One of the most popular features of the Charleston City Paper — from its start on Sept. 4, 1997, through today — is The Blotter, our weekly snarky look at crime, drunks, shoplifters and hooligans taken from reports filed by Charleston police.  More than anything, these often humorous and odd tidbits of news show a lot of the crap that the boys (and girls) in blue have to put up with week after week.

The first seven Blotter entries

From Volume 1, Issue 1 

Yuck. While in the booking area, a man from Charleston was charged with the unlawful throwing of bodily fluids after he spit on an officer, hitting him in the chest. The man told the officer he had a “highly infectious disease” and that he would “do great bodily harm to him.”

Threats. Another man in the booking area was charged with threatening a public official when he told a correctional officer that he would “get him when he wasn’t looking.”

A tickle in his throat. A man was arrested for his seventh shoplifting offense at a local grocery store when officers found two bottles of Robitussin in the front of his pants, concealed by the loose shirt he was wearing.

Was it worth it? A man was arrested and charged with strong-arm robbery after he attempted to steal $3 in tip money left for a waitron at a 24-hour restaurant. 

Butt shot. A man was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill during a physical altercation with another man outside a nightclub. During the altercation, the man obtained a handgun from an acquaintance and shot the victim one time in the lower left buttock.

Fishing for jail. A Charleston man was apprehended and charged with armed robbery after he entered a local department store and attempted to steal two wrist watches and six polo shirts. In the process of trying to escape, he pulled a fishing knife on one of the store’s loss prevention officers and threatened to cut him.

Crack (in) head. A 28-year-old male was pulled over by police after he failed to signal for a right-hand turn and failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Officers noticed that the man “had an open bottle of beer in plain view between his legs” and asked him to step out of the vehicle. In talking with the man, the officers noticed a napkin that was visible in his mouth. When he spit it out, the officers found $100 worth of crack cocaine hidden in the napkin and arrested the man.

Best blotters from the 2000s

Trash talk. A portable toilet fell off a transport truck on Interstate 26 hitting a woman’s car and causing $250 in damage. We’re never calling our car a piece of shit again.

Illustration by Steve Stegelin

Huh? A man questioned after his girlfriend accused him of assault told officers numerous times, “No, I haven’t hit her yet.”

Making the doughnuts. A doughnut store reported that someone stole four trays of the tasty treats. We have no doubt the police department will use every resource tracking down this fiend.

Pass. Asked to perform a sobriety test, a DUI suspect told officers, “I can’t do that, I have had too much to drink.”

Big gulp. A man was found sleeping in the grass near a local homeless shelter. Asked how much he had had to drink, the man responded: “One, but it was about as big as your car.”

Seven best threats from 2007 blotters

  • Unfortunate comment to one’s own mother: “You’re a dead woman.”
  • “I’m going to kill you eight ways.”
  • “If I see you or your kids on the street, you know what time it is.”
  • A woman called the police to report threats from her ex-boyfriend. Some of the messages ranged from, “You f***king slut, I’m going to kill you” to “I want to get married.” 
  • Fashionable threat: “It won’t be long before your mom is wearing a black dress to church.”
  • “I’m going to show you what downtown is all about.”
  • A crutch was left outside a woman’s home with a post-it note that read, “Bitch.”

Best blotters from the 2010s

Meat puppet. An employee embezzled eight steaks and a beef tenderloin from a downtown steakhouse. The offender was caught on camera committing the theft. According to police reports, the thief was fired from his last restaurant job for, you guessed it, stealing steaks.

Ground control to Major Tom. A man told police that his medication was stolen from his apartment. When CPD arrived, they found no signs of a break-in. The complainant then informed them that the CIA and the U.S.’s defunct mind-control program, MKUltra, were monitoring him. He was informed that, “there were no signs of forced entry and that he is not being monitored by the CIA.”

M, N, Ohio, Pee. An Ohio woman caught publicly urinating told an officer, “OK, I admit I peed, but that isn’t mine,” when a glass vial with half a gram of weed was found next to her puddle.

Man versus food. Employees of a West Ashley grocery store watched a man eat three bowls of chili, a salad and two doughnuts without paying. When he was confronted by an officer outside of the store, he clarified, “I just tasted it to see if
I wanted it.”

Zombie tips. A man was arrested after receiving several citations for drinking alcohol on the street. Listed among his belongings was a book titled Dead Drunk: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse One Beer at a Time.

Demon glass. A man told police that he was fighting an evil demon late one evening. On the night, the demon in question had apparently taken the form of a glass window, and the man suffered cuts and scratches to his fist.

Charleston hospitality. A man and his family got a taste of Charleston hospitality while walking to dinner when a passerby randomly reached out and gave him a “nipple twister,” as it was described in an incident report. It is unclear if these were his actual words or the official nomenclature of the Charleston police.

Not kosher. When asked by police if he had been drinking, a shirtless man who was found lying on the ground replied, “Is a pig’s ass pork?” according to an incident report.

Hubba, hubba. A woman arrested for driving under the influence was desperate to avoid arrest, offering the officer “a million dollars and the best orgasm ever” if he’d let her go home.

Best blotters from the 2020s

Beer bulge. Officers noticed a “suspicious bulge” in the pants of a man sitting on a downtown sidewalk. To their relief, and ours, it was discovered to be a 16-ounce can of beer.

What a ride. A downtown woman reported her “Silver Phantom” stolen after having purchased it for almost $10,000 recently. Before you get excited about what sounds like an affordable sports car, we have to tell you it’s a golf cart. 

Resistance. One man wearing a painted vest covered with anarchy symbols, peace signs and the phrase, “Do crime,” was surprised when officers approached, saying he matched the description of a suspected vandal. The man at first denied involvement, but later admitted to painting a white anarchy symbol on a wooden post. What a twist.

Nine to go. On three separate occasions over a few weeks, a golf club was used to break through a car’s window and the club was left inside the vehicle. Further research shows a typical set contains 12 clubs, which means we have about nine weeks left.

Find more blotter every week here.


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