Robbery, assault at West Seattle store, suspect arrested

On April 4th, at approximately 8:30 pm, Southwest Precinct officers responded to a report of a theft/shoplift in progress at the Safeway store in 2400 Block of California Avenue SW.  The call indicated that store security officers were struggling with a shoplifter just outside the store,  and that the suspect had just pepper sprayed them, as well as a passerby, in an attempt to avoid detention.  The caller stated that the suspect was last seen running southbound on California Ave. SW and then west on SW Lander Street.

Officers arrived in the area and quickly located the suspect in an alley, just south of Lander.  As the officers approached, the male suspect took off running, refusing the officers’ commands to stop.  One officer pursued the suspect on foot down the alley, ordering him to stop several times.  As the suspect ran out of the alley, he turned and attempted to spray the officer with the pepper spray canister he still held in his hand.  The officer was able to avoid most of the spray from hitting his face, and the suspect was taken into custody after the officer deployed his Taser. 

Officers contacted the Loss Prevention Officers at the store and they stated that they confronted the suspect after he placed $32.00 worth of items in a grocery basket and then proceeded to put those items into plastic grocery bags he pulled from his pocket.  The witnesses stated that they watched as the suspect then walked out of the store without paying for the items.  At that point the security officers confronted the suspect, identified themselves, and attempted to convince the suspect to step back inside the store.  The man attempted to flee, but store security was able to wrestle him to the ground.  A man walking by the store witnessed the struggle and attempted to assist in holding the suspect down.  It was at that point that the suspect pulled out a small can of pepper spray and sprayed the security officers and the passerby in the face.  The suspect then fled and 911 was called.  The witnesses positively identified the suspect after he was detained. 

The 26 year old male was later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Assault and Investigation of Robbery.