A barista fired a warning shot to deter a would-be robber at The Grind Coffee this morning. (Screen shot from the Grind Coffee)

A barista fired a warning shot to deter a would-be robber at The Grind Coffee this morning. (Screen shot from the Grind Coffee)

Morning mayhem: Juneau barista fires warning shot to fend would-be robber

This barista was packing a pistol.

This barista was packing a pistol.

A barista at a coffee stand fired a warning shot to fend off a would-be robber early Wednesday morning at The Grind Coffee’s Mendenhall Valley location, according to Juneau Police Department.

No one was harmed during the morning mayhem, and police found and arrested the suspect, identified as 38-year-old Juneau resident Charles R. Clasby.

The suspect parked a car behind the stand, approached the 24-year-old woman working on foot. The suspect told the woman he intended to rob the coffee stand, according to JPD.

At first, the employee thought it was a joke, according to a Facebook post by The Grind Coffee. But the suspect returned wearing a ski mask and wielding a wrench, according to the post and JPD.

The employee drew a firearm and fired a warning shot with a pistol into the air, according to JPD.

The suspect then returned to his vehicle and drove into the back of the coffee stand multiple times, which caused about $3,000 in damage, according to JPD.

At the time of the incident, there were three customers present in two vehicles, and the barista was able to enter one of the vehicles and flee the area.

The suspect struck the barista’s vehicle with his vehicle, according to the coffee shop’s Facebook post, and then followed the barista inbound on Egan Drive, according to JPD.

Police officers conducted a traffic stop, arrested Clasby and charged him with robbery, two accounts of assault, two counts of criminal mischief and violating condition of release on an original charge of harassment.

Clasby was transported to Lemon Creek Correctional Center and is being held without bail, according to JPD. Alcohol and drugs don’t appear to be a factor in the case.

The coffee stand was open for business shortly afterward, and the investigation into the matter is ongoing, police said.

JPD Deputy Chief David Campbell told the Empire the barista was not under investigation.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


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