When, in 2007, Cleveland councillor Michael Polensek heard that local 18-year-old constituent Arsenio Winston had been arrested for selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer, he went straight for the jugular and wrote him the following furious letter — a letter which soon made far more headlines than the crime itself due to Polensek’s complete lack of tact. As for Winston, a subsequent guilty plea saw him serve five months. Polensek, when later asked about the letter, replied, “Hell, I write those kind of notes twice a week.”
His prediction was accurate. In March of 2009, Arsenio Winston was jailed again, but this time for 11 years following a series of armed robberies.
City of Cleveland
July 12, 2007
Mr. Arsenio Winston
Dear Mr. Winston:
As Councilman representing Cleveland’s 11th Ward, I have been notified once again that you have been arrested for dealing drugs in my ward, this time at the Convenient Food Mart located at 18506 St Clair Avenue in the parking lot.
Mr. Winston, you have to be “dumber than mud.” Don’t you know that one of your so-called “friends” from the “8th-Avenue gang” ratted your “ass” out that you were dealing drugs from the parking lot? They cut a deal. So much for your wonderful pals, you idiot. I am so glad that you are now 18 years of age, because now you are an adult and can no longer hide behind the juvenile court system, Mr. Quarterback, loser. Remember when you told me to “kiss your black ass” at R.J. Taylor Playground and that you were going to be an NFL Quarterback? Well, the NFL, despite perceptions, is “not for losers!”
In closing, I told you just recently to stay out of my neighborhood, you crack dealing piece of trash. Yet, you keep coming back because you think you are a big man. Well, real men go to school or to work every day and take care of their family, and not through illegal drug activity. You are a “thug” and you know what? There are only two places you will end up at the rate you are going — that is, prison or the nearest funeral home. Quite frankly, I don’t care which one you get to first as long as your dumb stupid ass is out of my neighborhood.
Have a wonderful life, Arsenio. I’m sure you have made your mother real proud. Remember when I spoke to her one of the other times that you were arrested for assaulting a police officer on East 185th Street? Only a moron would do that. Your fate is totally in your hands; which, is a scary thought.
Go to jail or the cemetery soon,
Michael D. Polensek
Councilman, Ward 11
Mr. Martin Flask, Director, Department of Public Safety
Chief Michael McGrath, Chief of Police
Commander Wayne Drummond, 6th District Police Headquarters
Mr. Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer