Crime Blotter: Driving, Talking, Going to Jail

Double Trouble

P L A T T S B U R G H, N.Y. — Turn for the worse? Bad call? You can take your pick with Gilles Mercier, it seems.

Mercier, 52, was pulled over in Plattsburgh, N.Y., last Tuesday, May 13, by Officer Scott Chase. Chase had spotted him making an illegal turn and driving while using a cell phone, which is illegal in New York State.

When he was issuing the citation, Chase smelled a strong odor of coffee grounds, which seemed suspicious to him.

"The guy consented to have the vehicle searched and they found 105 pounds of marijuana," said Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot. The drugs, with an estimated street value of $525,000, were packed in plastic bags inside cardboard boxes. Police say coffee grounds are sometimes used to mask the smell of hydroponically grown marijuana.

Mercier faces a federal charge of possessing marijuana with intent to sell.

In Hot Water

S L I D E L L, La. — John Meyers and Brenda Orme wanted to join the "Mile-High Club," but police say they only got 215 feet off the ground.

Apparently in a romantic and daring mood, Meyers, 44, and Orme, 45, climbed a water tower in Slidell, La., late last Friday night.

Police say Meyers told them that they wanted to have sex "on top of the world."

But Slidell police got an anonymous complaint about noise and shouting atop the 215-foot tall tower, and responding officers eventually arrested the pair.

Sgt. Mark Michaud and Officer George Skinner used their squad car's PA system to coax Meyers and Orme down.

"It is unknown whether or not the couple completed their mission," police noted in a statement about the incident.

"I guess this is the poor man's version of the 'mile-high club,'" said Slidell Police Chief Freddy Drennan.

They were each charged with criminal trespassing and disturbing the peace by being intoxicated in public. Meyers, who was employed as a contractor hired to paint the tower, was also charged with criminal negligence.

As of Tuesday, neither had posted bail, and police say Meyers' foreman had fired him. His co-workers told authorities that he had often bragged that he was the "blond Adonis" of the painting crew.

One of his supervisors told police: "On future applications, I guess I need to ask if they're stupid enough to climb the tower after hours to have sex on top."

Mayor Nabs Chase Suspect

W I L L O U G H B Y, Ohio — The buck stops with him. So does the crook, apparently.

A 90 mph police chase wasn't enough to stop the driver of a stolen pickup last Saturday, May 17, but Willoughby Mayor David Anderson was able to spot the suspect himself.

Police say Scott Taylor, 32, led them on a wild high-speed chase on Interstate 90 in Willoughby. Taylor allegedly raced up an unfinished freeway on-ramp and slammed into several police cars before fleeing on a red mountain bike.

Taylor apparently had sneaked through the police perimeter and cycled by a Lowe's Hardware Store when the mayor spotted him.

"I lost sight of him for short period of time when he went in, but then saw him enter the garden center," Anderson said. He relayed the suspect's whereabouts and officers quickly apprehended him.

"I listen to police radio a lot," Anderson said. "I'm also the city's public safety director, and I like to stay informed and I like to think they could always use those extra set of eyes."

"You just have to imagine your own family is out there driving in the area where you're chasing," Willoughby Police Chief Conrad Straube said.

Taylor faces several charges, including resisting arrest and drug possession.

Crime Blotter, a weekly feature of ABCNEWS.com, is compiled by Oliver Libaw.

ABCNEWS affiliate WEWS in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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