TROY, Mich. – A 19-year-old Detroit man accused of enlisting children to sell candy for him under the guise of raising money for a football team was arrested after he was caught running the scheme at two Oakland County businesses, threatening a general manager and stealing a woman's purse, police said.
Man threatens to fight general manager
Officers were called at 7:32 p.m. Saturday to Gran Castor, a restaurant located at 2950 West Big Beaver Road in Troy.
The general manager of the business told police Davion Darrel Mitchell, 19, of Detroit, came into the restaurant with three children to try to sell candy to customers. The general manager said it's the second time Mitchell has done so.
When asked to leave, Mitchell got aggressive and threatened to fight the general manager before leaving, police said.
Officers located Mitchell and three children walking west on East Big Beaver Road near Livernois Avenue.
Police said they spoke with Mitchell and issued him a misdemeanor citation for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and solicitation without a permit.
Mitchell and the children were released from the scene, police said.
Mitchell accused of stealing woman's purse
Police were called at 9:46 p.m. Saturday to Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, a restaurant located at 301 West Big Beaver Road in Troy.
Officers were told a man and three children were trying to sell candy to customers. When confronted by management, the group agreed to leave but used the bathroom first, police said.
While the group was in the bathroom, the hostess noticed her purse was missing from her work area, according to authorities.
An employee walked into the bathroom and noticed suspicious activity involving Mitchell and the children, police said. Mitchell was in one of the bathroom stalls while the children stood outside, officials said.
Mitchell left the bathroom and ran across West Big Beaver Road, police said.
The hostess' purse was found inside a stall with about $40 missing, according to authorities.
Officers found Mitchell in the area and charged him with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, solicitation without a permit and larceny in a building.
The children, ages 10, 10 and 9, admitted they don't play football, even though that's what they told possible customers to sell the candy, according to authorities.
The children said the money from the candy actually went to Mitchell, who paid them for their role in the scheme, police said.