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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ocala man who left Walmart without paying for items said it wasn’t stealing

Hansel C. Costarosa

An Ocala man who punched a Walmart security employee while leaving the store without paying for his items said he didn’t steal them because he had the money to pay for them.

Hansel C. Costarosa, 39, of 14 Midway Court, was charged with second-degree petit theft (first offense), battery (second or subsequent offense), carryingO a concealed weapon without a permit, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug equipment after his arrest Sunday evening at the Walmart store at 34 Bahia Ave.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to the store and saw a Hispanic man wearing a gray shirt with a black backpack – later identified as Costarosa – leaving the store. He was followed by a store security employee who pointed at Costarosa and said, “That’s him.” The deputy detained Costarosa without incident, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The security employee told the deputy he saw Costarosa take multiple items from the store including three packages of Bullet Point Arrow Tips valued at $3.15 each, Birdhead Arrow Tips valued at $7.97, and a flashlight valued at $29.94 and pass all points of sale without paying. The items had a total value of $41.06, the report said.

The employee said he stepped in front of Costarosa as he was leaving through the exit doors on the grocery side and told him he was with loss-prevention of Walmart and needed to speak with him. The employee said Costarosa grabbed him by the right shoulder and with the other hand started reaching for his waistband, according to the report.

The employee said at this point, he wrapped his arms around Costarosa because he saw a large knife fall out of his waistband and onto the floor. Costarosa was able to break free and punch the employee in the right side of his ear before running out of the store. He tossed some of the items that weren’t paid for into a trash can. The employee was able to recover some of the items that weren’t paid for in the trash can, but the packaging was torn and some of the items were missing, the report said.

At that point, the employee saw the deputy pull into the parking lot and detain Costarosa. The employee provided the large knife that fell from Costarosa’s waistband. The deputy observed multiple minor scratches to the employee’s right arm that he said were caused by Costarosa but not with a weapon, according to the report.

Costarosa was searched before being placed in the patrol car and a clear vial was found that contained a clear liquid substance. Another small clear plastic container contained a clear liquid substance was also found, along with what appears to be cotton, a large number of syringes, a scale, rubber tubing commonly used as a tourniquet, and the arrow tips that were missing from their packaging. The clear liquid substance in both the vial and the other clear container tested positive for methamphetamine, the report said.

After being read his Miranda warning, Costarosa told the deputy he didn’t steal the items because he had the money to pay for them. Ask why then he didn’t pay for them, he replied, “I have the money.” The deputy asked what happened when the security employee confronted him and Costarosa said he was attacked, according to the report.

The deputy told Costarosa he had located the clear vial in his backpack that contained a clear liquid that tested positive for meth. Costarosa replied, “Maybe the little one, but the big one is water.” The deputy then asked Costarosa if he uses the syringes for methamphetamine and he said, “Yes, but I paid for them.” Costarosa said the large knife belonged to him and he doesn’t know how it fell out of his backpack, the report said.

A computer check showed Costarosa does not have any concealed weapons permits and that he was previously convicted of battery in a domestic case in 2014.

Costarosa was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was held on $5,500 bond. He will appear in Marion County Court on March 16.