Peoria Beer Thug Busted by Police. Tough Guy Found Cowering in Closet

When 29-year-old Eric Matthew Papanek allegedly walked defiantly out of a Peoria Circle K holding a 12-pack of Heineken -- and the knife he had just used to stab a man -- over his head last week, he probably didn't anticipate hiding in a closet like a coward when police came to arrest him. But that's exactly what happened, according to police.

Papanek got popped about 8 p.m. yesterday at a home near 77th Avenue and McDowell Road. When police got there, he was hiding in a closet, but he was eventually arrested without incident.

Papanek was wanted for a March 13, beer theft, during which he allegedly stabbed a guy who tried to stop him from stealing the booze.

According to police, Papanek stole two 12-packs of Heineken from a Circle K near 87th Avenue and Bell Road. During the heist, a man named Brandyn Asbury tried to stop the beer bandit but was unable to do so.

During the scuffle, Papanek stabbed Asbury before triumphantly walking out of the store.

Police say the suspect walked backward as he left the Circle K, defiantly holding the beer and knife above his head.

Asbury was not seriously injured.

Papanek is no stranger to thuggish behavior. Peoria police spokesman Jay Davies tells New Times that he was recently released from prison after serving seven years for a
2003 shooting. He was released in late 2010.

Papanek was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of aggravated assault and burglary.