Ski town people are not like regular people. They're characters, some so outrageous it's as though they were plucked straight out of a sitcom or strange indie film. We've all seen these people, know these people, and some of us may still be in denial that we are these people.
Unlike those in sitcoms and indie films, most of these ski town characters aren't famous for their appearances in movies and TV, but rather in their local newspaper, under a little column titled "Police Blotter."
A daily record of 911 calls, arrests, and other events that occur at the precinct, the police blotter can serve as a beautiful window into the life of the ski town character. We've collected a short list of our favorite entries of last season from mountain town police stations across the U.S.
"A skier riding a chairlift on Big Mountain kept calling 911 to see what runs were open, but every time the dispatcher tried to respond--presumably to say the skier shouldn't call 911 for a snow report--the call was dropped."
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
"Woodchuck starts car fire in Steamboat Springs, flees scene, later apprehended."
"Officers responded to a report of people fighting at a local motel. All six of the individuals contacted by police in the hotel room were highly intoxicated, which made it very difficult for officers to determine what happened. Many of the statements were contradictory and there was no physical evidence to substantiate any of the statements. The fight reportedly occurred when one male awoke to find another male's testicles on his head." --The Jackson Hole News & Guide
"A man called to report that someone had stolen his back porch. Apparently, the thief had chained the porch to a truck and dragged it away."
Park City, Utah
"A dispatcher picked up a call to hear what could have been traffic, a child talking, a door closing, a chairlift or a combination of all four. After hanging up and calling the number back, a woman picked up and told the dispatcher that she had probably pocket dialed 911 and that there was no emergency; they were just riding the chairlift."
"A Kalispell woman called police to announce that she was leaving her boyfriend once and for all."
"Officers were dispatched to Copper Mountain Resort last Friday evening to respond to a report of a 7-year-old boy whose head had ‘been stuck in the picture stand where you put your face’ for 20 minutes. The boy’s head was successfully removed from the cutout and the incident was cleared."
Columbia Falls, Montana
"A Columbia Falls man called law enforcement because he's trying to build a fence between him and his neighbor but his neighbor had parked a dump truck where the fence is supposed to go. Upon further investigation, the neighbor said the dump truck was dead and couldn't be moved. The neighbor also said the dump truck wasn't in the way of the soon-to-be-built fence. Apparently, this dispute has been going on since the 1970s."
Big Fork, Montana
"An intense argument between a Bigfork woman and her 13-year-old son developed after the boy refused to put on the proper winter coat for school."
"A resident called police because it looked like two kids were stuck outside. The kids kept knocking on the door but no one would let them in. Upon further investigation, the kids were actually knocking on a window to let their mom know that they were eating snow."
"A man with his own puke bucket showed up and made a scene."
Editor’s Note: Many of these reports were sourced thanks to the hard working folks at Kalispell, MT’s Flathead Beacon. For your daily dose of mountain town crime reports, check out their police blotter.