Veteran, noted freedom fighter and Portsmouth City Councillor Josh Denton narrowly escaped suffocation when he was discovered unconscious and clinging to life Tuesday night next to a dumpster on Custom House Lane behind the Press Room naked with his hands bound and a plastic grocery bag tied over his head.
Heather Whitford, a baker at nearby Ceres Street Bakery, reports that while getting some air by the back door on her break, she saw Denton lying unresponsive near the recycling bins behind the popular watering hole.
“At first I thought it was just some homeless guy, but had to ask myself what person would just lay face-down in a puddle like that. Then I figured it was just some drunk passed out.” She continued, “I went over to give him a kick, you know, as you do, and that’s when I noticed the Hannaford bag on his head.”
Thinking quickly, Whitford went back inside to treat herself to a nice piece of cardamom coffee cake and call 911. “I figured he was probably already dead, so I didn’t really think there was any big need for speed. But yeah, we got great coffee cake. Our pecan streusel is awesome, too. Have you tried it? To die for. Perfect crumb”
Returning to the scene, she found Jeremy Colby, owner of local eatery Colby’s Breakfast & Lunch on Daniel Street, had come to Denton’s assistance, cutting the zip tie from his neck with a kitchen knife he happened to have on him as he passed by.
“This here is a Zwilling Mungsten Damast Limited Edition Damascus Chef’s Knife,” Colby explained. “Made of steel from the Mungsten Bridge in Solingen, Germany. No shit. Limited edition. Looks like a moonbeam. Check it out. Thing of beauty. I’m never without it.”
Of his heroic rescue of Councillor Denton, Colby commented only, “I’ve heard this guy was supposed to be woke as fuck, real hot for the city you know – passionate; but that’s not how I found him. He was out cold. I thought that was pretty funny. Juxtaposition is something I really enjoy. The cold – hot thing. Really does it for me. I could have just watched him and enjoyed it, you know?”
It did seem like a beautiful and melancholy image. We thought about it for a while.
“I won’t skip an opportunity to use this knife, though. Just look at this beautiful piece of engineering. When God made man he made them to make knives and this knife is his perfect image. Went through that zip tie like hot butter,” he added and repeated for clarity.
Plucky female officer Rochelle Jones was the responding officer and responsible for examining the crime scene.
“It’s tough to pull prints off of plastic bags, but we’ll sure do our darndest,” said Jones, likably. “There are a few people we like for this – banning plastic bags is unpopular, especially with that freedom crowd.”
“Hell yeah,” added Matthew Carano, local libertarian.
“We don’t know much about the assailant except that he didn’t undress the councilor. That was all Josh. Wants to die naked, apparently. I have no idea how he did it with his hands bound but goddamn,” said Jones. “Goddamn.”
Asked who he thought might be responsible for the late night incident, Denton shrugged, “Christ if I know. Happens to me all the time,” adding, “Plastic bags, man. I hate ’em.”