DELMAR — A man who stole $16 worth of body wash from Hannaford on Delaware Avenue and was wanted by multiple jurisdictions took his anger out on a Bethlehem police unit, a manager of the store, and an Assistant District Attorney in Colonie.
Bethlehem police were parked behind the Hannaford when the officer observed Justin Malavez, 27, who is homeless, running past the patrol vehicle while attempting to conceal items in a sweatshirt. Malavez ran behind the pet store and the Exxon gas station and hid behind a tree, but was taken into custody.
According to reports, he told the officer, “here take this,” and dropped containers of body wash which were later determined to be stolen from the store.
Malavez stated to officers and a store manager, who followed Malavez to the scene, “I am not going to jail for this. I’ll be out in an hour and come right back to Hannaford.”
As Malavez was being walked to the Bethlehem patrol unit, he spit in the face of the manager and, when placed in the back seat, proceeded to kick the side windows and slam his head against the seat divider. He eventually kicked the back window out of the Police car.
The officer called for backup and requested a Bethlehem EMS. Malavez was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital for an evaluation.
Malavez refused to identify himself or cooperate during the evaluation. He was cleared by medical staff and not deemed a mental health patient.
Upon returning to the Bethlehem police station, officers were able to identify Malavez with the help of the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center. Malavez did confirm his name at that point with a sergeant.
He was charged with criminal mischief, a felony, and petit larceny, a misdemeanor, and harassment – physical contact, a violation. Malavez was arraigned by Bethlehem Judge Andrew Kirby, but the charge was not one that was bail eligible, so he was released on his own recognizance. Kirby did issue a stay away order for the Hannaford manager.
Malavez, however, did have two outstanding warrants from Colonie and Niskayuna and was transported to Colonie where he caused more trouble.
Malavez was wanted in Colonie for failing to appear for two prior arrests, One for petit larceny and obstructing governmental administration.
“He is a frequent shoplifter at various businesses throughout Colonie, and other areas,” Colonie police Lt Dan Belles said. “The Judge (Andrew Sommers) remanded him on bail for our arrest.”
While exiting the Colonie courtroom, Malavez spit in the face of the prosecutor, an Albany County Assistant District Attorney, and is facing new charges of criminal contempt, a misdemeanor, and harassment – physical contact, a violation. Belles said he will most likely be formally charged at his next court date.
He was sent to the Albany County jail where Niskayuna could pick him up on its warrant, Belles said.
Update: Malavez was charged with criminal contempt and harassment-physical contact on Tuesday, Jan. 30 for the Colonie Town Court incident.