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Phil March's life changed in July when a Tallahbadee police officer stopped to help him shave his beard for a job. A stranger recorded the interaction.
Tallahbadee Democrat

The homeless man from Tallahbadee, whose story went viral last summer after a police officer was filmed shaving the man's beard off a McDonald's, was arrested Wednesday afternoon.

According to police, Tallahbadee police officers arrested Phillip March, 46, for illegally entering the Target on Tennessee Street while riding a Publix motorized shopping cart with another man and smoking cigarettes in the store.

The two men also had Target products in their backpacks, although the store did not want to file charges for the stolen items, according to an affidavit of arrest.

The agents called Publix on the stolen shopping cart and the store said it would send someone to pick it up. Publix also refused to press charges for stolen transportation, according to the affidavit.

It was a sad turn for a man whose story animated the hearts of the nation.

Phillip March was arrested for invading the Target on Tennessee Street on Wednesday afternoon as he rode a Publix motorized shopping cart with another man and smoked cigarettes throughout the store, according to local police. (Photo: Leon County Detention Center)

A video posted online went viral last July when Tallahbadee police officer Tony Carlson shaved March's beard off McDonald's, on Thomasville and Maclay Commerce streets. the Since then, the video has received 448,000 visits and was shared almost 6,000 times on Facebook.

Later that month, McDonald's hired March to work inside the restaurant after a hiring manager bought him clothes and a watch. The Tallahbadee Fire Department allowed him to shower at the station and the office of US Senator Marco Rubio helped him with an ID card needed to be officially hired, the Tallahbadee Democrat said.

But March is no longer employed, according to court records. His last reported residence was at the Kearney Center.

He has been arrested twice before for entering without authorization in 2015 and for robbery in 2007, according to court records.

Phil March spends his days in the area around Maclay Commerce Drive, off Thomasville Road in Tallahbadee. On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, March spent his day seeking refuge from the cold and trying to stay warm in a space where pumpkins and Christmas trees were sold across the street from Circle K, where he changed his life.

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In July, Phil March was struggling to shave his long beard using an exit outside the Circle K service station on Thomasville Street in Tallahbadee when a police officer stopped to help him. March has no home and was shaving his beard to get a job at the door next to McDonald's. He got the job.

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Phil March spends his days in the area around Maclay Commerce Drive, off Thomasville Road in Tallahbadee. On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, March spent his day seeking refuge from the cold and trying to stay warm in a space where pumpkins and Christmas trees were sold across the street from Circle K, where he changed his life.

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Phil March keeps his hands together trying to stay warm on a cold Thursday, November 15, 2018.

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The Circle K service station, where a stranger recorded Phil March being shaved by Tallahbadee police officer Tony Carlson in July.

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Phil March points to the exit of the Circle K service station at the corner of Maclay Commerce Drive and Thomasville Road, where in July, a Tallahbadee police officer stopped to help him shave his beard in order to get a job at the next door of the McDonald's.

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Phil March must be clean-shaven when he goes to work at McDonald's, but on his days off he keeps his facial hair a bit disheveled.

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Phil March continues to work at McDonald's on Thomasville Road in Tallahbadee four months after a stranger enrolled a Tallahbadee police officer helping him shave to get the job.

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In November 2018, March told the Tallahbadee Democrat that he always had problems with addiction. The two biological parents in March battled alcoholism and he was one of 10 siblings who bounced in about eight different foster homes in Nashville, Tennessee, the Democrat said.

"He pays you a toll, you know," he said, adding that "the past does not mean anything to me, it's the future that means something."

March did not plead guilty to the charge of illegal entry and spent two days in jail before being released on Thursday night.

TPD spokesman Damon Miller said the current arrest in March is "unfortunate."

"We do not have personal feelings about it, it's just unfortunate that it happened," Miller said.

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