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SC NAACP head arrested after refusing to pay dry cleaner


The president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP was arrested after a confrontation at a Columbia dry cleaners.

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

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

Officers escorted the 63-year-old Randolph out of the business. Police say he struggled when they tried to handcuff him, and officers struck Randolph in the chest to get him into a police car.

Randolph was taken to a hospital but refused treatment. Interim Police Chief Reuben Santiago told officers to ticket Randolph and release him.

Randolph was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Randolph is at a convention in Florida, and his attorney says he will ask that a Wednesday court appearance be delayed.