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Leesburg man claims racism behind his arrest at Deluxe Motel

Altereque Lamozs Baker Sr.

A Leesburg man claimed racism was a factor in his arrest last week when he refused to leave after being evicted from the Deluxe Motel.

Altereque Lamozs Baker Sr., 39, of 304 Sandy Oak Circle #303, was charged with trespassing, resisting an officer without violence and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana after the incident, which happened around 9 p.m. Feb. 26 at the motel, located at 113 N. 14th St.

Baker was argumentative throughout the arrest and booking processes and threatened to have all the Leesburg Police officers involved fired. He requested to speak to a supervisor regarding racial issues. During the conversation with the supervisor, Baker became argumentative and refused to listen to any explanation. He demanded a phone call. When the supervisor told Baker he would be entitled to a phone call when he got to jail, he claimed he was being treated unfairly for racial reasons, according to the police report.

The incident started when an officer responded to the hotel about a man causing a disturbance with an employee. The officer saw Baker yelling and beating on the service window and asked him to stand in front of the patrol car while he spoke to the employee. Baker continued yelling and causing a disturbance, the report said.

It was immediately apparent Baker was intoxicated due to his demeanor and the strong odor of alcohol. After Baker failed to calm down and stop yelling despite being asked multiple times, the officer placed him in handcuffs and put him in the back of the patrol vehicle. Baker was told he was not under arrest and was only being detained until the end of the investigation, according to the report.

The motel employee asked that Baker be trespassed from the property and refunded the cost of the room to him. The officer completed a trespass warning and tried to give it to Baker, who started yelling again and causing a bigger disturbance. He claimed he was not trespassed because he paid for the room, the report said.

Officers tried to explain his money had been refunded (proven by the refund receipt), but Baker continued yelling and wouldn’t listen to any explanation or instructions. The motel employee said he would press charges for trespassing if Baker didn’t leave. Baker was ordered to take his property and leave or else he would be arrested. After arguing several minutes regarding his race, Baker gathered his things and left the property, according to the report

Baker returned several minutes later and started walking towards the room he had previously rented. He was placed under arrest at the request of the motel staff. While being arrested, Baker resisted by locking his arms out to the side of his body and parallel with the ground. The officer had to forcibly place Baker’s hands behind his back to apply the handcuffs, the report said.

The officer then tried to escort Baker to the patrol vehicle when he started pulling away and refusing to go. The officer had to forcibly escort him to the vehicle. Baker became argumentative again and yelled the officer was being racist, according to the report.

Baker was searched and the officer found a plastic baggie containing what appeared to be marijuana in his left front pocket. Baker admitted to having marijuana in his pocket and said he had a medical marijuana card, but no card was found through a check of the medical marijuana card registry and was not in an approved dispensary container, the report said.

The substance field tested positive for marijuana and weighed .1 grams. There was also a half-smoked marijuana cigarette and an empty bottle of Courvoisier cognac left in the room where Baker had been staying. The cap to the empty liquor bottle was found in Baker’s left-front pocket, according to the report.

Baker continued to complain about racism and threaten legal action throughout the arrest process and while on the way to the Lake County Jail. He was released Wednesday and will appear in Lake County Court on March 10.

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