The alleged shoplifter caught on video clobbering a security guard at a Walgreens in the Port Authority Bus Terminal is now in the wind after skipping a court date, The Post has learned.
Rahmell Coleman, a 26-year-old homeless man with at least five prior arrests, was charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment over the March incident — nearly the same raps the security guard he allegedly attacked also faces.
“Didn’t I predict this exact scenario?” the guard, Salvatore Lopiccolo, quipped Tuesday when told the accused thief had failed to show up to court.
“I knew this would happen.”
Lopiccolo, who works at Walgreens under a contract with Allied Security, has expressed his intent to sue the Port Authority Police Department, claiming he was wrongfully arrested in the March 30 encounter.
The retired NYPD officer previously told The Post how he had implored Port Authority cops to get Coleman mental health treatment rather than charge him over the scuffle, saying prosecuting the vagrant would be a waste of time.
“I don’t want to waste Port Authorities’ time, mine, Walgreens and the courts for somebody who’s going to get out of jail in a couple of hours or possibly a day and come back into the store and do the same thing,” he said.
Cellphone footage obtained by The Post allegedly showed the shoplifter swinging a tote bag full of stolen food at Lopiccolo’s face after the security guard tried to stop him from fleeing the store on March 30.
But Port Authority cops charged both Lopiccolo and Coleman with assault, with the guard being accused of threatening and “recklessly” causing injury to the accused thief’s back, according to court documents.
Coleman was granted supervised release at his arraignment on the misdemeanor raps and ordered to return to court on April 14, according to state court officials and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Coleman, whose last known address is a city shelter, never showed — and the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
“That’s exactly why I refused to press charges [and] why I wanted him to get services, get cleaned up and a meal for this exact reason,” Lopiccolo said Tuesday.
Last month’s scuffle wasn’t the first time PAPD had run into Coleman.
Earlier in March, Coleman allegedly punched a 37-year-old man multiple times outside of Penn Station and ripped his phone out of his front pocket, police said.
He was later arrested by Port Authority cops.
In February, he allegedly fought back against NYPD officers who had tried to stop him from sprawling out across multiple seats on the subway in lower Manhattan, police said.
Coleman also was busted twice in 2019 for minor thefts at an Old Navy and DSW, according to cops.
It was not immediately clear how those cases played out in the courts.
Lopiccolo, who has been working armed security since retiring from the NYPD last year, said he’d spotted the alleged thief grabbing a snack from the Port Authority Walgreens just two hours before their violent interaction — but decided to cut him a break.
“Listen, I know people are hungry,” Lopiccolo said.
“I walked him out of the terminal and clearly stated to him. ‘Listen, I don’t want your stuff back just do not come back into the store.’”
But the alleged shoplifter came back and tried to make off with another bag of food, according to a notice of claim filed by Lopiccolo’s attorney last week.
That’s when Lopiccolo stopped him at the door, sparking the caught-on-video altercation, the filing states.
The guard chased down the man, threw him to the ground and held him until cops arrived, according to the court document and the cellphone video.
Lopiccolo — who had his glasses broken and a welt on above one of his eyes — believed his alleged attacker wasn’t in his right mind and insisted PAPD cops send him for a psychological evaluation.
“You can’t continue to incarcerate these [emotionally disturbed persons] and exhaust the resources of the courts, cops and businesses [but] a trip to the hospital, a bed and a shower is a start,” Lopiccolo explained.
Lopiccolo alleges his refusal to press charges angered a PAPD supervisor and led to him being locked in a cell for seven hours and facing prosecution, according to his notice of claim.
The alleged wrongful arrest has kept him from working as an armed guard, the filing states.
Lopiccolo and Coleman face almost identical criminal charges over the incident: two counts of third-degree assault, one third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment, court records show.
Coleman additionally was charged with aggravated harassment, according to court docs — but not with shoplifting or robbery.
It was not known if the homeless man was connected to any city services during his arrangement.
A Port Authority Police spokesperson did not answer questions about Coleman’s case Tuesday.
Coleman could not be reached for comment.
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