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It’s a good thing there are no coupons in prison. Because a dispute that began over some unwanted coupons, and ended in gunfire, has resulted in a lengthy prison stay for the accused.

21-year-old Jaffar Tawfik (pictured above, on the left) was sentenced in Detroit on Thursday to serve 10½ to 20 years for assault with intent to murder. He was also convicted on several weapons charges, for which he’ll serve an additional two years, consecutive to his other sentence.

Tawfik was arrested in February, several months after he and his father were involved in an altercation with a coupon deliveryman.

Karlton Perry said he was delivering plastic bags full of ads and coupons last November, when he threw one onto the front porch of the home occupied by Tawfik and his father, 54-year-old Moushtak Abdulkarim (pictured above, on the right). Abdulkarim apparently didn’t want what Perry had to offer, so he picked up the bundle and threw it back at the deliveryman.

Wanting to avoid trouble, Perry took a photo of the house to help him remember not to deliver there again. But instead, with that action, his troubles had just begun.

Apparently enraged that Perry was photographing their house, Abdulkarim is seen on surveillance video picking up items from his porch and throwing them at Perry. Then the video shows Tawfik coming out of the house and joining the scuffle.

Perry then took off – and the two men jumped into a van and took off after him.

Out of sight of the surveillance cameras, Perry told police that Abdulkarim tried to stab him, and that Tawfik pulled out a gun and fired several shots at him, hitting him once in the back.

Perry recovered, and Abdulkarim was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Tawfik, however, went on the run and wasn’t captured until this past February, when he was found hiding in the attic of a nearby home. He was also charged with attempted murder and several weapons violations.

Police said they were happy to have these coupon-spurning citizens off the streets. “If you would shoot a newspaper boy or a delivery guy, or somebody trying to give you coupons, who else would you shoot?” Deputy Aaron Garcia of the U.S. Marshals Service told Detroit’s WXYZ-TV. “We got honest citizens, Detroiters, making an honest living out here, doing a job. And you got this guy, reckless, no regard for anything.”

Abdulkarim was found guilty in June of a lesser charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He faces up to ten years in prison when he’s sentenced later this week. His son, meanwhile, has already begun serving his sentence, which will keep him behind bars for at least the next dozen years.

For those who aren’t interested in coupons, those packets of ads and inserts tossed all over town can be a nuisance. Several communities have tried unsuccessfully to ban them, and one even created what it called a “Do Not Toss” list, so residents could request that the packets be neatly placed in their mailboxes instead of being tossed indiscriminately somewhere in the vicinity of their front yards.

But few, if any, recipients have taken their anger at these tossed bundles to the extremes that Tawfik and Abdulkarim did. With one now in prison and the other likely to join him soon, one can only hope that anyone else who objects to these deliveries in the future, won’t object quite so violently.

Background image by brad.rourke

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