Today’s news:

Man receives summons for stealing gum from Bayside shop

The corner of Bell Boulevard at 41st Avenue in Bayside was blocked with several NYPD vehicles Tuesday morning as officers responded to a 911 call of a man who allegedly stole a pack of gum and harassed a pedestrian on the street.

Kieth Bronson was given a summons by the police for allegedly stealing gum from the Bayside Smoke Shop.

Bronson was seen loitering in front of the 7-11 earlier in the morning, wearing black sneakers and jeans, a blue T-shirt, a black leather jacket and a red and black Chicago Bulls baseball cap.

The Bayside resident said he went into the 7-11 looking for a pack of Big Red gum, which he said the store did not stock, and was told he might have better luck across the street.

He claims he went across the street to the smoke shop, found an off-brand equivalent and put 28 cents on the counter.

“I was arrested for being 2 cents short,” he said afterward.

Larry, the shop’s owner, claimed Bronson came in and threw 3 cents on the counter for the 35-cent pack of gum and then ran out of the store, returning to his previous spot outside 7-11. At that point, Larry called 911.

A friend of the owner’s, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was walking by Bronson when he allegedly grabbed him by his shirt collar and started screaming racial epithets at him.

“The van pulled up and you could hear him screaming and yelling,” Larry said.

After spending several minutes handcuffed in the back of a police car, Bronson was released with a summons and the advice, “If you can, just go home and stay out of trouble.”

At that point, he began walking south on Bell Boulevard. He told TimesLedger Newspapers, “I’m heading back to my place of resting.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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