Crime chronicler Capt. Corrales lays down pen 

click to enlarge Capt. Greg Corrales - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Capt. Greg Corrales

In July 2010, The SF Examiner published a story about a “surly scoundrel” who defiantly stood in the driveway of a fire station, purposely blocking firefighters’ path as they were responding to a call. The crazed lowlife stuck out his middle finger at the firefighters and refused to budge until they threatened to get tough with him.

Although the odd tale was comical on its own, we found a San Francisco police captain’s use of the term “surly scoundrel” the most amusing.

Greg Corrales, a 42-year veteran of the Police Department, also called that scoundrel a “remorseless reprobate” in his colorful community newsletter out of the Mission Police Station, which he penned for the better part of two years and that read like a 1940s hard-boiled crime novel.

While the newsletter covering police activity in the Mission district was a hit among journalists and locals, particularly English teachers, the Jan. 13 edition was Corrales’ last.

The pulp-writing cop and ex-Marine was recently reassigned as police captain at San Francisco International Airport, and he said he doesn’t plan to write a newsletter in his new post.

Corrales told The SF Examiner he would have liked to stay at the Mission station, but said he respects Chief Greg Suhr’s decision and is looking forward to SFO.

Like Raymond Chandler’s detective thriller “Farewell, My Lovely,” Corrales’ final newsletter did not disappoint.

In reporting about a prostitution bust at 20th and Valencia streets, Corrales wrote that three cops “arrested a soiled dove for loitering for the purpose of tawdry faux amour.”

To describe a marijuana bust at County Jail, he wrote, “Officer Sands thwarted a sullen smuggler’s attempts to sneak a quantity of The Weed with Roots in Hell into the jail.”

He also penned a report about “a miscreant urinating on America.”

Corrales began writing the newsletter in 2009, during his second stint as Mission station captain. In putting out a newsletter, which is required of all station captains, Corrales said he mixed his love of being a cop with his passion for the hard-boiled style.

He collects books from the genre dating between the 1940s and mid-1960s.

Favorite authors include Cornell Woolrich, David Goodis and San Francisco’s own Dashiell Hammett, Corrales said.

He stopped writing the newsletters in that style several months ago, after he said the workload became too much.

“Pulp writers in those days got paid like a penny a word for producing stories,” Corrales said. “They used a lot of adjectives to up their payroll.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Blue uniform, purple prose

12:50 a.m. Jan. 8, 24th and Vermont

Engaging in public faux amour

  • “Officers Campbell & Hansen encountered and arrested a lusty lothario and two soiled doves engaged in public faux amour. When questioned, one of the soiled doves replied, ‘Well, we’re just stupid hookers.’”


12:34 a.m. Jan. 8, 16th and Mission

Possession of crack cocaine, violation of parole

  • “Officers Trujillo & Tiffe observed a subject engaged in the sales of drugs. They radioed Officers Kroos & Kawaguchi who arrested the purveyor of pernicious poison and seized his ’stash.’”


8:27 a.m. Jan. 9, Church and Market

Fugitive from justice apprehended

  • “Officer Silveira investigated reports of a miscreant urinating on America. He located the surly scoundrel and discovered that he was a fugitive from justice.”


11:56 a.m. Jan. 10, 21st and Folsom

Domestic violence, grand theft, dissuading a witness

  • “Officers Kobold & Ortiz sought, located, and arrested an alleged man who had beaten his girlfriend.”


6:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 19th and Shotwell

Fugitive from justice apprehended

  • “Officers Traw & Brakel encountered a subject slumbering suspiciously. Further investigation revealed that the slumberer was a fugitive from justice.”


Source: Mission Police Station newsletter

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