Despite later claiming he had no intention of being rude or disrespectful, a homeless man was just that during a June 15 encounter with police in the parking lot of the .
An officer found Austin Briscoe, 22, asleep in the passenger seat of a 1989 Honda Accord. Briscoe's two dogs were running around in the parking lot near the car. Briscoe, who is homeless, was the only person in the car and his car was packed with clothes, a television set and other personal items.
When he approached the vehicle, the officer noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage and saw two cans of Bud Ice sitting on the dashboard. The officer called out to Briscoe, but the man did not respond. The officer then honked the car horn in an unsuccessful attempt to wake Briscoe. After the officer honked the horn twice more and continued to call out, Briscoe awakened and responded, “I hear you. OK.”
The officer repeatedly asked Briscoe to step out of the vehicle before the man complied. During the ensuing conversation, Briscoe was reportedly “extremely belligerent and defiant.” Briscoe insisted he had been given permission to sleep in the parking lot and, when informed about Gwinnett County’s leash laws, denied the dogs had been roaming free in the parking lot and insisted they had been sleeping next to him the whole time. The officer asked Briscoe how he could have known what the dogs were doing since he had been asleep. Briscoe explained he only had to call the dogs and they would return and that the dogs “knew the limits.”
“This unreasonable and argumentative response was indicative of the entire conversation with Briscoe,” the officer wrote in the arrest report.
Briscoe admitted purchasing a six-pack of beer just after 8 a.m. that morning and subsequently drinking the beer. Briscoe claimed it was during that purchase that a bagger at the store gave him permission to sleep in the parking lot -- a claim both the bagger and management later said was false.
Based on the fact that Briscoe was intoxicated in public, he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. Briscoe was also issued a citation for violating county leash law. His vehicle, which was uninsured, was impounded and the dogs were taken to the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.
Before he was taken to the jail, Briscoe reportedly said he wanted to apologize to the officer if the officer “believed” he was being rude and disrespectful. Briscoe then made several unsolicited statements including:
“I drove to the parking lot of my own free will.”
“I bought the beer of my own free will.”
“I drank the beer in the parking lot.”
Once Briscoe was handed over to deputies at the Gwinnett County Jail, his “erratic and deviant” behavior led the deputies to forcibly put him in a holding cell before they were able to complete the booking process.
Briscoe was released the following day on a $189 bond.
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Other recent incidents investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department include:
- Entering auto in the 3300 block of New Hope Road.
- Theft by taking in the 1600 block of Hamilton Mill Parkway.
- Drug offense near the intersection of Hamilton Mill Road and I-85.
- Theft of tag in the 1500 block of Mineral Springs Road.
- Battery in the 2600 block of Colleen Lane.
- Simple battery in the 2400 block of Braselton Highway.
- Theft by taking in the 2100 block of Huntington Hill Trace.
- Motor vehicle theft in the 500 block of Alcovy Springs Drive.
- Battery in the 2900 block of Windsong Park Lane.
- Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana near the intersection of Dacula Road and Grand Heritage Way.
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