Last night was a busy summer Saturday night – downtown was jammed, there was an event at Roger’s Arena, and backyards were host to a multitude of BBQ parties (including one apparently epic game of beer pong that included an entire street of neighbours – no complaints there, thank goodness, even though I do wonder how those pong players are feeling today).
Also typical for a summer night were the number of domestic dispute calls. Hot weather makes people lose their sense of reason, and patrol units were kept busy all shift.
At the end of the night, just as the sun was thinking about making her debut on the Eastern horizon, the call I was waiting for came in – a break and enter in progress. A neighbour called 911 to report a man had climbed up a ledge and was trying to access a second floor balcony in Vancouver’s West End.
(Don’t think for a second that you can leave your sliding door open if you live on an upper floor. Residents frequently report break and enters to apartment buildings where access was gained from the patio after the thief scaled a wall.)
PSD Hondo and I were the first at the scene, and we quietly moved into position to see what the potential break and enter suspect was doing.
There he was – balanced on a wall and trying to climb up to a second floor balcony with a partially open sliding glass door. He kept trying to pull himself up while grasping the railing, but he wasn’t quite strong enough.
Turns out he wasn’t sober enough, either.
This ‘break and enter suspect’ had it all wrong. Usually, when trying to break into someone’s residence or business, a suspect will use whatever he can to his advantage – the cover of darkness, an empty house while the owners are at work, or being shielded by vegeatation – but this guy was using NONE of it.
Instead, he hung from the bottom railing and swung his body in an attempt to gain momentum, but he only swung far enough to lose his footing on the ledge and he ended up having to scramble back up to safety. Then, in an animated stage whisper, he tried to get the attention of someone inside the apartment by calling out, “Hey! I’m sorry. Come on!”
At first, I thought the ‘suspect’ was making a last ditch attempt at a late night booty call, and figured the woman ignoring him was a smart lady. But then a young man flicked an interior light on and walked towards the patio, closely followed by his girlfriend.
Turns out the ‘suspect’ hanging from the railing in a poor rendition of Spider Man was his room mate.
The ‘suspect’ had come home in all his drunken bliss some time before, gone into the apartment and thrown his roommate’s fast food meal off the patio in what he thought was an act of hilarity. The roommate got the ‘suspect’ to exit the apartment to retrieve the food, but promptly locked him out and went to bed.
finally took pity on the ‘suspect’ didn’t want the ‘suspect’ to wake the neighbourhood up with his increasingly loud pleas to be let back in, so he came down to the door a few moments after the police arrived and was greeted not only by his drunk buddy, but by PSD Hondo and I, where I explained what can happen when someone is breaking into an apartment.
The roommate apologized for his drunk buddy’s behaviour, corralled him inside and piled him into the elevator.
As the other officers and I walked back to our cars, the ‘suspect’ popped out on the balcony to wish us a good night, and thanked us for not hauling him off to jail. I’m sure he would have continued his monologue had it not been for the roommate yanking him back inside and bolting the door shut.
And that’s what friends are for – they make you acknowledge your inappropriate actions, but come to your aid when those actions are close to getting you in trouble.