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Police arrest man on 'mission' in bathroom ceiling

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[December 10, 2008]  MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (AP) -- Bare footprints on a toilet seat led sheriff's deputies to find a man hidden away inside a Baxter County gas station ceiling, apparently "on a mission" to steal, officials said Tuesday.

Jeremy J. Fleming, 34, of Midway, initially refused to offer his name to sheriff's deputies after his arrest early Tuesday morning, Sgt. Bob Bushbacher said. Fleming later told deputies his name was "Jason Solo," though fingerprints later gave his identity away, Bushbacher said.

Fleming entered the Triangle Citgo Mini-Mart in Midway barefoot around 1:30 a.m. and walked into the women's bathroom, Bushbacher said. After 20 minutes, Fleming walked into the employee's bathroom and later returned to the women's.

An hour passed and an employee decided to check on Fleming. The bathroom was empty, but the employee found footprints on the toilet seat and a ceiling tile torn down, Bushbacher said. The employee called police after hearing rustling into the gas station's ceiling.

A sheriff's deputy arrived and called out to Fleming, asking him to come down from the ceiling. Fleming initially refused, but crawled out of the ceiling in the men's room 30 minutes later, Bushbacher said.

When asked what he was doing, Fleming told the deputy he was "on a mission" to steal, Bushbacher said. Though he acted irrational, Fleming did not have an odor of alcohol about him at the time of his arrest, the sergeant said.

"The officer this morning said that the guy was somewhat irrational," Bushbacher said. "Well, yeah. The guy comes into a business at 1:30 in the morning with no shoes on and is going from bathroom to bathroom crawling around in the ceiling. I can see how you could classify that as irrational or somewhat unusual behavior."

Fleming faces criminal mischief and criminal trespassing charges. He was being held Tuesday at the Baxter County Jail on $710 bond.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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