City police handle drug refund demand

June 13, 1991

An alleged cocaine user who wanted a refund from a dealer yesterday took his complaint and the powdery drug leftovers to the wrong department: the city Police Department.

Officer Louis "Hop" Hopson, stunned by the man's boldness, readily accepted the returned merchandise as evidence, saying, "I think I can help you out, my man," and directed him to the nearest cell at the Northwestern District police station.

"He had cocaine residue around his nostrils and up his nose," Officer Hopson said. "He wanted to get his money back so he could purchase the services of a prostitute."

According to Officer Hopson, the drug user was carrying in his pocket a $35 vial of cocaine bought in the 5200 block of Linden Heights Avenue. The man appeared to have sampled the product before asking the police to arrest the dealer.

Instead, police gave the man a jail cell and were hoping to find the dealer to keep him company.

"He was evidently unsatisfied that he had spent his money on the drugs and could no longer afford the prostitute," Officer Hopson said. "It's a good story. I like it. Every day it's a different story."

James Allen Manuel, 23, whose address was uncertain, was charged with possession of cocaine. He was awaiting a bail hearing last night.

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