Faux rapture - or the real thing?
It was 2:37 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, the day, by some accounts, when the rapture would collect the righteous and the world would begin to end. And even though the hour was a bit early and the global earthquake had not yet rolled through the Bay Area, and even though there were no reports of 2 billion people dead or dying in the streets, when Sonoma police received a report of a complete set of woman's clothing, including a necklace with matching earrings and a dog leash left lying in the Plaza, they thought they had better investigate.
Sure enough, they readily located a pair of black, slip-on shoes, a pair of blue jeans, a brown belt, a bra, a shirt, the necklace and earrings and a plastic bag for picking up dog doo - but no dog - all placed as if the owner had simply vanished into thin air.
There was no sign of foul play, no suicide note, no evidence of any crime committed. All of which raised the question: Had the Rapture actually happened? Maybe a mini-rapture? A micro-rapture? At the very least a "beam-me-up-Scottie?"
Apparently not. Police were quickly alerted to an alleged Internet rapture joke, a plot to plant evidence all over the country making it look like people had actually vanished, perpetrated quite obviously by un-believers with no faith in the end-of-the-world prophesy.
The clothing was taken into custody and placed in the police evidence locker on the off chance the owner decides to un-rapture and reappear.
In other incidents reported to local law enforcement:
Friday, May 20:
2:23 a.m. - DUI on a DUI. A Sonoma police officer on patrol spotted a silver Toyota Corolla weaving badly on Second Street East near East MacArthur and almost colliding with a parked car. The officer made a traffic stop, contacted the driver and immediately noticed signs of intoxication. The driver, a 33-year-old man from Portland, Ore., did poorly on the field sobriety tests and blew a blood alcohol reading of .095 on a preliminary screening device. Taken to the Sonoma police station for a calibrated digital breath test, he blew a .08, just over the legal limit for driving.Because he was driving on a suspended license from a prior DUI and was on DUI probation, he was booked into the county jail on another DUI charge.
10:07 p.m. - Out of control Fogerty fan. A 32-year-old woman from Santa Rosa took rather violent offense when told she could not videotape John Fogerty during the Sonoma Jazz Plus concert. Rather than comply with a request from security personnel that she put down her camera, she refused and hit a member of the security detail on the left eyebrow, leaving a minor injury. She was cited on a misdemeanor citizen's arrest for battery and was released to the custody of a sober friend.
Saturday, May 21:
10:48 p.m. - The past is prologue? Police were called to a residence in the 600 block of First Street West to investigate a domestic violence report. There they found a 22-year-old Sonoma woman standing over her 22-year-old boyfriend, who was bleeding from the nose. The victim explained that the woman had "brought up things from the past" that precipitated an argument and that she had then grabbed his cell phone and hit him in the face with it. The girlfriend was charged with domestic violence but the case was dismissed by the District Attorney's office.
Monday, May 23:
8:45 a.m. - I know, let's just break in. Police took a report that sometime over the previous weekend someone had thrown a chunk of concrete through a window at Sonoma Valley High School and gained entry to a school building. On careful examination, however, nothing appeared to have been taken, although damage to the window was estimated at $300.
6:19 p.m. - Sacrificial wicker stand? An 81-year-old resident of the 100 block of Second Street East told police that someone stole an antique wicker plant stand from her front porch. Value was placed at $100.
Tuesday, May 24:
7:25 a.m. - Stolen shovel, family suspected. A resident in the 700 block of Third Street East told police that someone had entered her garage using a hide-a-key and taken a spade shovel. The victim said she suspected a family member, since no one else knew where the hide-a-key was hidden. Police suggested she ask family members about the shovel.
10:44 a.m. - For a good time, steal this bike. Police received a report that sometime between May 18 and 19, a rental bicycle owned by Goodtime Touring Company was taken from the El Pueblo Inn on West Napa Street. The bicycle was described as a gray Giant Sedona worth about $240.
7:54 p.m. Too young for a 40. A police officer on foot patrol in Depot Park spotted a minor drinking form a 40-ounce can of Miller beer. He was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol and released.
Wednesday, May 25:
10 a.m. - Catalytic converter number 21. A Sonoma resident reported to police that sometime between May 22 and May 25, someone had unbolted the catalytic converter from her 1994 Toyota 4Runner, bringing to approximately 21 the number of converters stolen from Toyota pickups or SUVS in the past three weeks.
1:17 p.m. - Credit card number stolen to check credit report. A 28-year-old resident of the 700 block of Second Street East told police someone had used his credit card number to make an unauthorized purchase of $19.99. When his bank tracked the unauthorized charge they discovered it was made to an online service called creditreport.com.
8:44 p.m. - Wrong place at the wrong time. When police received a report that someone had stolen a donation jug for Japanese earthquake relief from the counter of the West Napa Street 7-Eleven store, they began scouring the area. Eventually officers spotted a man in the 19000 block of Highway 12 in the vicinity of El Verano who fit the description of the relief jar thief. In the end, they concluded that he had not stolen the relief funds, but they did discover that he had been drinking beer while he was on probation with a no alcohol clause. The man told officers he didn't realize he was still on probation. He was issued a citation and driven home.
Thursday, May 27:
11:20 p.m. - Kicking butt and doing time? A Sonoma police officer was flagged down by an employee of Steiners Tavern who said that a man had been inside harassing customers. Police quickly spotted the man standing on a nearby corner holding a 24-ounce can of beer. When they contacted him he responded by saying he was going to go back to the tavern and "kick the bouncer's butt." The 34-year-old Santa Rosa man turned out to be on probation with a no-alcohol clause. Asked about the probation violation, the belligerent tippler told police, "I don't care, I'll go do my 45 days in county jail."
To accommodate the man, police provided free passage to the central lock-up where he was booked on charges of public intoxication and probation violation.