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Impromtu picnic at supermarket leads to arrest

June 6, 1997

BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Once it became a movable feast, police moved in.

Michael Spoerndle, the 45-year-old owner of a popular New Haven music club, was arrested Thursday after he held an impromptu picnic in the aisles of a supermarket.

As he worked his way through the store, he opened a watermelon with a knife he had, and helped himself to a bag of pretzels and a popsicle, authorities said.

``Grapes and candy, everybody does that,″ Officer Craig Manemeit said. ``But it got to the point where he had many foodstuffs out of the package.

``There’s no way of knowing how much he ate before we got there. We arrested him when we saw he had the knife.″

When the officers searched Spoerndle they found a small amount of cocaine and discovered two packages of stolen meat in Spoerndle’s car, they said.

Spoerndle was charged with possession of a deadly weapon, cocaine possession and larceny. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending an appearance today in New Haven Superior Court.

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