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.
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.
Last slide next slide
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.
Thank you! You are almost registered for
Watch an email to confirm the registration of your newsletter.
Come to the CD Davidson-Hiers on CDavidsonH@tallahbadee.com or on Twitter @DavidsonHiers.
The story of Phil:
Read or share this story: https://www.tallahbadee.com/story/news/2019/05/31/local-homeless-man-subject-viral-video-arrested-wednesday-afternoon/1300655001/