Man arrested after he tries to rob store, takes two hostage
INDEPENDENCE - A man was arrested after authorities said he tried to rob a grocery store in Independence then took two people hostage.
Authorities said Percy Griffin Jr., Amite, approached a cashier and off-duty employee at the customer service desk and demanded the cashier “put all the money in the bag” as he held a pillowcase in one hand and a large kitchen knife in the other. Police said the store security guard told Griffin to drop the knife, but Griffin instead went up to another cashier with it and demanded money.
Authorities said Griffin then walked to the back of the store, approached a store employee from behind and held him in a “modified chokehold” with the knife at his throat as he continued to demand money. The employee was able to break free.
Griffin then made his way to a semi-enclosed deli area, continued to hold the knife and demand money and chased the deli employees around a worktable. The security guard shot at Griffin twice, hitting him in the upper left arm.
Authorities said Griffin made his way out of the deli area, where he approached a customer from behind, using the same chokehold technique as before, and told the customer he had a gun. He forced the customer through the store, and as the two were walking out, the customer freed himself and tackled Griffin. The customer, security guard and store employees were able to hold Griffin until police arrived.
Griffin was also wanted by Amite Police in connection with an armed robbery that occurred there last week.
Griffin was treated at a local hospital for his injuries. He was transported to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail and booked on outstanding warrant from Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. Independence charges are pending.
Photo courtesy of Independence Police Department.