A Columbus man faces charges after police say he robbed an unemployed man inside the Valley Rescue Mission on Monday.
Christopher Anthony Payne, 37, of Columbus, is also accused of having suspected crack cocaine on him when he was booked into the Muscogee County Jail Monday evening, reports state.
According to police, a 48-year-old Hispanic man was sitting in the lobby of the mission, 2903 Second Ave., waiting to sign in around 3:45 p.m. when the suspect started going through his pockets. The man tried to resist, but said he was ill and couldn’t stop the suspect from taking $30.
The suspect ran out the door after a third man saw the theft and told the suspect he shouldn’t steal, reports state.
Officers learned the suspect’s identity, listed in reports as Payne, and spotted him on Second Avenue and 25th Street. They arrested him and told him he was accused of robbery, police said.
Twelve of the $30 dollars were recovered, reports state.
That’s when the suspect told officers that he hadn’t taken any money. Instead, one of the man’s family members had given him $5 to care for him because of his medical problems and that Steve Reese, a director at the mission, could verify his story, police report.
Reese later told officers that he knew nothing about the deal the suspect claimed existed, police said.
After officers took the suspect to jail, they told him that he could face more charges if he had any drugs or weapons on him. The suspect said he had no contraband, reports state.
Police said that a deputy found suspected crack cocaine on the suspect.
Payne is charged with robbery, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and crossing the guard line with drugs, police said.