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Central Library scare 

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS: A suspicious package turned up at the Central Library downtown. The reporting officer wrote: "The witness [Mr. Santa Claus] noticed a black backpack left unattended for over one hour in front of the library." The witness named Santa Claus is a 57-year-old man, according to the report. The officer evacuated the library and set up a perimeter around the suspicious package. A SWAT team and firefighters arrived on the scene. "The item was determined not to be a threat," the officer wrote. Eventually, the backpack's owner showed up and claimed it. "Inside the suspicious package were clothes and miscellaneous items, which were returned to him," the officer wrote. The owner said he put the backpack down so he could smoke a cigarette – then he walked to Broad Street to get something to eat. He said he had planned to return later for his backpack. Police declared the area safe, and people were allowed to re-enter the library.

WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: A 21-year-old man wearing only underwear stood on a sidewalk at the intersection of Peachtree and Marietta streets, an officer noted. A pile of clothes was on the ground in front of him. "As I watched, [the man] removed his boxers and the underwear he had on and began to walk in circles, nude, holding his hands up and yelling unintelligibly," the officer wrote. The officer asked if the man was OK, but the man ignored him. The officer grabbed the man's arm and asked him to get dressed. "[He] put on his underwear and then attempted to remove them again immediately," the officer wrote. Eventually, he was arrested. The man appeared to be hallucinating, the officer noted. Medics took him to Grady Memorial Hospital. No charges "due to his mental state."

HO! HO! HO! A 45-year-old man reportedly blocked traffic in the middle lane of Peachtree Street. An officer wrote, "The driver flagged down a known hustler, who was walking northbound. ... The hustler ran out into traffic and got into [the man's] SUV." The officer said he followed the SUV and the driver and passenger realized police were behind them. The SUV stopped at a MARTA station, and the "hustler" got out and walked quickly inside. Eventually, police stopped the 45-year-old man driving the SUV. According to the officer, the man said that "he picked up the male prostitute to try and convince him to stop working as a prostitute." The 45-year-old man went to jail.

UNDECK THE HALLS: On Paces Valley Road, a married couple said someone stole their outdoor Christmas decorations. The wife said their large, lighted wreath was stolen off their front porch, and two lighted reindeers were stolen from their front yard.

GINORMOUS GIFT: A Virginia woman said she was having dinner and drinks with friends at a hotel on Peachtree Street. She said she walked away from the table, leaving her coat, sweater and purse behind. She said she returned about a half hour later, and her things were gone. Apparently, someone turned in her coat and sweater to the hotel's lost and found -- but not her purse. She said her purse contained $2,700 in gift cards from Saks Fifth Avenue.

'TIS THE SEASON FOR A NEW CAR? Two officers were in the parking deck at Phipps Plaza. "We heard a loud vibrating sound coming from one of the trash containers near the entrance to the mall," an officer wrote. They found the vibrating object: a 4-inch silver cylinder with a green top. A 2001 Nissan Altima was parked about five feet in front of the trashcan -- and there was green writing on one side of the car, and blue writing on the other side. The Nissan Altima had been parked there for about 24 hours, police deduced. A SWAT team and Homeland Security officials arrived on the scene. Further investigation revealed a green clay material at the cylinder's tip. Police traced the car registration to the owner's name. They tried to call the car owner -- and even sent an officer to his house -- but couldn't find him. The silver cylinder was turned in to police property.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: On Milford Place, a 54-year-old man said his stepson attacked him. He said he was sitting on the back porch, smoking a cigarette and he told his stepson to turn off the running water in the bathroom. Without any other conversation, the stepson reportedly grabbed a large tent stake off the patio table and jabbed the stepfather's arm. (The stepfather got a shallow cut.) The stepfather said he picked up a patio chair and used it to push the stepson away. Apparently, the stepson then ran around to the front yard with the tent stake and busted out two headlights on the stepfather's Mercedes Benz. Then, he ran away but returned about 10 minutes later.

The stepfather said his 31-year-old stepson is a paranoid schizophrenic who is only home for the holidays. He usually lives in a group home. The stepfather said his stepson has not been taking his medication because he is still hearing voices in his head.

SILENT NIGHT: A professional musician left his home on Aurora Street to play a show in Alabama. The landlord came by to check on his place and noticed the home had been broken into. The musician's living room was ransacked. The musician said all of his recording equipment and musical instruments were stolen (total value about $85,000 to $100,000.) No suspects.

Items in the Blotter are taken from actual Atlanta police reports. The Blotter Diva compiles them and puts them into her own words.

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