Last night I received the below press release and thought it was written odd because it's missing information that is usually included like description of the suspect, the date of birth, hometown, etc. I figured it had been sent out because of the unusual crime: an angry man throwing a computer monitor across the room in a store. This is something you'd normally see on TV dramas only. We don't receive releases on criminal mischief such as this often.

Lone Tree Police Department
News Release
Type of Incident: Disorderly Conduct / Criminal Mischief
Case Number: 09-0608
Date: March 16, 2009
Time of Release: 7:30 p.m.

On March 16, 2009 at about 2:00 pm, Officers of the Lone Tree Police Department responded to a disturbance at the AT&T Mobility store located inside the Park Meadows Mall. The investigation indicated that Sean Williams had been involved in a verbal altercation with the clerk at the store. He then picked up a computer monitor and threw it inside the store. The monitor was broken and also caused damage to a printer and signature pad. Total damages are estimated to be 1200.00 to 1300.00 dollars. Sean Williams was taken into custody without any further incident and transported to the Douglas County Jail where he posted bond.


I figure this is funny and deserves a Tweet. Within seconds of Tweeting, I see the Associate Press is reporting New Jersey Nets Forward Sean Williams has been arrested in Denver. What? Our computer thrower is an NBA player?

Well, now it's no longer just a funny incident to Tweet, it's news we have to confirm ourselves and report.

My first call is to the PIO for Lone Tree, a small city in Douglas County SW of Denver. Of course it's 7:40pm and she's gone for the night. I then call dispatch to request the on call PIO to be paged. The dispatcher asked me what the page was for and after I explained, the dispatcher transferred me to the jail telling me the people there would help me.

I was transferred to a never ending automated phone system that hung up on me. I quickly dialed Douglas County Dispatch to see if anyone there could help me. The dispatcher didn't even let me finish my request before she put me directly through to the jail. I took this to mean she'd already received a media call requesting the mug.

Ring Ring
"Detention Center, this Rachel"

"Hi Rachel, this is Misty with CBS4 News. I'm calling to confirm Sean Williams of the New Jersey Nets bonded out of jail today and to request his mug shot."

"Oh... I need to put you on hold."

On hold I sat listening to this country/blues type jingle, which was toe tapping at first and then quickly became brain tapping-ly annoying as it continued for 7 minutes and 46 seconds. I twitter about being on eternal hold to get Williams' mug.

"This is Jerome. Have you been helped?"


"How long have you been on hold?"

"A few minutes... and then a little more!" I said jokingly because I don't want to sound harsh and hurt my chances of getting what I want. "I've been on hold waiting for someone to help me get a mug shot. I'm Misty with Channel 4."

"Oh, I am so sorry and I'm sorry but I have to put you on hold again because the Sergeant is who you need to speak to, but I promise you won't be on hold for long."

More music drilling in my brain for another minute that seemed like an eternity. The Sergeant answered and kindly explained that he couldn't release the mug without clearance from the PIO.

"Really? I've spoken to dispatchers at both Lone Tree PD and Douglas County, both departments told me I had to go directly through you tonight. Are you sure you can't help me?" I said with slight, but cute, plea.

With a chuckle, "No, ma'am. I'm sorry. But as soon as you get that clearance, I'll get that mug to you."

"Thank you."


"You have got to be kidding me!" I shout in the newsroom for everyone to hear. "It's all a ploy to prevent me from getting that mug! Well, they've messed with the wrong assignment editor!"

I Tweet my frustration with the situation and pound out the dispatch number for Douglas County. As soon as my call is answered, "Yes, this is Misty with channel 4 again, please page the PIO so I can request a mug shot."

"Oh, let me transfer you to the jail th.."

"NO! Don't transfer me, I've already been transferred to the jail twice and I finally spoke to the Sergeant who says he CAN'T release the mug without clearance from a PIO first!."

The dispatcher tells me, "Well, then you should call Lone Tree police cause he was arrested by them, not sheriff deputies."

"NO! I called Lone Tree first and their dispatcher told me I had to go through Douglas County!" This part is a white lie. I hadn't been told that, but I knew that's what I would be told when I called Lone Tree next. I've played this game many times.

Sigh. "OK. What is your name again and your number?"

I Tweet more frustration and receive several responses of encouragement. One response made me laugh and pumped me up to continue in my endeavor.

From @RR5280 I received, "It may be time to open a can of Fourth Estate Whoop Ass. Don't they know who you are?" Haha! Thanks RR5280!

Without even putting the receiver down I hang up and start dialing Lone Tree. The dispatcher at first kindly took my information and then when he heard I was calling for the mug, he tried to tell me I had to talk to Douglas County. I told you I know the game.

I admit I cut him off in mid sentence so I could explain that Douglas County just told me to contact Lone Tree. "At this point I don't care which PIO I speak to, but I expect one of them to give approval for this mug shot to be released!"

"Yes, ma'am. I'll page the PIO."

"Thank you."

The Douglas County PIO called back first to tell me that she would release the mug, but that I had to send her an email request first.

An email request is protocol when I am dealing with a suspect arrested by Douglas County. However, Lone Tree arrested Williams so I had been following the instructions they gave me, which was to call the jail, which lead to the rest of this frustration! I shoot off the email and within minutes, I receive the mug.

Tweet responses congratulated me.

Then an officer with Lone Tree called. I thanked him for calling and explained I had him paged at the same time I paged a PIO for Douglas County so I could get the mug of Williams. He said he knew and that he understood there's been some trouble, but that it's been decided that Douglas County would handle the request.

"Thank you sir, I've actually just received the mug. Good night."

Any police department of any size should know that when a professional sports player is arrested in metro Denver, an area that thrives on sports, the media is going to call. We're going to call to confirm details, gather more information, request a mug shot, and yes even ask for surveillance video of the computer monitor flying through the air.

The PIOs should have been prepared. To save themselves all this trouble and from being paged after 8pm, they should have released all details in a more thorough release and included the mug shot from the beginning. It would have saved us all the headache.

Sometimes it feels like the PIOs want to cause my headache though!

Oh, does anyone know what a "Fourth Estate Whoop Ass" exactly is? Sounds tough and cool. (Just like me! LOL!)