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 man went into his bank on several occasions “and seems upset and cries sometimes,” according to an incident report filed with police.
One day, he asked a bank employee to refund some fees on his account. The employee refused.
The man stood in the bank’s lobby and in a “scary, calm voice,” said, “I’m coming back here tomorrow and blow my head off with a gun.” Then he left.
• A manager at a Mall Boulevard grocery store reported that a threatening message was written on a side stair railing support.
The message read, “I am go to kill all (store) member” (sic) and listed several names. The manager said the names were the same as some store employees, but since last names were not given, he is not certain which ones have been threatened or why.
• A man came to Savannah for business reasons and brought his ex-girlfriend along “just for the trip.”
The two went into a club, where the woman became very inebriated. She started suggesting that the man “acquaint himself” with several women in the bar.
The man did manage to get one woman’s phone number. When the ex-girlfriend returned from the restroom, she urged the man to talk to the same woman.
When the man responded he’d already gotten her phone number, the girlfriend’s “attitude changed.” The two began arguing and argued for the rest of the night, until the girlfriend left to go back to Florida.
• A homeless woman fought with police at the corner of 37th and Montgomery streets. She pulled out the hair of one officer when he was trying to handcuff her.
The woman had a knife and a six-point throwing star concealed in her purse. She was charged with felony obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and having concealed weapons.
• An officer on routine patrol observed a man driving 57 miles-per-hour in a 35 miles-per-hour speed zone on Staley Avenue and performed a traffic stop.
The driver told the office he didn’t have his driver’s license with him, but when the officer checked with dispatch, he was told the man’s driver’s license had been suspended because of failure to appear in court.
The vehicle didn’t have valid insurance, and the tag didn’t belong to the car.
The tag was returned to the auto-leasing company it had come from and the vehicle was towed.
The man was arrested and taken to jail on several charges. cs
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