Matthew Miller wanted the chicken Caesar salad from Publix so badly that his failed attempt at theft Wednesday night ended in his arrest and the stabbing of two employees who had tried to stop him from stealing the healthy meal.
The price tag on the healthy choice: $7.99.
Miami Beach police said the two employees — one who was taken to the hospital with a stab wound to the chest, the other treated on site after being stabbed in the knee — will be OK.
Miller, 43, whose only past legal entanglement was a dropped case almost two decades ago in which he was charged with battering a medical worker in Pinellas County, was captured and charged with two counts of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery, retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Early Thursday morning he was booked into Turner Guilford Knight correctional center and denied bond. It was not immediate clear whether he had obtained an attorney.
“Search incident to arrest revealed that [Miller] had concealed a chicken caesar salad in the bag that he was carrying,” the arresting officer wrote in Miller’s arrest affidavit.
Miller’s attempted theft and escape began at 6:35 p.m., police said. That’s when, according to his arrest report, a police officer working an off-duty shift at the supermarket at 6876 Collins Ave., heard meat department employee Alex Felizor say, “Hey, hey down. Go down.” The officer, who was on the escalator, began chasing Miller along with Felizor.
Before they got to Miller, the officer said store manager Joseph Remy tried to stop Miller from escaping the store’s front entrance onto Collins Avenue. The two employees eventually stopped Miller from getting away and then the officer ordered him to the ground. At that point, according to the police report, the officer noticed Felizor and Remy bleeding and saw Miller’s three- to four-inch steel knife on the ground.
Felizor told police that he began the chase after he saw Miller stuff the chicken Caesar salad into a bag. The salad, the arrest report notes, was returned to the store.
During a Thursday bond hearing in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Miller expressed no regret about his actions, smirking and rubbing his right eye. At one point Judge Mindy Glazer told Miller his actions weren’t funny and that he “could have killed someone.”
Shot back Miller: “Do whatever you need to do and lemme go back to my cell.”