A man who recently spent over eight months in jail on a burglary charge allegedly punched a store clerk in the face and stole vape pens Sunday, then was found “stoned out of his mind” nearby, according to a police report.
At about 11:20 a.m., Denton police officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of North Elm Street for an assault call that was later determined to be a robbery. The caller, a store employee, said an unknown man entered the store and hit him in the face.
The caller declined to be transported to a local hospital for treatment, but the report states he had a small laceration on his nose, a red cheek and a protrusion on his temple.
The employee said the man came into the store wanting to buy a pack of cigarettes. When asked to see his identification, the man didn’t provide any and left without purchasing cigarettes. Some time later, he came back and went to the restroom for about an hour.
When he came out, the man again asked to purchase cigarettes. The employee said he told him he’d need to see identification to complete the sale. Then, the man allegedly punched the clerk in the face with a closed fist multiple times, according to the report.
The employee said he was able to get away from him, but he pushed over several display cases. The man then allegedly walked out with one or two vape pens. The employee said he wanted to press charges for robbery, and there was surveillance footage of the incident, according to the report.
As police were still working on the report at that location, other officers were dispatched at about 2:53 p.m. nearby to the 1800 block of North Locust Street for an unconscious person call. The caller said a man was passed out and “stoned out of his mind.” He also wanted him removed and criminally trespassed.
The report states there was a delta-10 vape pen within reach of the man, and he seemed intoxicated. Police said he was grinding his teeth, slow to respond to questions, needed help standing up, smelled of alcohol and had glassy, bloodshot eyes. He also allegedly admitted to using the pen.
He was placed under arrest for a charge of non-alcohol public intoxication and transported to the Denton City Jail. He was also issued a criminal trespass notice. At the jail, he was charged with public intoxication, along with robbery and a warrant for burglary of a building.
In February, the 24-year-old had been booked into the Denton County Jail on a burglary of building charge. He was released Nov. 2, 11 days before his latest arrest.
He remained in the city jail as of Monday afternoon in lieu of $35,000 bail.
4400 block of Titus Drive — A 42-year-old man with several felony theft warrants was caught allegedly stealing a $72,000 tractor Sunday after he got stuck driving it through a fence, according to a police report.
At about 7:22 a.m., police were dispatched after a 911 hang-up call that was later determined to be reporting a theft. Once the dispatcher was able to get the caller back on the line, they said a man was stealing a tractor and they had him detained.
When police arrived, a man at a construction site on Pockrus Page Road near the A-train tracks said his friends were nearby with someone who was trying to steal their tractor. He led officers to his friends, who were holding onto another man by the shirt.
The report states there was a skid-steer tractor in the brush with a chain-link fence wrapped around it, as though someone had driven it through the nearby fence.
The man they’d detained said he was working as a day laborer clearing brush near the sidewalk. He said the other men started accusing him of stealing the tractor and one of them tackled him.
When police asked why he had driven the tractor through the fence, he said he was told to do that and he didn’t know how to operate it very well, according to the report.
After running his name by dispatch, police learned the man had several outstanding warrants for larceny and burglary.
Police spoke with the owner of the tractor, who said the man was lying. He said he arrived at the construction site to begin working and saw the man driving his tractor.
The report states it appeared that the man drove the tractor through a wooden fence and got stuck trying to drive through the chain-link fence leading to the roadway.
The owner said it appeared as though the man had used a pair of pliers to remove the ignition switch and start the tractor. The owner said he wanted to press charges for theft.
The property owner was not at the scene at the time of the report, and it’s unclear if charges will be brought in relation to the damaged fences, Denton Police Department spokesperson Amy Cunningham said.
The man was placed under arrest and transported to the city jail, where police learned of additional warrants for his arrest. For the tractor incident, he was charged with theft of property between $30,000 and $150,000, a third-degree felony.
He was also charged with warrants for burglary of a building, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, theft of firearm and theft of property between $30,000 and $150,000 and unauthorized use of vehicle out of Grayson County; theft of property between $30,000 and $150,000 out of Cooke County; and driving while license invalid and failure to maintain financial responsibility out of the Denton Police Department.
He remained in the city jail as of Monday afternoon in lieu of $150,000 bail.
From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, the Denton Police Department handled 248 service and officer-initiated calls and made 15 arrests.