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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Man charged with calling 911 from cell phone taken in robbery

  • Deputies say he was hallucinating after smoking "spice"
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  • A man who told deputies he was under the influence of “spice” and being chased by people that wanted to kill him was instead arrested and charged with robbing a Ford City woman and taking her cell phone.
    As it turned out, he called 911 on the stolen phone, deputies said.
    Deputies were called  about 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 to the area near Date and Tyler Street after 911 dispatchers received a call from a man who told them he was being chased by “multiple subjects that were trying to kill him,” Sgt. Martin Downs said.
    When deputies contacted the man, later identified as Luis Mendez Diaz, 23, they noticed he was out of breath, sweating profusely and appeared to be overheating, Downs said.
    Diaz  told deputies he was “tripping out” and the deputies noticed signs and symptoms he was hallucinating.
    The suspect told them he had been smoking “spice.”
    About the same time, deputies received a report of a robbery in the trailer park on the 100 block of Taylor Street.
    Deputies contacted the victim and she told them she had gone out to a mail box when a man accosted her and demanded her cell phone.
    When she refused, Downs said, the suspect grabbed one arm and ripped the phone from her and fled.
The suspect description the victim gave matched Diaz' and she later identified Diaz as the man who robbed her,  Downs said.
    Diaz was then arrested and charged with strong armed robbery.

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