A 53-year-old Glendale man pleaded not guilty this week to charges that he pulled a man out of his wheelchair and stole it so he could use it as a prop for panhandling, police said.
Prosecutors charged Phillip Papineau with felony grand theft and felony petty theft with priors in connection with the theft of David Baysinger's wheelchair, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.
Papineau was arrested about 4 p.m. April 20 on suspicion of robbery at the Tropico Motel in the 400 block of West Chevy Chase Drive, where Baysinger, 57, of Glendale told officers Papineau was staying, according to Glendale police.
The wheelchair was recovered from inside a motel room, police added.
Baysinger, who can't walk and suffers from cerebral palsy, told officers Papineau demanded the wheelchair so he could use it while panhandling, police said. However, Baysinger refused to give Papineau his wheelchair.
Papineau and Baysinger are transients who are often seen together in Glendale, according to police.
When Baysinger refused to give up his wheelchair, Papineau pulled him out of it, took it and fled, police said.