CANFIELD - Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik was charged with petty theft after a cab driver told authorities that the embattled former middleweight boxing champion refused to pay a $25 fare early Wednesday morning.
The cab driver, Santino A. Bleggi, told a deputy from the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office that he was "ripped off" by a drunken Pavlik, according to an incident report.
Pavlik was charged later in the day in Mahoning County Canfield Area Court with petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor Deputy Maj. Jeff Allen confirmed Pavlik is to be arraigned Friday in Canfield, Allen said he expected Pavlik to receive official notice of being charged Wednesday or today.
He explained that deputies will pick Pavlik up if he doesn't turn himself in. Allen said he has been in contact with Pavlik's attorney, but declined to comment further.
According to the incident report, Bleggi picked up Pavlik, 31, at Billy's Bar at 40 S. Meridian Road, Youngstown, about 2:30 a.m.
Bleggi reported that Pavlik requested to be taken to his Canfield residence at 3692 Sugarbush Drive. However, when they arrived at the home just before 3 a.m. and Bleggi told Pavlik the cab fare was $25, Pavlik refused to pay it, reports state.
Pavlik exited the cab, cursed at the driver and said, "I'm not paying. You go (expletive) yourself," according to reports.
Bleggi told deputies that he called police after Pavlik when into his home. He said he recognized Pavlik because he had seen him on TV and on posters all over Youngstown.
Pavlik won the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council middleweight championship in 2007. He announced in January that he was retiring from the sport of boxing, finishing with a career record of 40-2-0.
The Lowellville native cited health concerns as the main reason for deciding to retire.
He spent 60 days in a rehab facility in 2010 and had a drunken driving charge from a 2011 ATV accident reduced in 2012. In 2005, he was arrested for getting into a fight with a Mahoning County Sheriff's deputy who was working an off-duty security detail at a bar. He pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor assault in Youngstown Municipal Court and was fined $250.
The judge also ordered him to undergo an alcohol assessment.