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True Crime, Feb. 20, 2008


Why Pretend to Be a Cop?

"For no good reason" is the easy answer. Probing a little deeper, though, the Treasure Valley's recent spate of cases seem to fall into three subcategories of nogoodnik philosophy: "So everyone else will get out of my way," "so a specific person will pull over and let me do bad stuff to him/her" and, "because it's a lot more fun to play dress up than to go through the work, danger and occasional labor disputes that accompany actually being a police officer."

True Crime star Clinton Matthews, 19, of Boise, seemed to exemplify the first camp (and a bit of the third) when police arrested him two weeks ago for allegedly mounting a red-and-blue flasher on his beater of a pickup and blasting through a red light on the way home for no good reason—though the fake badge and police-style radio Matthews reportedly had in his possession are still a bit mysterious (see: BW, True Crime, "Lights: Boss Hog, Truck: Uncle Jessie," Feb. 13, 2008). The two uniformed thugs who pulled over a Nampa man last December and roughed him up for no good reason (see: BW, True Crime, "Know Your Lights, Know Your Rights," Dec. 19, 2007) are classic category two fodder. And as for 21-year-old Israel Dominguez, the most recent and least-cop-looking alleged fake cop yet—dig that shag-carpet hoodie—Idaho State Police troopers have thusfar resisted the urge to dub him a two and have kept their statements pretty close to "for no good reason."

Dominguez is suspected of trying to pull over local Fox 12 morning anchor Shayne Wells while Wells was driving to work at (ugh) 1:30-ish a.m. on Feb 13. In her fourth-wall-shattering recap of the incident for a later newscast, Wells claimed she called 911 after a silver Mitsubishi Galant began a-following her down Interstate 84 near the Eagle exit with lights a-flashing. Dispatchers advised the driver to keep a-driving, and officers swarmed Dominguez by the St. Luke's near Eagle Rd. Dominguez, a Mexican national and non-English speaker, reportedly told officers the lights were flashing accidentally. He was arrested and charged with impersonating an officer and driving sans license.

Venti Moola, Capice?

Boise Police are on the lookout for a white thirtysomething male who knocked over the Dutch Brothers Coffee stand on Vista last Thursday around 7-ish p.m. That is to say, the man flashed a gun and took off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Were our suspect just a pinch larger than 5'10" with a medium build, though, a more literal knock-over job could have been just as effective a robbery technique, provided he didn't mind his singles smeared with caramel and reeking of soy milk (and who would?). The suspect was last seen fleeing southward on foot in a dark-colored waist-length hooded jacket. Call him in at 208-343-COPS.

Recycle Your Hit List

Mormon seminaries are legal, but only by the thinnest fabric of Brigham Young's garments. For those unfamiliar, these buildings are easy to mistake for the innumerable "portables" that populate the outer fringes of Idaho's high school properties—except seminaries are fancier. They're inevitably located right next to schools, often made of the same materials, and students pass back and forth between school-classes and sem-classes so freely at all hours, you'd think the two buildings had been married in a secret temple ceremony. As for what transpires over on the "church" side of the constitutional separation, well, with a few exceptions, it's not so different from the "state" side: a little reading, a little writing, a little indoctrination, a healthy amount of time-waster games, perhaps creating the occasional hit list.

Don't spit your whiskey-and-coffee on the laptop screen just yet, fellow gentiles. No, Porter Rockwell and the Danites aren't coming back from the grave to wreak their terrible vengeance on non-Romney voters. The paper bearing the title "hit list" that a Nyssa Elementary School student found on the playround Feb. 13 only contained the names of students who attended the Nyssa Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Seminary. Nevertheless, according to a recap in the Argus Observer, principals and police in the border town understandably got all hand-wavey and rounded up the 13 highschoolers named on the paper. The officials then exhaled upon learning the list was actually just a littered remnant of the aforementioned "time waster" section of the curriculum, having something to do with a game in which students tap each other on the shoulder to win fabulous prizes. For future reference, the sem-leaders would be well advised to change the game's name to something less threatening to national security—like, perhaps, "I'm gonna tap that."

Rage-Wraith on Prowl

A really scary driver passed through Twin Falls like a phantom the night of Feb. 12, leaving a trail of confusion and minor booboos in his or her wake. The suspect briefly chased a woman in her car down Washington Street South in Twin until she crashed into a tree. The suspect's rig spun into a nearby field and was last seen splitting northward. The crash victim was treated for minor injuries, and ... The End. The ghost car was probably black, Twin Falls Police Sgt. Terry Thueson told the Times-News, but beyond that, the leads are too lame and contradictory even to open an investigation. It may have been a pickup, or perhaps a Ford Taurus, or perhaps just a "small car" with Twin Falls County plates. "There's actually no information to be followed up on. No suspect listed. No license plate listed. Basically, the witnesses all saw the color of the car and turned around and went the other direction."