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Boca police arrest homeless man using Publix cart

Thomas Paciornik, courtesy of the Palm Beach County Jail.

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and publisher

BOCA RATON, FL ( (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) – Shopping cart is safe and area homeless man faces criminal charge after allegedly using Publix shopping cart to store belongings near the beach.

Boca Raton Police rescued the cart from the 2 North Ocean Blvd area. Thursday. The arrest report has just been processed by the Palm Beach County Clerk.

The two-page report reveals that an officer from Boca Raton responded to what some might call an assault, but was ultimately documented as “illegal possession of a basket.” It all started when a man named Thomas Paciornik allegedly spat on another man who called the police.

“I met the appellant,” the officer wrote, “who indicated that the suspect, later identified as Thomas Paciornik, was sitting on the beach below the lodge before going up to the lodge to ask for a lighter. The appellant informed Paciornik that he did not have any, and Paciornik returned to the sand. Soon after, Paciornik returned to the lodge accusing the appellant of throwing sand out of the lodge and at Paciornik. It should be noted that there was no sand observed on the lodge as it is about 20 feet above the sand.The appellant then alleged that Paciornik became enraged and subsequently deliberately spat on the right side of the appellant’s face At this point there were no witnesses or cameras to establish that this had happened.

While the officer was investigating, Paciornik apparently came to the scene. The officer noted that Paciornik smelled of alcohol and “indicated he had been drinking all day.” He denied that he spat at the appellant.

“Paciornik then indicated that he still had several items on the beach that he needed to collect before leaving, in which case I escorted him to the closed beach while he collected his things. It should be noted that while Paciornik was picking up his things, he started yelling at a passerby for no legitimate reason. After returning to the lodge area, Paciornik indicated that he needed to retrieve his basket from the bathroom in order to be able to store his belongings. I followed him to the bathroom where I watched him start pushing a cart with the logo of Publix, a grocery store with several stores in the neighborhood. I asked if the cart was his and he said “yes”. Paciornik then immediately advised “no, it belongs to Publix, I will deposit it”.

The officer wrote that he then handcuffed Paciornik and placed him under arrest “for possession of the presumably stolen cart”. A Publix store manager was notified and said she would pick up the basket the next day.

Paciornik was incarcerated in the Palm Beach County Jail for “illegal possession of a shopping cart or laundry”. He was then released on his own contract.

There is no word regarding the cart’s reunification with its siblings. Paciornik, however, has a pending court date.

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