Editor’s Note: According to Georgia Code (50-18-70), “All public records of an agency... shall be open for a personal inspection by any citizen of this state at a reasonable time and place; and those in charge of such records shall not refuse this privilege to any citizen.”
Saying the move is necessary in order to put department records online, Savannah/Chatham County Police Chief Michael Berkow has limited media and public access to the daily police incident reports that are the core of The Blotter. Citizens and the media must now request specific reports rather than having full access, as mandated by state law.
We believe the move is in conflict with both the letter and the spirit of state open records law. The matter is currently in mediation with the state Attorney General’s office. Until the issue is resolved, please enjoy these “classic” Blotter reports from previous issues.
• A concerned citizen called police in reference to a vehicle parked in the drive-through of an Abercorn Street restaurant. All occupants of the car were passed out.
When police arrived, an officer knocked on the window, but the driver and two other occupants didn’t wake up. The driver was charged with driving under the influence.
• A neighborhood feud escalated to the point that police were called to a residence on Peach Row. The neighbors were fighting in violation of a peace bond that had been set to prohibit them from fighting.
The complainant said his neighbor had interrupted a conversation he was having with another neighbor about cutting down a tree that is on their property line.
The woman who interrupted told him, “You can’t cut down that tree!” to which he responded, “I’m not talking to you” and called police.
• A woman told police she was attacked by another woman while shopping at a retail business on Abercorn Street.
The woman said the suspect approached her, saying, “If you have something to say to me, then say it to me, not my kin!”
The woman ignored the suspect until the woman followed her outside the store and “got in her face.”
The suspect denied her involvement in the incident, but a witness corroborated the victim’s story.
• Police were called when a White Bluff Road couple with two small children began arguing.
The man told police he was trying to separate from his girlfriend and that a fight had broken out. Each claimed the other was the aggressor.
Both were given case report number cards. The woman was transported to a hospital by EMS after she claimed she drank cleaning liquid so she would die.
• A woman reported to police that she nad her husband were recently married. She said her husband had told her he was on drugs.
She said he left their home, driving their van several days earlier and hadn’t been heard from since. She said he must have come home at some point while she was out because $300 was missing.
A lookout was posted for the man and the couple’s van.
• A 59th Street woman reported her brother missing after she went to pick him up and he could not be found.
She told police she had not heard from him and was worried about his welfare. The woman said the brother is mute and mentally challenged and advised he doesn’t know the city very well.
She said he often frequents a convenience store in the neighborhood, but that he wasn’t there when she went to pick him up. A lookout was posted. cs