When you and the fam are sitting around the table swapping stories, heed this warning:
What you say just might get leaked to the newspaper.
This happened to Everett police officer Anna Green.
Christina Wardak sent an email to The Daily Herald with an account of a story told by her daughter after the Thanksgiving meal. Wardak wanted people to see another side of a police officer’s day.
Green, 47, has 20 years of stories. Most not that exciting, she said.
She was on the Seattle force for 19 years — 15 on patrol and four as a property crimes detective. In her King County police life, “I’ve had to chase plenty of people and the occasional stray dog,” Green said.
A few years ago she bought a house in the Everett area to raise her two daughters. Tired of the commute, last year she joined the Everett department and took on the world of crime and mayhem, Snohomish County-style.
That meant responding to a 911 call that came in around 7:30 a.m. from a woman saying there was a small animal loose in her home.
Green arrived on scene where the beady-eyed suspect was hiding between the toilet and a wall in a tiny bathroom. The woman said it was probably something her cat caught and brought inside.
“She said it was a ferret,” Green said.
She asked the homeowner for a pillowcase and sprung into action to nab whatever the heck it was.
“So I chase this thing around the bathroom for about 10 minutes and it’s pretty clear he is having none of going into a pillowcase,” she said.
“He was really cute. He was social. At one point I was trying to figure out what the hell to do and he was sitting there looking up at me. That’s why I thought he was domestic. But when I would go to pick him up, he’s like, nope.”
Another officer showed up to assist. So two officers were in a compact bathroom trying to catch a jittery critter with brown fur and a black-tipped tail.
The other officer asked for a cardboard box. “He’s looking at the thing and he thinks it’s a ferret, too,” Green said.
He recalled a family a few blocks away who raised ferrets and went to find them. “Maybe it’s theirs, and maybe they can help get the thing caught,” Green said.
Armed with cardboard and a piece of cloth, she continued the pursuit and finally apprehended the culprit.
“I scared him in with the pillowcase and put the lid on the box.”
She poked holes in the box and duct taped the top.
“I’m thinking, OK, we’re all good.”
She put the box in the rear cargo compartment of the SUV cruiser and headed to Animal Services on Smith Island Road — without sirens blaring and lights flashing.
Though the car quietly tooled along the streets of Everett, inside there was a ruckus.
“He was scrabbling around in the cardboard,” Green said. “Then it got quiet.”
She looked in the rearview mirror — and he looked back.
The rascal had chewed its way out of the box and was perched on the ledge behind the protective glass grid.
“It’s a good thing I didn’t put him in the front seat,” she said.
He stayed in pose, watching her, all the way to the animal shelter.
“It was the funniest thing,” she said.
Still, she was ready to turn over the long-tailed suspect to authorities there.
Not so fast.
“The animal control officer said, ‘Oh, that’s a weasel. We don’t want that,’ ” Green said.
Weasels belong to a mammal family that includes mink, martens, wolverines, badgers, river otters, black-footed ferrets and four species of skunks.
Ferrets are in the same genus but have been domesticated for 2,500 years. They are pets, with cute clothing items made for them to wear. People don’t knit sweaters for weasels.
Loose in the cargo chamber, the little weasel again tried to evade capture. It darted into a narrow hole in the side pocket, out of sight and reach.
Green was given a live animal trap and a can of cat food to place in the back. The weasel would come out by the next morning, she was told.
“I couldn’t drive around for the rest of my shift, which goes to 6, with a live animal trap,” Green said. “Besides, I wasn’t working the next day and couldn’t leave my partner with this.”
Not to worry. Someone else emerged with a hose to spray into the hole where the weasel fled.
“The water goes in, the weasel shoots out and runs away,” Green said. “I close up the door and off I go. Weasel-free.”
What’s up with that?
That’s the end of the story.
“People call the police for anything they can’t figure out what to do about. We deal with all sorts of odd things,” Green said.
The call was diverted to police rather than animal control because it came in before the shelter opened.
“I just thought it was kind of funny,” Green said.
You know, something to entertain the relatives.
“I didn’t think my mom would make a big deal out of it,” she said.
The tale got a laugh from Everett Animal Services director Glynis Frederiksen.
“Usually it’s the other way around,” she said. “People see a ferret and think it’s a weasel.”