SC NAACP chief blames diabetes for Columbia arrest

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by The Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 17 at 2:35 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP has been arrested after a confrontation at a Columbia dry cleaners.  

Police say an employee at a Tripp's Cleaners called Friday saying 63-year-old Lonnie Randolph would not pay his bill, then refused to leave.  

But Randolph's lawyer says he was suffering from problems diabetes which can leave him confused and disoriented. Attorney Joe McCulloch says a cascade of misunderstandings led police to think Randolph was being defiant.  

Officers on Friday said Randolph struggled when they tried to handcuff him, and they struck him in the chest to get him into a police car.   

Police Chief Reuben Santiago came to the scene and told officers to ticket Randolph and release him.  
Randolph was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

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