Enfield, Connecticut is the stage for the latest edition of Stupid Things People Do For Sneakers. In this town of approximately over 44,000 a resident found himself in jail over a fictitious sneaker dispute.
In a lengthy arrest affidavit, Enfield Police officer Matt Tarducci stated that he was dispatched to the entrance of Enfield High School at about 4:12 p.m. on a report that a robbery had just taken place. Justin Lattanzio, 22, indicated that a man with a firearm robbed him for a pair of shoes.
According to Lattanzio, he made arrangements to meet the mystery man and sell him a pair of Air Jordans. However at the meeting, he handed the shoes to this individual and the attempted to drive off in car without paying. Lattanzio tried to confront him by approaching the car window but the mystery msn displayed a pistol underneath his shirt and Lattanzio backed off and the man drove off.
After thorough questioning of Lattanzio, the man he accused of robbing him, and two witnesses, police were able to ascertain that the previously unidentified robber, whose name was actually redacted in the affidavit provided by police, was the actual ownder of the sneakers and he had posted them for sale on his Facebook page. He ended up selling them at Plato’s Closet late in the morning of February 20, but received an offer of $200 for the sneakers from a person identifying themselves as “Alex Cross” and bought them back from the store. He then arranged to meet the prospective buyer in the lower level parking lot behind Enfield High School, the affidavit states.
One of the witnesses, who had driven Lattanzio to the meeting location, told police that when they arrived Lattanzio jumped out of his truck and ran up to the man’s car door and then immediately came back to the truck and told the witness that the man had a gun, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit also indicated that another witness, who was inside the car with the unidentified man, said that Lattanzio had a white cannister of what she believed to be pepper spray in his hand as he approached the car. He pointed it at the man’s face,causing him to quickly roll up his windown, throw the car in reverse and exit the parking lot toward Green Valley Drive. The man then returned to Plato’s Closet and resold the shoes.
The witness who had driven Lattanzio to the meeting called him to ask him about the white cannister. Lattanzio told him it was in the passenger side door compartment space. The witness found the cannister and brought to Officer Tarducci who determined it was a 1.5 oz white cylinder can with a red top labeled “Back Off Dog Repellent: Personal Protection Against Dog Attacks,” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit also states that further investigation uncovered that the unidentified man an Lattanzio had engaged in a transaction the week before for a pair of red Nikes and a paintball gun, however Lattanzio “felt he had been ripped off” and arranged the subsequent meeting under an assumed Facebook name.
Officer Tarducci said that after he questioned the witnesses, Lattanzio did not respond to several calls requesting his return to the policies station for further questioning, and then applied for a warrant for his arrest.
Lattanzio was later arrested. He was charged on a warrant with criminal attempt to commit third-degree robbery, second-degree beach of peace, misuse of 911 emergency system, first-degree false incident report and second-degree threatening. Enfield Police Chief Alaric Fox said that Lattanzio was released after posting a $2,500 bond.