Police Dispatch

Close Encounter of the Absurd Kind

Close Encounter of the Absurd Kind

Catalina Beat

Feb. 1, 10:44 a.m.

Two women escaped punishment for a conspicuous tiff in a grocery-store parking after their cars got a little too close on the road, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

The reportee told sheriff's deputies on the scene that she'd been driving along Oracle Road on her way to Bashas', and she'd passed a white SUV so closely that her car's bumper scraped the SUV's bumper—but apparently, she thought, not hard enough to do much (if any) damage—so she just kept driving, with "every intention of forgetting about the incident."

But the SUV—with a woman behind the wheel—then allegedly started tailgating her, and when she pulled into the Bashas' parking lot and got our of her car, the SUV also parked, and the driver approached her, yelling, "What are you doing?!" The two women started yelling at each other.

Then, the reportee said, the SUV driver physically pushed her, so she got back in her car, locked her doors and called her husband; throughout her phone conversation, the other woman was repeatedly slapping her car's doors and windows with her hands—meanwhile also videotaping the reportee with her own phone.

When deputies interviewed the SUV driver, who was still on the scene, they learned that she'd in fact had her cell phone's video recorder on during the whole incident, capturing much of the women's argument.

Playing back the recording, deputies heard the reportee accusing the SUV driver of being drunk, as well as possessing a knife (the reportee later admitted she'd mistaken the other woman's flip phone as a switchblade). The SUV driver (who apparently wasn't really drunk) was recorded yelling that the reportee was "nuttier than a fruitcake."

Coincidentally, a man the reportee "knew from church" happened to have been in the parking lot during the altercation; he told deputies he'd witnessed the women arguing and saw the reportee retreating from the SUV driver—but he hadn't seen her being pushed. Since the women had conflicting stories, deputies didn't arrest either one but gave them information on obtaining orders of protection against each other. The women thanked the officers before both going on their way to do errands in the Bashas' shopping center.

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