Washington man who asked to go to jail may spend rest of his life there

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A man in Lakewood went to great lengths to get himself thrown into jail last week, and prosecutors say his actions could keep him there for the rest of his life.

The bizarre story began when Lakewood police got a call from a taxi driver last Friday saying a customer was refusing to pay his fare.

When police arrived, the customer -- later identified as Maurice Barb -- asked to be taken to jail.

The responding deputy said he couldn't do that, and charging documents show police dropped Barb off at a Lakewood Denny's, which is where he asked to be taken when informed he wouldn't be booked into jail.

Moments later, police say Barb called 911 to say he was about to rob the Denny's or the 76 gas station next door.

Police say he followed through with the threat. A station attendant said he thought Barb had a gun that was covered up by his jacket and handed over the cash in the till.

The clerk was unharmed but shaken by the incident. Barb has already been convicted of robbery in Washington and California, and prosecutors are now trying to determine if this is his third strike and if he's a "persistent offender." If convicted, that could result in a mandatory life sentence.

Barb is being held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond.