Ex-prisoner asks police to arrest him to avoid homelessness

This booking photo provided by Clayton Police Department on March 14, 2018 shows Paul H. Borroni. Borroni who spent almost four decades in prison for murder and parole violations is back behind bars after faking an armed robbery and begging police to put him back inside. Clayton police arrested Borroni last week after he held up a restaurant and threatened to shoot an employee if she didn't call the police. Police say Borroni pretended his finger was a gun. He told police he didn't want to be homeless.(Clayton Police Department/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

CLAYTON, Mo. — A Missouri man who spent almost four decades in prison for murder and parole violations is back behind bars after faking an armed robbery and begging police to put him back inside.

Clayton police arrested Paul Borroni last week after he held up a restaurant and threatened to shoot an employee if she didn't give him cash and call the police. Police said Borroni, 57, hid his right finger under his coat and pretended it was a gun, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .

"He just came right out and said it: 'I want to go back to jail,'" Capt. Stewart Glenn said of Borroni's explanation to detectives.

Borroni was 17 years old in 1979 when he was convicted of fatally stabbing a high school student who refused to date him. He was released from prison in 2004, but returned to prison twice more due to parole violations, according to Gary Brix, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.

He was most recently released from prison last month, but said he had been kicked out of a housing facility and had failed to get a bed at a St. Louis homeless shelter.

"He said he wasn't going to be homeless," Glenn said. "He doesn't want to be out here."

Borroni is now charged with first-degree robbery and is being held on $250,000 cash bail at the St. Louis County Jail. His next court hearing is March 26.

Court papers list Borroni's home address as the same building that houses Father Dempsey's Charities. Father Dempsey's provides transitional housing and a "fresh start to men without a home," according to its website. Borroni was kicked out because he violated rules barring drug and alcohol use and became combative with staff, said Gabe Jones, a spokesman for the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Jones maintained that the charity doesn't just turn somebody onto the streets.

"We can recommend alternatives, but it's up to them to follow through," Jones said.

Borroni's court-appointed attorney, Jemia Steele, couldn't be reached for comment.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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