Meet the new City Pages crime reporter: Tom Waits

Categories: Drugs

I had been reading criminal complaints at the Hennepin County Courthouse for about an hour when I stumbled upon a Minneapolis Police officer's report of a drug bust on 9th & Hennepin. The inevitable happened: as I scanned the report, I started hearing the Tom Waits song. Then the improbable happened: the officer's narrative and the lyrics to 9th & Hennepin started to seem a little bit like the same story. Back at my desk I tried stitching them together. Here's what came of it. I cut a few lines from the song here and there but the police report is exactly as I found it:

Well it's 9th and Hennepin. All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes and the moon's teeth marks are on the sky.

Police officers were on routine patrol in the area of 9th and Hennepin. They saw a man engaged in what officers believed to be a narcotics transaction.

And the steam comes out of the grill like the whole goddamn town's ready to blow.

The officers saw Defendant in the middle of a hand-to-hand exchange with two other males. When Defendant turned and saw the marked police vehicle in the intersection, he immediately pulled away from the male he was making the exchange with.

And the bricks are all scarred with jail house tattoos and everyone is behaving like dogs.

Defendant began to walk northbound on Hennepin and looked back over his shoulder to watch the officers go through the intersection.The officers circled the block and approached Hennepin from 8th. They were behind a bus as they pulled up to Hennepin, and as the bus pulled away, Defendant walked around the corner about 8 feet from the police vehicle.

And the horses are coming down Violin Road and Dutch is dead on his feet.

An officer got out of the vehicle and told the Defendant to stop. Defendant continued to walk, so the officer took hold of him.

And all the rooms they smell like diesel and you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here. And I'm lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway and I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat.

The officer felt Defendant tense up as if he were going to flee or start struggling, so the officer shoved Defendant to the side of the vehicle and tried to handcuff him. Defendant was resisting and failing to comply with the officers' orders.

And no one brings anything small into a bar around here. They all started out with bad directions and the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear. One for every year he's away, she said. Such a crumbling beauty, ah There's nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won't fix. And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet 'til you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin.

One of the officers attempted to place a neck restraint on Defendant, and as he did so, rocks of suspected crack cocaine fell from Defendant's mouth onto the sidewalk.

And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen.

Defendant tried to grab the suspected crack and put them back in his mouth. After a struggle, officers were able to subdue Defendant and recover the pieces of suspected crack cocaine, which weighed 4 grams and field-tested positive for cocaine.

And I've seen it all, I've seen it all through the yellow windows of the evening train.




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