from the ambulance on the scene distracted him. Police charged him with careless driving and, perhaps, gave him a stern talking to about irony.
September 1: The Identity Theft Store
When a man found out someone was trying to cash one of his mother’s checks at a local Amscot, he called the police. The mother lives on the 3100 block of Clinton Street South and says she doesn’t recall giving anyone a blank check.
September 2: There’s Probably a Bigger Story Here
Staff at the Gulfport Municipal Marina trespassed 61-year-old boater and Gulfportian Ray Rodriguez, but he returned to the property and, police reports say, “was causing a disturbance.” Police arrested him and took him to jail. In a city with no shortage of former drug-running fishermen, Santa Clauses who parachute into trees, and kidnapped goats that walk into beach bars, we’re curious to know what Mr. Rodriguez did that was so disturbing.