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Man Caught Dealing Pot in McDonald's Tries to Eat Evidence, Police Say

By Danielle Tcholakian | February 10, 2014 6:47am | Updated on February 10, 2014 8:52am
 A man being arrested for marijuana possession at a Greenwich Village McDonald's tried to eat the evidence, police said.
A man being arrested for marijuana possession at a Greenwich Village McDonald's tried to eat the evidence, police said.
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — A man NYPD officers saw selling marijuana in a Greenwich Village McDonald's tried to destroy the evidence by stuffing the weed into his mouth, police said.

Officers saw Rodney Spencer, 52, appear to sell marijuana to James Hunt, 36, at the McDonald's at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street about 1:30 p.m. Jan. 29, the NYPD said.

Police stopped Spencer as he left the McDonald's four minutes later with $15 in his hand and marijuana in his jacket pocket, police said.

Panicked, Spencer popped a baggie full of marijuana in his mouth and started chewing to try to destroy the evidence, police said. He then spit the chewed-up, loose bits of weed on the ground.

Police found additional marijuana in Spencer's jacket pocket and also scooped up the spit-out pot from the sidewalk to collect it as evidence, police said.

Spencer was charged with attempting to tamper with physical evidence, obstructing governmental administration, criminal sale of marijuana and criminal possession of marijuana, police said.

Hunt was also found with pot in his jacket pocket, police said. He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Neither of their lawyers returned calls for comment.

Other notable crimes in the 6th Precinct include:

► A man was arrested for assaulting a police officer in the Meatpacking District last week amid a crowd of partiers as bars and restaurants closed for the night, police said.

The 23-year-old officer was telling a crowd of people to get out of the street at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street about 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 2, when Michael Crew, 27, refused numerous times, police said.

The officer tried to escort Crew back to the sidewalk, but Crew grabbed the officer in a headlock and threw him to the ground, slamming his head into the pavement, police said.

Crew then climbed onto the fallen officer's chest, choking him with both hands, police said. The officer appeared to lose consciousness and later reported having memory loss, the NYPD said.

Other police eventually dragged Crew off the officer but he continued fighting, refusing to be handcuffed and wrestling with the officers, police said.

The officer was taken in an ambulance to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was treated for a mild concussion and a bruise on his left ring finger, police said.

Crew was charged with assaulting a police officer.

Crew's lawyer, Legal Aid Society attorney Jonathan Stonbely, said Monday that Crew had not yet been indicted, as the Manhattan District Attorney's office was still investigating the charges.

"At this early stage I can only say that, should there ever be an indictment, Mr. Crew will be pleading not guilty and vigorously fighting these charges at trial," Stonbely said. "For the moment, however, we appreciate the District Attorney's office's exercise in restraint is not rushing into the grand jury before fully investigating the case."

► A man pulled over for drunk driving in the Meatpacking District told police where they could find marijuana in his car, police said.

An officer spotted 38-year-old Frederick Wande in the driver's seat of a car idling across the street from Beaumarchais, at 409 W. 13th St., about 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 30, police said.

When the officer approached the car on foot, Wande gunned the engine and took off west on West 13th Street, but then circled back to the same area a few minutes later. He was pulled over by an officer at West 13th Street and Ninth Avenue, police said.

Police said the car reeked of weed and alcohol, and an officer spotted a half-smoked blunt in the driver's side door handle. Wande tried unsuccessfully to hide the blunt by knocking it to the floor, but the officer recovered it.

Police said Wande told the officer he had a few drinks, and also that there's "a 40 bag under the seat" and "a dime bag in the small compartment." The officer recovered those parcels of marijuana, police said.

Police said Wande's face was flushed and he had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech and was swaying on his feet as he exited the car. He refused a Breathalyzer as well as coordination and urine tests. Police said he stated on video that he didn't see the point of taking a urine test because he smokes pot every day.

Wande was charged with driving under the influence and possession of marijuana.

His lawyer did not respond to a message left on her voicemail.

► A man stopped for public urination was arrested when he took off running, police said.

Robert Chambers, 28, was seen urinating on a parked car about 12:40 a.m. on Jan. 31 at the corner of Washington and West 13th streets, police said. When officers approached him, he started running, and in the course of the chase fell to the ground, police said.

When officers caught up with him, he tried to stop them from arresting him "by pulling his arms away, clenching his hands, and twisting his body, making handcuffing difficult," according to the police report.

Chambers was charged with obstructing governmental administration.

His lawyer did not respond to a message left with his office.