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Tour de Tucson Convenience Stores

San Xavier Beat

Aug. 5, 6:42 p.m.

A man on meds took a grand cab ride around town, stopping at various convenience stores to buy food—before finally flipping out on his cabbie and ripping out the cab's fare machine, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

Sheriff's deputies responded to a southwest-side Circle K, where the cabbie pointed to a tall 47-year-old man leaning on a walker just outside, wearing a black shirt, black pajama pants, a yellow hospital sock (on his right foot) and an ankle brace (on his left).

The reportee said he'd been driving the man around to multiple convenience stores, where he kept buying food items. He said the man's eyes were "bugged out" like he was "either having a seizure" or "on something," but since he buckled his seatbelt upon command and handed over two $20 bills, the driver followed his requests.

Then, the cabbie said, without any apparent reason, his fare started "going crazy," flailing around and kicking the front passenger seat, then leaning forward and ripping the credit-card machine straight off its mount with his bare hands. By the time the driver was able to pull over at this Circle K, he found the man lying on the cab's floor.

Then, acting like nothing had happened, the man simply got up and went into the store with his walker, saying he was going to use the ATM.

Upon deputies' questioning, the man said "everything was OK," although he'd recently broken his ankle by "jumping a fence at a friend's house." He called the cabbie "a dumb motherfucker" and denied ruining the fare machine. Actually, he said, he'd already paid his full fare by credit card using that machine—despite the fact that everyone could plainly see it ripped off its mount (and even in its current state, the machine hadn't actually stopped running—it showed a $70.15 fare due).

Just as one deputy was informing the subject he was under arrest, he started running toward a patrol vehicle yelling, "He's hitting me!" and jumped right into the car on his own before he could even be handcuffed. Deputies had to pull him out by force so they could search him, cuff him and read him his rights.

In the right pocket of his pajama pants, deputies found a sizable handful of loose pills, including oxycodone, which the subject said were "his mother's pills in a jar, and he'd just grabbed some." When he was informed he needed a prescription to possess the pills, he seemed truly baffled, asking why it mattered.

He was charged with drug possession, disorderly conduct and criminal damage and brought to jail, where staff had to throw away the perishable food items he'd just bought on his convenience-store spree—including two roasted chickens, a bag of pepperoni and a broken jar of pickles.

More by Anna Mirocha

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