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Customer can’t pay, raises ruckus

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Ivan Mike Largo was the customer from hell.

Employees at Fratelli’s Pizza north of Gallup learned this when he visited the restaurant about 7 pm on Oct. 17 and rang up a bill for $58.82 and then refused to pay for it, leading to a confrontation with the restaurant’s owner and police.

Emily Rohrbough, the restaurant’s owner, told police Largo presented a credit card to pay for the bill. The card was declined three times and instead of coming up with another way to pay, the customer became verbally abusive and called employees racist, saying they would not treat him that way if he was white.

As one employee called police, other workers tried to get the man to go outside so their discussions would not affect other customers at the restaurant. That was when Largo pointed his finger at one of the employees and struck him in the face, as they reached the entrance to the restaurant.

Gallup patrolman Jerald Watchman was dispatched to Fratelli’s after being told what had occurred.

When he arrived, he saw Largo, 29, of Pinedale, arguing with the restaurant’s owner and one of her employees. He immediately decided to take Largo to his unit to prevent any further conflict, but Largo refused to cooperate.

He questioned Watchman’s decision to put him in his unit and refused to put his hands behind him so he could be handcuffed. He pulled away, Watchman said, causing the two of them to run into the driver’s side of his unit.

Largo continued to resist as Watchman took him to the ground. At that point, another officer showed up and the two managed to get Largo into the back of the unit. But as he tried to close the door, Largo stuck his foot outside the unit and refused to place it back inside.

An attempt was made to pull him back inside from the other door, but by that time he also had his head out of the unit. He refused several commands to stop struggling. Finally he demanded that the officers call their supervisor.

Sgt. Nicola Martinez-Collins was called. When she arrived, she was able to calm Largo down and he began cooperating, which allowed officers to get him all the way inside and close the door. He was then transported to the county jail.

Once there, however, he refused to get out until he had a chance to talk to Martinez-Collins. So she was called again and convinced Largo to get out of the unit. But once inside the jail, he again refused to cooperate and a decision was made to take him to the Gallup Indian Medical Center for an evaluation.

Once a medical clearance was given, he was transported back to jail and booked on charges of battery, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and falsely obtaining services.

Staff Reports