A Pasco man is in jail after trying to rob Fiesta Foods with a BB gun and folding knife.
Sgt. Scott Warren said Juan A. Mendez, 36, was attempting to steal beer and cash from the store.
Warren said the Pasco man brought a case of beer to one of the cashiers at the counter at 11:30 p.m. Instead of paying for it, Mendez pulled out a black BB pistol and shoved it in the cashier’s face, he said.
The cashier didn’t open the till, so Mendez came around and hit the man with the gun.
Mendez then pulled out the knife. Warren said the cashier briefly struggled with him before Mendez ran outside the store — cashless and without the beer.
The cashier, who had minor injuries, told other employees at the store what happened, and several called 911.
“We had a good description of the guy,” Warren said.
Other employees — who hadn’t seen the initial robbery — thought Mendez was a shoplifter and followed him.
Warren said when the two caught up with Mendez, he threatened them and punched one.
Within a minute, Warren said Officer Ron Seltun spotted Mendez walking nearby. Mendez dropped his BB gun in a bush when Seltun got out of his car and drew his pistol.
Initially, Mendez listened to the officer but then tried to run, said Warren.
Video posted by Pasco police shows Seltun quickly catching up to Mendez. After a brief struggle, Seltun took him into custody.
Mendez was booked into the Franklin County jail about 1 a.m. on suspicion of armed robbery and three counts of first-degree assault.
Warren said it was lucky no one was seriously hurt.
Jake Dorsey: 509-582-1405; @copyed9para