Tinsley Mortimer is a socialite and TV personality you may have heard of. On April 9 she was arrested for trespassing at the home of Nico Fanjul, with whom she’d previously had a relationship. Tinsley has claimed that Fanjul had committed domestic violence acts against her in the past, and a police report documents an alleged attack in December 24.
You can read a news article about Tinsley at this link: http://www.people.com/article/tinsley-mortimer-more-police-reports-alleged-domestic-violence
The 2014 police report has been posted here: http://radaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mercer-Police-Report.pdf
Overall, this is a well-written report – but I have some suggestions for changes. So here’s a challenge for you: Read the excerpts below to see if what changes you would make. Then scroll down to read more my responses. (Incidentally, “Mercer” is Mortimer’s maiden name.)
1. Upon arriving, I assisted Officer Pumalo with an uncooperative subject, later identified as Alexander Fanjul so m 09/25/85.
2. Initially, Fanjul was uncooperative.
3. Fanjul had a strong order of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated.
4. Contact was made with Mercer’s mother who advised she had not spoken to her since approximately 0200 hours.
5. Fanjul advised that he and his girlfriend, Tinsley Mercer wif 08/11/75 had an argument. Fanjul advised during the argument, Mercer attacked him and scratched him, leaving minor lacerations to his chest, back, and bruising above his right rib cage. Fanjul advised that Mercer left the area after the alleged attack. I checked the premise and did a neighborhood search for the whereabouts of Mercer but ended with negative results. Fanjul advised that officers were called to his residence earlier because of Mercer trespassing. Fanjul advised Mercer left and then came back. Fanjul is unaware if Mercer has a key to the residence. Fanjul advised that if Mercer comes back to his residence that he would like for police to issue a trespass warning.
Here are my comments:
Upon arriving, I assisted Officer Pumalo with a man an uncooperative subject, later identified as Alexander Fanjul so m 09/25/85. [Delete “upon arriving” – it’s obvious and doesn’t add anything useful. And delete “an uncooperative subject” because it’s an opinion.
Initially, Fanjul was uncooperative. [Same problem: “uncooperative” isn’t objective. The report should list Fanjul’s uncooperative behaviors. “Fanjul stood in front of me with his arms folded and did not speak when I talked to him.” “In a loud voice Fanjul told me I had no right to be there and he wasn’t going to answer my questions. He walked into the kitchen and slammed the door.”]
3. Fanjul had a
strong order of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated. [Alcohol is odorless. Also: “appeared to be intoxicated” is an opinion. Preferred: “Fanjul had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage. His pupils were dilated, he slurred his words, and he swayed as he walked toward me.”]
Contact was made with Mercer’s mother who advised she had not spoken to her since approximately 0200 hours. [Passive voice is a bad choice because it doesn’t record who talked to her, and how: In person? By phone? Email? A text? And “advised” is the wrong word. It means “counseled” or “suggested.” Use “told” or “said.” Another problem is that “her” is confusing because there are two women, Mercer and her mother. Better: “I telephoned Mercer’s mother, who said she had not spoken to Mercer since about 0200 hours.”]
5. This wordy and repetitious paragraph is inefficient. Write Fanjul’s statement more concisely as a list (also called “bullet style”).
Fanjul told me:
– he and his girlfriend, Tinsley Mercer wif 08/11/75 had an argument
– Mercer attacked him and scratched him, leaving minor lacerations to his chest and back, and bruising above his right rib cage
– Mercer left the area
– officers were called to his residence earlier because of Mercer trespassing
– Mercer came back
– he doesn’t know whether Mercer has a key to the house
– if Mercer comes back to his house, Fanjul would like for police to issue a trespass warning
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Criminal Justice Report Writing by Jean Reynolds
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter