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Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer provides a literary take on a memorable December incident

6:29 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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 PDF Document: JSO 12 14 12

Jacksonville, Fla. -- A police report unlike any other is making the rounds inside the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office -- and First Coast News obtained a copy today.

The report, dated Friday, Dec. 14, includes an unusually evocative account by Officer R.J. Reeves of a 911 callout to a home located in the Jacksonville Heights neighborhood of the city's Westside.

Ostensibly a call about a man who injured himself in a fall, the report quickly becomes a hilarious and at times alliterative journey into the absurd.

"Upon arrival," it begins, "I hastened to the front door of the Manufactured Home in an attempt to locate the injured person, all in hopes of providing assistance or at least some comfort in a potentially difficult and painful situation. As I made my swift trajectory out of my JSO patrol vehicle towards the front door, I was met by numerous individuals (later identified as family and friends of the Victim), all bellowing, "He's in there officer!" and "Hurry, help -- he's in there!"

These "chants of concern" by loved ones, only fueled my already eager appetite to serve! I bounded up the small, wooden stairs, shot across the decking (giving the appearance of winged flight!), and then rushed inside of the Manufactured Home; darting and dashing around a Christmas tree and other festive holiday gayeties -- relentlessly reeling towards the kitchen."

The report continues much in the same vein, as the officer finds the victim "intoxicated, dancing and singing loudly off-key to the Dire Straits' song 'Money for Nothing.' The victim also refuses medical attention in the report's most alliterative moment: "After being repudiated, the puzzled paramedics packed up the paraphernalia ... and proceeded to part ways with the patient."

When asked about the style of the report and the authors' possible literary ambitions, JSO Public Information Officer Shannon Hartley chuckled. 

"I can't really comment on his aspirations or intentions. But he did write the report in a very expressive manner using quite frankly jargon that appeared to be accurate and appropriate and very descriptive. He appears to have painted an appropriate picture of the incident."

First Coast News contacted Lawrence Johnson, the victim identified in the report. Though he declined to be interviewed on camera, he confirmed the report's contents, including the injury from his fall -- a deep laceration to his arm.

He didn't recall all the details -- "I was really drunk that night, I really was," Johnson confirmed -- but said in general terms the report was accurate.

Although Johnson refused medical treatment from paramedics -- "I told them I just wanted to shoot pool" -- he later agreed to go to Orange Park Medical Center for help. There, he discovered he also had several fractured ribs.

"I still really hurts," he told First Coast News, adding that he quit drinking for three days afterwards.

Read the full report here.

*Note: after First Coast News requested this report, Officer Hartley indicated that the JSO had put a "DNR" hold -- "Do Not Release" -- on the report, meaning it will not be released until that hold is removed. It was not clear who issued the DNR, or what if anything about the report might be redacted or changed. According to Florida Public Records law, the report is a public record unless the record's custodian can cite a specific exemption to Florida Statues Ch. 119.

 ** Sheriff's Special Assistant Lauri-Ellen Smith contacted First Coast News after this story was posted, with this information: "The above mentioned report is public record and readily available. I can find nothing in it that would have required redacting prior to its release and it has been in the media room (blotter) since being written."

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