A drunken man sporting dreadlocks “hanging below his shoulders” is accused of using a silver metal hammer with a black-handled grip to smash the entrance door of a Bethlehem gas station early Tuesday before fleeing, court records say.
Kwame Allan McGriff, 25, was spotted not longer after – with the help of surveillance video – about two blocks from the Easton Avenue station. An officer saw a black handle protruding from McGriff’s right front shorts pocket, the records say.
McGriff, who lives on the 3500 block of Skyline Drive in Bethlehem Township, then told police he had a hammer in his pocket.
A criminal complaint says city Officer Michael Karavoulias was dispatched to the , 2038 Easton Ave., around 12:41am for the breaking of a glass door that caused an alarm activation.
The owner arrived and retrieved surveillance video that showed a man with dreadlocks – later identified as McGriff -- wearing a white T-shirt and camouflage cargo shorts striking the glass door with a hammer, then fleeing on foot.
Another officer spotted McGriff walking on the 2200 block of Easton Avenue. The officer saw the black handle protruding from a pocket, then McGriff admitted to having a hammer. Yet another officer who had seen the video said McGriff matched the man in the video. And a third officer found “shards of glass particles” on the hammer.
McGriff appeared drunk, with bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech and an “unbalanced gait.” He submitted to a blood test, which came back positive for alcohol. The records do not list his blood-alcohol level.
On a form by the words “defendant’s comments,” someone wrote that McGriff “complained he did not get Mirandized??” The records had no further explanation about this. They also say he was in Northampton County Prison for periods in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
McGriff was charged with burglary, loitering and prowling at night, criminal mischief, possessing an instrument of crime, and public drunkenness. He was arraigned later Tuesday by on-duty District Judge John Capobianco of Nazareth and committed to prison after failing to post $75,000 bail.