Drug addict using ‘finger gun’ in attempt to rob store held down by clerk, records say

A hungry heroin addict tried to rob a Pierce County convenience store but was apprehended by the clerk, according to court documents.

The 32-year-old has pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery and was released on his own recognizance.

Charging papers give this account:

A deputy was driving in the 13200 block of Pacific Avenue South near Tacoma when somebody flagged him down just before midnight Wednesday and reported a robbery up the road.

The deputy responded to the store and found a store employee holding the suspect on the ground.

There was shattered glass and dollar bills scattered on the ground, with a $5,000 food display case that had broken.

As the deputy was taking the suspect into custody, the man allegedly told him he was hooked on heroin and was hoping to steal money so he could eat.

“I’m just hungry, man,” the suspect told deputies, records say.

The store clerk said the man walked into the building, indicated he had a gun hidden in his hooded sweatshirt and demanded money.

At one point, the suspect removed his hand from his sweatshirt pocket and the clerk realized it was only a “finger gun,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers.

A struggle ensued and the clerk was able to hold the suspect down on the ground.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.