'Hot box' party ends before it begins
Some people call it a "hot box," other's just refer to it as a portable party. Whatever you call it, the point of the party is to fill a car up with marijuana smoke to better share a toke. The fine print in party instructions often gets overlooked: If your car is full of dope smoke, only a dope plays the stereo loud enough to attract attention.
Call them what you will, on the night of March 20 three young men had just settled into the cramped comforts of a 1995 Nissan 240 SX parked outside a residence in the 800 block of Second Street West when a citizen called police sometime past 10 p.m. after being alerted by the loud music emanating from the car.
When an officer arrived, the music was drifting through the doors and three heads were visible inside.
The officer knocked on the door, it opened, and he asked what was going on. "Just hanging out," was the reply from one of the three.
It quickly became clear the trio was hanging out with a glass marijuana pipe, some sort of clear plastic bong, a bottle of Southern Comfort and a small amount of marijuana bud. Two of them also had in their possession medical marijuana cards, although police could not immediately ascertain the specific disabilities, chronic pain or physical trauma for which they were treating themselves with the home remedy.
What police could ascertain was that two of the lads were under 21 and the putative owner of the Southern Comfort was 25. Possession and sharing of the booze constituted an act of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
One of the minors, who was 19 and said he had consumed just "a little bit" of the liquid Comfort, subsequently blew a .11 on a portable blood alcohol measurement device. The other minor had only just arrived, he said, and so missed out on the party favors. He was released from custody.
The 19-year-old was cited for violation of probation, since he was out of jail on condition that he not consume alcohol, and was cited again for doing just that. The 25-year-old was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor - which might be slightly akin to locking the barn door weeks after the horse has escaped - and he was booked into the Sonoma County jail.
In other incidents reported by local law enforcement:
Friday, March 18:
12:04 a.m. - No miracle on St. Paddy's Day. It is said that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and, by extension, Guinness, was on his way across the country when a chieftain named Dichu blocked his way, drew his sword and started to smite the good priest. But Dichu's arm froze in mid-swing and couldn't be moved until he swore obedience to Patrick. It was a miracle.
Patrick was notably absent from a local tavern on his sainted day and there was no miracle available when a 20-year-old lass, perhaps besotted by too much Gaellic drink, began to berate an acquaintance whilest imbibing inside the establishment. When the victim of the abuse fled to the bathroom, the aggressor followed and, according to police, shoved the victim into a wall.
The aggrieved party returned to her table, the attacker followed, punched her repeatedly in the face and knocked her to the floor. The victim then walked out of the tavern, down an alley and out to the street with the attacker pummeling her along the way.
On the sidewalk a witness finally pulled the defiant filly away and the victim retreated to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries consisting of bruises, contusions and scrapes.
When police ascertained the name of the attacker and reached her by phone, she explained that she had administered the beating only after the victim "nudged her and made her spill her beer," according to the police report.
The incident was referred to the city prosecutor for possible criminal action, as the victim was clear she intended to press charges.
12:12 a.m. - A minor miracle? The influence of celebratory imbibing continued as a 22-year-old from Vallejo drove his van through the stop sign at First Street West and West Napa, in full view of a police officer waiting for just such an occurrence. The driver, when stopped, reported consuming three Coronas, a blasphemy of sorts for someone celebrating St. Patrick's Day at an Irish pub. His blood alcohol, when tested, registered .13, indicating there might have been a hearty stout mixed in amongst the Mexican brew. The young man's car was towed, and he was cited for DUI and released to a sober friend. It may not have been a miracle, but an accident may have been prevented.