[UPDATE: 4:30 PM EDT: Sen. Barack Obama has spoken favorably about the Armenian-American community's efforts to get the genocide topic recognized. Vast numbers were killed by the Turks, and the slaughter rankles to this day. Earlier this year, the Illinois Democrat told the ANCA: "For those who aren't aware, there was a genocid that did take place against the Armenian people. It is one of these situations where we have seen a constant denial on the part of the Turkish government and others that this occurred. It has become a sore spot diplomatically." The fact that he sides against the genocide deniers would seem to indicate he wasn't stalked because of that dispute.]
[UPDATE: 7:48 PM EDT: The latest information from Iowa quotes a Cincinnati businessman who says Zarkayan was selling decks of playing cards with the faces of politicians outside campaign events.]
Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Nadine Allen handled the shoplifting case and gave Zakaryan a small fine. Court records show a $1,000 bond was posted by a resident of Chicago Ridge, Ill., while the case was pending.
News reports say 24-year-old Zakaryan was searched and is being held in Iowa. He was described as loitering outside a Fairfield Inn where Sen. Obama was staying during a presidential campaign swing. Zakaryan is accused of having a knife with a blade longer than 8 inches inside his car.
In Cincinnati, court records show he had a different name, David Asatzyon, when initially stopped in July 2004 at the TJ Maxx. The affidavit said he "concealed under his arm a brown wallet valued at $16.99. I approach (sic) him and id myself as T.J. Maxx loss prevention and said I need to recover the unpaid merchandise. He gave it to me and follow me to the office. The police was called and they responded."
When Zakaryan received the traffic ticket, police said they could not locate a Social Security number. They said he did not carry an Ohio license, but produced one issued in Armenia.