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Incident reports to smile at

WORTHINGTON -- Law enforcement is a serious business, fraught with danger, emotional situations and a need for caution. Officers, deputies and troopers have to deal with domestic assault, angry people, criminal behavior and the chance they may be threatened or harmed during a routine day at work.

But that doesn't stop them from having a little fun while handling their paperwork. Sometimes a happy ending or silly circumstance can lighten a load or bring out a chuckle.

For example, an incident report (ICR) from 2005 reports a man called police when he found a bat in his house.

"Warned bat for trespassing," the ICR states.

A report from 2006 shows an officer must have been reading too much Dr. Seuss the night before. The ICR states, "Mr. Barr* has lost his car. We found the car on the Armory Tar."

Sometimes it isn't the officers that add the humor to a situation, but the situation itself.

"Couple requests assistance removing handcuffs," one ICR reads.

"Locked a set of handcuffs on himself and is unable to get them unlocked," says another.

"Person called reporting having handcuffed a friend and not having a key," another states.

People call police dispatch for a variety of reasons, most of them serious and necessary, but at times authorities must wonder what the complainant wants them to do, such as when someone called to say a customer at a convenience store was wearing his pants too low.

Other interesting reports include the man who made sure the cops knew someone had called him stupid, the woman who wanted them to know her son has too much attitude, and the man who reported his ex-wife was coming to town, which would ruin his weekend.

"Neighbor has nailed dead fish to the garage," one ICR states.

"Reports hearing a strange noise. Neighbor also heard it in the middle of the night," another reads. "Officer checked. It was a woodpecker."

Officers are often called on to go above and beyond the scope of what may be considered their duty, stretching their patience levels at times, as these word-for-word examples show:

l Complainant reported she had misplaced her car downtown. After deputy did a lot of checking, she thought she might have left it in her garage. It was there.

l 911 call. She is having problems with her TV. Officers got it straightened out. She was using her phone as her TV remote.

l Reports seven of (neighbor's) dogs are in her flowers. Wants to know if she can shoot them. Officer is handling.

l He is missing his pet turtle. Officers checked and friend of the family has the turtle.

One complainant called to report a crabby neighbor must have a bug up his, er, bottom, while another wanted his son removed as the boy was raising ... well ... heck.

Extensive training in law, use of force and safety is essential for an officer, but not quite as useful as patience and tact when negotiating the return of a Britney Spears CD, convincing someone that the two young boys walking by were not taking pictures of their house, or calming down a woman who found a garter snake next to her air conditioning unit.

From the report of a man sitting on the roof of his car singing as loud as he could to the young man who said an older white female had just stopped and asked him if he had any weed, calls to dispatch can be unusual and unexpected. But every now and then, certain subjects pop up again and again. Like ducks.

"Reports baby ducks in back yard," one ICR states.

"Was flagged down -- ducklings fell in the sewer," states another. "Rescue complete. (Officer) will relocate mother and her ducklings."

"Reports a duck tied by a rope to a fence," reads yet another. "Does not look well."

And finally -- "Ducks are running around the upstairs hallway. Officer checked -- ducks were up there. Problem should be taken care of."

*Name was changed, rhyme remains the same