Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Favorite Pastime

During the may years I spent at BYU, both as a student and while teaching there, I picked up a favorite pastime that I was sad to leave behind when we moved.  I loved to pick up the campus newspaper, The Daily Universe, and read the the letters to the editor, but even more so the Police Beat.  Police Beat at BYU is particularly amusing because of the nature of the student population.  There usually aren't any serious crimes, the worst usually being theft of someone's backpack (that they left laying around thinking that no one would steal it because, hey, it's BYU) or someone's (unlocked) bike.  But frequently there are very, very amusing "reports."  I think BYU students have a tendency to get scared easily.  Take this entry for example from Oct. 14:
October 6: A suspicious looking backpack and lunch box were reported to be on Maeser Hill. Police came, but they did not find anything.
October 9: A suspicious male was reported to be wearing a long black coat and cracking a whip in a parking lot. Police were not able to find him.
I love it.  So I was very excited when I remembered that I could read these little gems online, at the Daily Universe's website.  I've done some catching up and decided to share a few of my favorites.  For a good time, keep reading.  For an even better time, you can read them all by clicking here.

Nov. 13: At 5:30 p.m. a woman was walking up Maeser hill to the testing center when a Latino male walked up behind her, asked her the time, then grabbed her buttocks. The suspect then ran westbound on the path and the female began chasing him. The suspect then stopped, turned around, and yelled obscenities at the victim. The female reported the incident to the police two and a half hours later, after she took her test.

*now, harassment is not funny, but what is funny is that she tried to chase him down, and then didn't report it until after she took her test.  I noticed that a few weeks earlier a similar report was filed.  Some guy is getting a big kick out of grabbing girls at BYU.  I hope the police get it him, but that will require a quicker report, I think.
Nov. 6: A car was moved out of its original stall at Helaman Halls and was parked perpendicular to the parking spot. Police arrived and concluded a large group of people picked up the car and moved it.
Costume Crimes (it got it's own heading!)

October 24: A boy in a gorilla suit was reported attempting to scare girls in Wyview Park. Officers located the monkey man, asked him to go home and he did.

October 30: Several males were running through Brigham Square wearing only capes and underwear. When officers arrived, the caped crusaders were gone.
*clearly the reporter doing the write up for that particular Police Beat has a sense of humor.  I think you must in order to write these. 
October 31: Six individuals were reported throwing something wet off the Tanner parking structure. The substance was determined to be soup. The suspects were instructed to clean up the mess.

October 26: A caller reported a male behaving suspiciously in a parked car. Officers investigated and the suspect was simply taking a nap.
October 23: A call was received at 4 a.m. from Heritage Halls reporting five students arguing about a laser pointer. The students were shining the laser into the eyes of people driving and students walking by. The students with the laser pointer were informed about the dangers of laser pointers and given warnings.
*I would like to point out that probably 90% of all "disorderly conduct" reports are committed in on-campus housing (aka-Freshmen, bless them).
Oct. 11 Several female students left their apartment for 30 minutes to attend ward prayer. When they returned to their apartment, they found a severed elk head on their kitchen table. The suspects could not be identified and the elk was disposed of at the materials handling building.
And on that disgusting note, I'll leave you.


  1. I inspired this with my email didn't I? I'm so glad you've brought this back into my life. So whle reading these, i had the thought that it would be great if University police combined some of these. For example, station the man in the cape cracking a whip in the area of supposed buttocks grabber....and take a bite out of crime! Cougar land is oh so enteraining. I'm reminded of that everytime i go to Provo. last night Deb and I were at IHOP, and received our own personal concert by a Polynesian accapella group who were practicing at their table for a fireside.My favorite was the primary song "I wonder when He comes again." All I could think was "Only in Provo." (not even "only in Utah", because i would NEVER seen that in SLC. In fact they'd probably be arrested for public proselyting up here. Everyone is so touchy)

  2. Stephen and I use to read these for kicks too.

  3. I heart the Police Beat. BYU is definitely it's own culture.. and the campus police... lol.