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By Pat Pratt
A homeless man is facing charges following an incident May 31 at TA Travel Center on Edwardsville Road, where he allegedly battered a store employee who asked for his receipt for several bags of popcorn and while resisting his ensuing arrest, caused minor injuries to a Troy Police officer.
Madison County State’s Attorneys have charged 32-year-old Beau D. Nobles, of no fixed address, with felony resisting arrest, class A misdemeanor battery and obstruction of identification. He was booked at Madison County Jail and bond was set at $20,000.
Court records show that following a pretrial criminal history and risk assessment, Associate Circuit Judge Ryan Jumper on Monday ordered he be released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. June 16 in Madison County Court.
The incident began as Troy Police Officer Brent Beltz was conducting an unrelated traffic stop for distracted driving on the afternoon of May 31 in the 500 block of Edwardsville Road. As Beltz was approaching the driver of that vehicle, a travel center employee approached him to report she had been assaulted.
The employee said a man later identified as Nobles complained about a shower and wanted a refund. He was then suspected of taking several bags of popcorn from the business and when the employee asked for a receipt, he pushed her into metal shelving and left the store.
A witness to the incident described the push as an “attack,” according to arrest reports. The employee/victim also later told police “I thought he was going to stab me in the throat with my pen.” She reported pain in her neck and back, but declined further medical assistance.
The witness watched Nobles leave the travel center and enter the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts. He followed him to the lobby and another travel center employee entered the eatery to prevent Nobles leaving, during which time the suspect tried to strike the witness.
Nobles missed and then began throwing popcorn at the witness, according to the report, which reads he also swung at the witness with the bag of popcorn.
Beltz arrived at the Dunkin’ Donuts and told Nobles to put his hands against the window, but the suspect refused to comply. Beltz then told him several times to put his hands behind his back, to which Nobles also refused to comply.
“I took out my taser and pointed it at him and told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back, and he then complied,” Beltz wrote in the arrest report.
While escorting Nobles across the parking lot to his police cruiser, the suspect became combative, verbally accosting the officer and attempting to pull away. Beltz wrote he had to pull the suspect back toward him and then to the ground to restrain him until backup could arrive.
In the process, Beltz sustained abrasions and cuts to his hands and elbows. He also reported pain in his arm sustained while detaining Nobles.
At the police station, Nobles allegedly gave police a false name, resulting in the identity obstruction charge.