Cranston man arrested after saying he was robbed by a black man in fight over nips


NORTH SMITHFIELD – A Cranston man is facing charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer in execution of duty after calling police to report a robbery following a fight over $10 in alcohol.

Joseph Peno, 62, of Cranston, was arrested following the incident on Thursday, Aug. 6.

According to reports, police were called to the area of Subway on Eddie Dowling Highway around 7:30 p.m.

“While enroute dispatch advised that the calling party stated he was robbed by a black man in front of Subway,” the report notes.

Police arrived at the scene to find a 41-year-old black man from New Bedford, Mass. running by the highway. The man told officers that he gave Peno, a friend of his girlfriend’s, $10 to buy him alcoholic nips at Sam’s Smokeshop on Park Avenue in Woonsocket.

The man told police they were in a car parked in front of Subway when Peno got out and ran away with his bag of alcohol. He told police that he chased Peno, who is described as a skinny man with a light brown complexion, until they were both under the traffic light at the intersection of Eddie Dowling Highway and Dowling Village Boulevard.

He said Peno then threw the bag of nips at him, hitting him in the face with his purchase.

According to reports, Peno “kept changing his story,” to police, at first saying the man assaulted him, and then saying that it didn’t happen. Once in custody, Peno reportedly told police that the only reason the victim wasn’t arrested was because they, “were afraid to arrest black people.”

Peno also told officers that his lawyers would, “have a field day,” with them and that he shouldn’t have been arrested because he has, “five years hanging over his head.”

Peno’s record in the state criminal database includes multiple charges of domestic violence, disorderly conduct, violation of a no contact order, simple assault, breaking and entering, conspiracy, violation of a protective order, larceny, possession of marijuana, assault on a uniformed police or fireman, violation of a building inspection, driving with a suspended license and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Peno was arraigned in Sixth District Court on August 7.

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