It's not every day that you see Mayor Art Ward running for anything other than reelection.
But yesterday, he charged out of City Hall in hot pursuit of a suspected thief who apparently tried to make off with the mayor's secretary's handbag.
"I was quite impressed that I could still run. I don't know how stiff I'll be in the morning though," Ward told Press reporter Adam Benson later. "It became quite obvious when I was chasing him that something was wrong."
Shortly after I left the mayor's office yesterday morning -- great timing on my part, eh? -- an employee from the treasurer's office across the hall spotted a 16-year-old rifling through a handbag in the outer part of the mayor's office.
Ward told Benson the the employee screamed across the hallway. The mayor, who was probably settling down at his computer to catch up on the kind things people say about him on this blog, heard the yell and raced into action.
"It was a little eerie. It was a sharp yell," Ward told Benson.
The mayor confronted the teen and then chased him out of City Hall, across North Main Street and onto the seemingly endless expanse of the former mall, where Ward quit running and let the police do the rest of the work. That was wise, particularly given that one of the members of the City Council would step into his job if he couldn't do it for any reason.
According to Benson, police caught up with the young man on High Street and charged him with second-degree breach of peace and criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny.
I guess it's not a crime to run away from the mayor, which is something to keep in mind during election season.
"I'm just grateful through the diligence of the employee and the professionalism and speed of the police department that he was apprehended and there were no injuries," Ward told Benson.
And, really, you have to hand it to the mayor for going above and beyond the job description. I'm sure the only thing he's required to pursue is state and federal cash.
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