Indianapolis man accused of dealing drugs in Franklin restaurant bathrooms

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind.-- An Indianapolis man is accused of selling drugs in the bathrooms of two Franklin restaurants as unsuspecting customers and employees went about their business.

Court documents say Mardale Hinton, 39, was arrested on June 15 after selling meth and heroin to an undercover Greenwood police detective on two separate occasions. One drug sale took place June 13 in the bathroom of the McDonald’s on King Street, just west of I-65. The second deal happened in the bathroom of the Waffle House on the other side of King Street.

During the second drug deal at Waffle House, Hinton had his mother, girlfriend and daughter waited outside in a van, according to court documents. The drug deal was meant to be a short stop on the way to take his daughter clothes shopping at the Edinburgh Outlets, police said.

“Typically, people who are involved in that business are self-centered, they want a quick buck,” said Greenwood Police Assistant Chief, Matt Fillenwarth. “They don’t care about you, they don’t care about your family, they don’t necessarily care about their own family.”

Hinton was arrested by backup police units who were waiting for the Waffle House drug sale to be completed. Court documents state Hinton fought with officers when they went into the bathroom to arrest him. One officer sustained a cut to his hand and an abrasion to his eye. Officers used a taser to bring Hinton under control and take him into custody.

Waffle House employees said the arrest was surprising when it happened, but also not unexpected in the times we live in. Customers expressed the same sentiments.

“I think anyone will sell anywhere they can at this point,” said Waffle House customer Chad Covey.

“General morality has just gone down so much,” said customer Celia Martin. “You just got to be aware of your surroundings all the time anymore because you don’t know who the bad guy is.”

Fillenwarth said most people would be surprised to know how often drug dealers and buyers use public places, partly as a way to avoid being robbed or shot.

“You don’t know if somebody is just going to pull out a gun and shoot you in the head for the money that you’re there to pay for the drugs,” Fillenwarth said.  “Most of your violent crime is connected to drugs in one way or another.”

Fillenwarth urges businesses and customers to always be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and don’t hesitate to call police if something doesn’t seem right.

“It’s happening all around us, but most people just don’t see it,” Fillenwarth said.

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