Site MapHelpFeedbackExercise 5-6
Exercise 5-6
(See related pages)

Writing a Crime Story


A. Often reporters need to file police stories before they see official police reports. Assume for this exercise that you've arrived at the crime scene at 9 a.m. and need to have your 200-word story in by noon to make it online before lunch. You can't wait for the arresting officer to file a form, but you make a mental note to stop by the police station after visiting the crime scene. Here's what you discover:
  • Sgt. Ray Broadmall of the Kingman Police Department is just coming down from the roof of Breakers, a billiard hall and bar at 549 E. Meadow. "There was a break-in, an illegal entry," he tells you. "We picked up two guys for it." Broadmall can't say anything else at the moment. He says to check in to see the arrest report in the afternoon. Yeah, right. No time for that.

  • Inside Breakers, manager Hank Ng, 44, tells you what he learned from police. The pair broke through a back window at about 4:25 in the morning to enter the club, setting off a silent alarm. Ng shows footprints outside the broken window. Inside, a barstool had been set under the window.

  • Jennifer Cronwal, 56, a waitress, is sweeping up glass from under the window. "This wasn't like this yesterday," she says.

  • Ng says he has no idea what the two men might have been looking for.

  • Troy Delmer, 33, manager of Bill's Breakfast Burrow, across the street from Breakers, saw some of the action. "I was just pulling my muffins out of the oven. It was about 5 a.m. I had my muffins done and was working on my honey-butter. Well, I looked up and saw two men run from behind Breakers, and then there were these cops everywhere. Well, just three of them, actually. It didn't take them long. They didn't even make it out of the parking lot when the cops got 'em. Those cops were fast."

  • On your way to your car, you stop by to see Broadmall again. He confirms the details Ng shared with you and says Delmer's version of events sounds accurate, too.

  • You stop by the police station to have a look at the arrest log and find the information you need. The guys' names are George Butner, 38, of 12-A Lark Court Lane, and Max Brewster, 24, of 620 Willow Road. They're being held in the Mohave County Jail and charged with burglary, resisting arrest and vandalism. Bond for each of them is $15,000. Now it's off to the newsroom to beat your deadline.

<a onClick="'/olcweb/cgi/pluginpop.cgi?it=jpg::::/sites/dl/free/0073526142/364200/chap05_3.jpg','popWin', 'width=644,height=234,resizable,scrollbars');" href="#"><img valign="absmiddle" height="16" width="16" border="0" src="/olcweb/styles/shared/linkicons/image.gif"> (28.0K)</a>

Harrower, 1eOnline Learning Center

Home > Chapter 5 > Exercise 5-6