Snake causes fun diversion at Joliet Police Department
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org October 27, 2012 6:58PM
This brown snake appeared Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at the Joliet, Ill., Police Department. | Supplied photo
Updated: January 15, 2013 4:35PM
While St. Michael is the patron saint of cops, a few members of the Joliet Police Department were reminded of St. Patrick’s work this week.
At 7 a.m. Monday, clerk-typist Gloria Coyl came into the operations office and turned on the lights, went to her desk and began getting ready for the day.
“I came back around and saw (I’d already passed) the brown snake laying on the middle of the carpet,” she said.
Coyl didn’t flinch or scream. Because she “works with a bunch of boys,” she assumed the snake was a fake, a prank by Cmdr. Al Roechner or one of the captains who share the office suite. Coyl wasn’t about to give the jokester any satisfaction and walked past the snake a few more times.
Then it moved.
“The head came up. I didn’t scream. I just walked into (the adjoining) watch commander’s office and said: ‘There’s a snake in the office. Someone needs to go get it,’ ” she said.
Several of Joliet’s finest had their curiosity piqued as Capt. Tab Jensen found a jar and scooped up the serpent.
“I hear he was trembling,” Roechner proclaimed — apparently referring to Jensen, though Coyl was rolling her eyes at the commander’s hearsay.
Humor continued as the jar was set on the file cabinet across from Coyl’s desk and its captive was named “U.J.” for “union jobs.”
This is the first incident police could recall of wildlife getting inside the station.
Roechner and Coyl estimated 25 people came into the office to see the 10-inch brown snake Monday, including Chief Mike Trafton.
“Very reluctant,” Roechner said of Trafton. “He’s not a fan of snakes.”
But Cmdr. Brian Benton, who once owned a 12-foot Burmese python, is.
Over lunch he met with his wife, Alex, and proposed providing a home for U.J.
Mrs. Benton reportedly was “not enthused” but conceded their sons, Noah and Jacob, would be and agreed. Benton brought the snake home at the end of his shift.
“It was their anniversary,” Coyl said. “I offered to wrap it.”
Benton declined the offer but said U.J. is doing well in the family garage.