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PD: Man, 73, Panhandled, Frightened Middletown Eatery Customers and Workers

Middletown Police say the suspect has been warned many times in the past few days not to return to the indoor mall or the bank across the street after causing similar disturbances.

Middletown Police
Middletown Police

A 73-year-old city man caused a disturbance at a Main Street restaurant this week after filling a discarded soda bottle with cream, taking soup crackers, yelling and asking customers for spare change, according to Middletown Police.

On Jan. 23 at 8:48 a.m., an employee of the New England Emporium restaurant in Main Street Market called police to say a man, Robert Fountain, 73, of Main Street, was giving customers a hard time, according to the report. 

He is known to police as Bobby, the report says, because of past issues with officers and had recently been cited for trespassing at the Webster Bank branch across the street. 

Fountain was told, police say, not to return to the Emporium on Jan 15 or he'd be arrested. He suffers from a mental health problem, the report says, and is known to cause similar disturbances on Main Street and it's unclear if Fountain took his prescribed psychiatric medications before entering the  Emporium.

Employees told detectives that Fountain had taken some soup crackers without purchasing anything and began to talk gibberish, scaring customers, according to the report, rummaged through the garbage and took an empty soda bottle, filled it with creamer and then begged for money from customers.

Workers asked him to leave several times, but he refused, the report says, and became agitated, yelling louder, waving his arms in the air, further frightening customers. While officers were arrested Fountain, the building supervisor reported the Main Street Market owner had sent a letter to headquarters asking Fountain not return. 

A check of records revealed a man matching Fountain's description had been warned on Jan. 16, 17 and 22 not to again enter the Emporium, the report says, and he has a record of six recent cases for loitering, unwanted persons and causing a disturbance.

He was charged with first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of peace.

In 2008, according to the Connecticut Judicial website, Fountain was found guilty of two counts of second-degree breach of peace. 

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