Attorney: Arrest was sparked by cigarette purchase denial

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SPRINGFIELD >> A defense attorney for a western Massachusetts man arrested for allegedly being in possession of a stun gun says the incident was sparked when his client was denied the purchase of cigarettes.

The Springfield Republican reports 28-year-old Philip Coleman was arrested Friday after arguing with the clerk of a Cumberland Farms store in Springfield who wouldn't sell him cigarettes because he didn't have identification.

Prosecutors say Coleman was arrested for ignoring a Springfield officer's warning to calm down. He was taken in on several charges, including carrying a stun gun.

Attorney Thomas Bessette says the clerk started the confrontation, not his client.

Bessette says the clerk shouted an expletive at Coleman after he attempted to explain that he had no ID.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 29.

Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/


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