Palm Coast, FL – A homeless man is in the Flagler County Jail for punching a gas station clerk in the face while stealing cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office charged 25-year-old Justin J. Taylor with strong arm robbery, resisting arrest with violence and trespassing following the early Sunday morning (March 17th) incident at the Shell on 890 Palm Coast Parkway.
According to the arrest report, Taylor entered the store just after 4 a.m. that St. Patrick’s Day, walked directly behind the counter and took a pack of cigarettes and a can of tobacco. The total value of both products was $14.77, per the report.
FCSO says security cameras caught Taylor punching the clerk when he tried to stop him from leaving the store. The clerk reported Taylor then fled on a bicycle, but deputies were able to track him down to the nearby Kohl’s parking lot and took him into custody.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly says Taylor cursed at the deputies when they approached him, balled up his fists and lunged at the deputies before trying – and failing – to run away.
“Thankfully, no one sustained any serious injuries,” Staly added. “I’m proud of our team for quickly catching and bringing this criminal to justice.”
Taylor was treated at the scene for what the report called “minor lacerations” on his head.
FCSO found the cigarettes and tobacco in Taylor’s possession after a deputy caught him in the parking lot of the nearby Verizon store, per the report. It also notes that Taylor was trespassed from that same gas station two months ago.
Taylor is currently held on no bond at FCJ, where he’s been booked in the past on several charges, including domestic battery, aggravated assault, elderly abuse, trespassing and violating probation.