A group of civilians, including two clerks and a customer, subdued a knife-wielding woman at a convenience store in Pasco early Saturday morning.
The woman, Lorena Jimenez-Alvarez, 38, of Pasco, was booked into the Franklin County jail on an investigative hold for first-degree robbery, Pasco police reported.
Here’s how the incident went down, according to police:
Officers were called to the Eastside Super Station on the 1300 block of East Lewis Street at 12:38 a.m. on a report of an armed robbery in progress.
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They found Jimenez-Alvarez being held face down by two female clerks, a male customer and the husband of one of the clerks. A large knife with a black handle was nearby.
“The officers were told that the suspect entered the store wearing a hoodie with the hood up covering most of her face, gloves on, knife in hand, and demanded the money from the first clerk. The second (clerk) came out of a storeroom, saw this going on, and grabbed the suspect. The others joined in and disarmed her, holding her on the floor until police arrived,” police wrote in Facebook post.
Officers arrested Jimenez-Alvarez and took her to jail, after she was evaluated and treated at Lourdes Medical Center.
“Don’t be too hard on Jimenez-Alvarez, though. There are some clear indications that if local police had access to a secure mental-health lock-up facility, she would have gone there. But we don’t, yet, so people that act dangerous with knives go to jail. Violent people have to go somewhere with doors that lock on the outside,” the post said.
The post also warned against civilians taking matters into their own hands.
“Clerks tackling robbers with knives? That makes a great story, but we do not recommend it. We will always advise you not to risk injury or death over cash in the register,” the post said. “We admire it, we want to tell those people that we are hiring and they can test at publicsafetytesting.com for us, but we recommend that would-be victims just pay attention, be great witnesses, and call police immediately afterward.”