Police Blotter 5/30/2012

Jenny Scarborough

"We work the same even when Highway Patrol is here," said Sgt. Daniels.

State Troopers made a number of stops over Memorial Day weekend, which will be reported separately in Ocracoke Current.  Troopers are charged with protecting NC highways.  "We have two separate functions," said Daniels.  "Their job is between the white lines.  Ours is to serve papers and answer calls." 

Ocracoke officers patrol the highways when troopers are not on the island.  "We must work traffic to keep people safe," said Daniels.   When state patrol visits, Ocracoke officers turn over DWI and moving violations to the troopers. 

At midnight on Tuesday, Ocracoke police stopped a golf cart that was "skidding sideways on Highway 12, running into sandwich boards," said Daniels.  The cart was covered in mud, tree limbs and leaves.  The arresting officer anticipated a charge of careless and reckless driving, and discovered, to no ones surprise, that the man was legally intoxicated. 

The owner of the golf cart "was not happy" when she arrived to retrieve the vehicle, said Daniels.

Both Wednesday and Thursday were quiet, and Friday "was not that bad at all," said the sergeant. 

Over the weekend officers responded to a call about an unleashed black lab near the Masonic Lodge that picked "a teenie tourist dog" up in its mouth, shook it and spit it back out.  The black lab nipped the smaller dog's owner when she bent to pick up her injured pet.  The visiting dog needed treatment; the owner did not.

Police "searched and searched and searched for hours" for the black lab, with no luck, said Daniels.  When a dog bites a person, the protocol is for the Health Department to quarantine the animal for about 10 days to determine if it is rabid.  If the dog is euthanized before that time, its brain is tested for rabies.  Pet owners can be held responsible for property damage in civil court.  If the labs owner were found, he or she could be sued to recover the cost of veterinary bills for the smaller dog.

Ocracoke police were called to help resolve a property dispute involving vehicles turning around on neighboring land. 

Officers are involved in two on-going investigations that are "more in depth than normal investigations," said Daniels.  At this time, he can not reveal the nature of the crimes being investigated.

Citations were written for open containers in cars and golf carts, for passing on the right, and for failure to properly restrain a child in a moving vehicle. 

Several bicycles were reported stolen over the weekend, from the Pirate's Quay condos and from local bars.

On Friday evening officers assisted in rescuing four men whose Grady White capsized in Hatteras Inlet.  The men first clung to the transom of the boat as it drifted south then decided to swim to shore.  The boat later washed up on Ocracoke and was salvaged by Farris O'Neal and company.  Only one of the men required hospitalization; all survived.

They also assisted EMS with a head injury resulting from a bike accident on Saturday.  The vacationer from Washington, DC received stitches at the Outer Banks Hospital and was enjoying himself again on Monday.

Officers were on the scene at a 911 call late Sunday night with a sad outcome.  A vacationer fell down a flight of stairs and, despite immediate Advanced Life Saving efforts by medics, was pronounced dead after being transported to the Ocracoke Health Center.  The accidental death was "tragic," said Daniels.

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