Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 22-year-old Wednesday night after he allegedly assaulted three security officers while shoplifting shirts from a Tacoma Mall department store.
Prosecutors charged Juan Miguel Flores Meza today with one count of first-degree robbery.
Charging documents provide the following information.
A loss prevention officer for Macy’s was watching Meza on Wednesday night as he took several shirts and jeans into a dressing room. The officer heard what sounded like plastic breaking inside the room. The officer believed Meza was breaking off the clothing’s security tags.
Meza left the room carrying fewer items than he took in. The officer looked inside the dressing room and spotted four empty hangers.
Meza walked out of the store shortly after 8 p.m. The officer confronted Meza outside, identified himself and asked Meza to go back into the store.
Meza then grabbed the officer around the neck and tried to strangle him with both hands. He pushed the officer away and ran to a newer Ford Mustang.
The loss prevention officer believed Meza was wearing the stolen shirts.
Two other security officers approached Meza, who kicked and hit both.
One officer was knocked to the ground, then kicked in the head. She was later taken to a hospital and complained of severe head and neck pain.
The other officer was punched several times and had a swollen lip.
Meza left in the Mustang. His description and photos were sent to area law enforcement officers.
Officers also ran the Mustang’s license plate. Deputies went to the address for the car and found it parked outside a trailer.
When sheriff’s deputies knocked on the front door and announced themselves, Meza ran out the back door.
“The defendant looks around and then begins to run but is stopped by a sheriff’s deputy at gunpoint,” charging documents state. “Officers note from the surveillance photos that the defendant matches the appearance of the suspect based upon his distinctive hair style, including side burns, jaw line and eyes.”