SOUTHINGTON - A local man arrested Tuesday has been accused of stealing a bottle of vodka from a liquor store, telling the clerk he had no money to pay for it but did have a knife.
Michael Foley, 25, of no certain address in Southington, is facing charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree threatening, interfering with police, second-degree breach of peace and sixth-degree larceny.
According to the police report, officers were called to Wineland, 1543 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, at about 1 p.m. Tuesday on the report of a theft. The clerk told police that a man, later identified as Foley, took a bottle of vodka off the shelf and approached the counter. He said he did not have money, so the female clerk questioned why he brought the bottle - valued at about $21 - to the cash register.
According to the report, the clerk again asked the suspect if he had any money. He said he did not, but that he did have a knife, the report said. Foley then allegedly apologized and left the store, leaving the area on a bicycle. He took the vodka with him, police said.
The clerk then pushed a panic button, which triggered a police response, and called her father-in-law, telling him what had happened. Knowing the suspect left the area heading toward his condo complex on Canal Street, the father-in-law walked down to where the street intersects with Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike and waited for him. The father-in-law confronted the suspect and took the bottle of vodka back. Foley, police allege, then left the area on his bicycle.
Police looked at Wineland’s video surveillance footage, which captured the entire incident, and an officer identified the suspect as Foley, who had been arrested earlier in the day and released from custody.
Police later located Foley at the intersection of Burritt and Clark streets, walking on the side of the road. He initially ran from police and gave himself up a short while later, at about 2:45 p.m., after a brief foot pursuit. Police found Foley in possession of a small knife. While being taken into custody, officers said, he admitted that he had stolen something from a liquor store.
Earlier in the day, at about 8:20 a.m., Foley was found to be living in an RV at Hemlock Hill RV Sales and Services, at 2123 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. The business reported to police that he caused about $1,400 worth of damage to the vehicle he had broken into.
The owner of the business told police he wanted to press charges. Foley was arrested for second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree trespassing. He was later released on a $1,500 non-surety bond.
After his second arrest on Tuesday, Foley was held in custody overnight and arraigned Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court. There, his attorney, Alfonzo Sirica, questioned the first-degree robbery charge his client is facing, calling it “a bit of a stretch” given the allegations.
Foley is being held on $10,000 bond, and has been ordered to stay out of the liquor store while his case was pending. He is due back in court Oct. 16.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.