Report: Suspect snoozed during theft

Charlotte Sun (Port Charlotte, FL) – Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Author: MERAB-MICHAL FAVORITE ; Staff Writer
 
PUNTA GORDA — When Roy Collins walked out his front door to get a cup of coffee Sunday morning, he saw a pair of legs sticking out the driver’s side door of his black Chevy Blazer.
Churchill

Churchill

‘He was ostriched out,’ Collins said of the man he found slumped in the vehicle. ‘He was face-planted on the console with his feet sticking straight out.’

Collins and his brother, Clifford, just figured the guy had had a rough night.

‘We woke him up and sent him on his way,’ said Roy. ‘The guy picked up his bicycle, which was lying in the driveway behind my Blazer, and took off.’

But then Roy and Clifford began noticing that things were missing from their vehicles. The speakers in Roy’s trunk were gone, and someone had taken the keys from the ignition of Clifford’s Ford F-250. Both vehicles had been left unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

‘That’s the funny thing,’ Roy said. ‘Why wouldn’t he just steal the whole car?’

The mystery man on the bicycle was Jack Dale Churchill, 27, 11200 block of First Avenue in Punta Gorda, authorities said.

Churchill had only pedaled a few hundred yards when Roy began following him in his Blazer, while Clifford chased him on foot. The two were able to get Churchill to stop and wait while they called the police, according to the report. Clifford told deputies that Churchill kept trying to leave the scene and began physically threatening Roy, so Clifford punched him in the head right before deputies arrived, the report states.

Churchill was screaming obscenities at the Collinses when the patrol car pulled up, the report states.

Deputies removed a knife from Churchill’s pocket, then began removing other miscellaneous items from his pockets while the Collinses identified several of those items as their own, the report states.

At one point Clifford shouted, ‘That’s my Neosporin and my condom!’ according to the report.

Churchill also had a Ziploc bag of marijuana and a pipe in his pocket, the report states.

Churchill told deputies that he had been drinking the night before and his wife had kicked him out of the house after an argument.

He said he was walking down the road when a male acquaintance and an unknown female picked him up, bought him a few more beers and told them they knew of a ‘lick,’ or an easy theft. When the deputy pressed him further, Churchill reportedly said he ‘just woke up’ and ‘it’s all still coming back to me.’ Churchill said the missing items were probably with the couple who had given him a ride.

Churchill was arrested on charges of armed burglary (due to stealing a knife from a vehicle), grand theft, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken to Charlotte County Jail, where he posted a $34,500 bond and was released the same day.

Churchill could not be reached for comment.

Email: mfavorite@sun-herald.com

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