Clallam Bay shop clerk stops alleged shoplifter, restrains him with duct tape

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

CLALLAM BAY — Cipriano Ojeda was less than two hours into his shift at Weel Road Deli in Clallam Bay when he became, as his boss describes it, a hero.

When he arrived Wednesday, Ojeda, 46, didn’t know he soon would be grappling with an alleged shoplifter in a fight that would end with a knife wound on Ojeda’s forehead and the culprit bound with duct tape on the sidewalk outside the small shop.

“In my eyes, Cipriano is a hero,” said Marcia Hess, who has owned the deli at 17203 state Highway 112 since 2011.

At about 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Ojeda saw a man, later identified as Alexander Greene, 28, of Kingston, walking out of the store with a six-pack of beer and three bottles of malt liquor tucked in his backpack, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Ojeda confronted Greene, grabbed for his backpack and followed him outside the store, where the two men struggled, eventually falling to the ground, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies said Greene brandished a knife and swung it at Ojeda, cutting his forehead.

The store clerk grabbed Greene’s hand and took the knife from him before overpowering him and pinning him to the ground.

When deputies arrived at the deli about 10 minutes later, they found Greene lying on the sidewalk outside the store with his hands and feet bound with duct tape.

“We actually had help from another business’ employee down the sidewalk that helped duct-tape the suspect,” Hess said.

“It was a team effort, [though] Cipriano definitely had him pinned down.”

The Sheriff’s Office said a Clallam Bay Corrections Center officer and medics from Clallam County Fire District No. 5 also helped detain Greene until deputies arrived.

Greene, who remained in the Clallam County jail Thursday with no bail set, was booked for investigation of one count each of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and third-degree theft.

Ojeda was taken to Forks Community Hospital for his forehead wound, the Sheriff’s Office said, and was no longer listed on the hospital’s patient roster Thursday.

He was not available for comment Thursday.

Hess said she has personally stopped between three and four shoplifters since she’s owned the Weel Road Deli.

“I wouldn’t say that’s a big problem, since I’ve had the store for almost three years,” she said.

Although Ojeda technically broke a store rule by chasing after the alleged shoplifter, Hess said, she has no reprimands planned for him.

“In fact, I gave him the rest of the day off — paid,” Hess added.

“I’m really happy to have him. He’s pretty protective.”

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 20. 2014 7:07PM
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