Two men who got into an argument with 7-Eleven clerks over the price of a few snacks and an eaten doughnut were arrested for strong-arm robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime after they allegedly attempted to leave without paying and engaged in a brawl with store personnel on Wednesday, according to Palo Alto police.
Kenneth David Sanchez, 28, who has no address, and Rudi Romano Griffin, 43, of East Palo Alto, allegedly entered the 7-Eleven convenience store at 401 Waverley St. in downtown Palo Alto at about 2 a.m. They roamed the aisles picking up packages of chips, cookies and candy. Griffin allegedly removed a doughnut from the pastry case and ate it. They put the items on the counter, and one of the men was seen putting a package of gum in his pocket.
Sanchez and Griffin began arguing with the clerk about the price of the items. One of the clerks, who had an uneasy feeling about the situation, asked the other to stand near the door. When it became clear the men weren't going to pay, the clerk behind the counter told Sanchez and Griffin if they just paid for the doughnut they would be free to go.
The men bolted for the door and Griffin escaped, but Sanchez engaged in a struggle with the clerks as they tried to detain him. Griffin returned to help free his friend, and the two men left, police Sgt. Wayne Benitez said.
Sanchez then allegedly returned to the store and kicked the front glass door, shattering it. He also punched one of the clerks in the face before leaving, giving him a bloody nose. Paramedics came to help him, but he sought his own medical care, Benitez said.
Responding police officers searched the vicinity and found Sanchez and Griffin at the corner of Lytton Avenue and Seneca Street. The men fled, but one was quickly detained and the other was captured soon afterward, Benitez said.
Sanchez was arrested for robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime; Griffin was arrested for robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of drug paraphernalia (a crack pipe). Both men were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.