Altercation over pizza, attempted theft of breakfast cereal and movie poster nets three early-morning arrests

Pizza, breakfast cereal and a Rocky Balboa poster served as catalysts for early-morning arrests in unrelated incidents near 14th and Ohio streets on Thursday.

Daniel Robert Lewis, 20, of Overland Park, was booked into Douglas County Jail on suspicion of aggravated battery. Drew Martin Buffkin, 19, of Lawrence, and Justin Thomas Becker, 20, of Lawrence, were booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated burglary and criminal property damage.

Lawrence Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley described what happened this way: Police responded a little after 1 a.m. to a disturbance call in which weapons were said to be involved. When they arrived at the scene near 14th and Ohio Street, they determined that Lewis and a second person were involved in a verbal altercation that involved someone knocking a slice of pizza out of someone’s hand.

The second person and witnesses tried to walk away from Lewis, but Lewis went into a residence in the 400 block of West 14th Street and grabbed a baseball bat. Lewis threatened the individuals with the bat, McKinley said, and jabbed the second person in the chest with the bat before police arrested him. McKinley said the second person was not injured and declined medical attention.

While investigating that call, an officer observed a man climbing down the fire escape of an apartment in the 1400 block of Ohio Street. The man began walking away from the building as the officer approached, McKinley said, then the officer observed a second man coming down the fire escape. A second officer intervened to help stop both Buffkin and Becker, who were carrying a box of Honey Nut Cheerios and a poster from the Rocky film franchise.

Police arrested the two after the apartment’s resident verified that the items were taken from his apartment, that he didn’t know either man and had not given them permission to enter his home.