Charges Expected for Man Accused in Gas Station Robbery With Boy, 15

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) – Charges are expected Wednesday against a 24-year- old man suspected in a Palm Springs gas station robbery where a 15-year-old boy allegedly brandished a firearm and fired a shot in the air.

Christopher Mendez was arrested early Monday on suspicion of second- degree robbery, carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, conspiracy, and violating his probation, according to the Palm Springs Police Department. He remains held at the John J. Benoit Detention Center on $50,000 bail.

Police said officers responded to the 3600 block of East Ramon Road at around 1 a.m. Monday to a report of a robbery at a gas station.

Two suspects entered the store and stole a case of beer, but when a store employee attempted to retrieve the case of beer “an employee was assaulted, and one of the suspects brandished a firearm and fired a shot in the air,” police said in a statement. “The suspects then fled the scene with a third suspect who was driving the suspect vehicle.”

The vehicle was subsequently found by the Desert Hot Springs Police Department at an unspecified location and as officers attempted to stop it, the three suspects fled on foot, according to police. Only two of the suspects have been apprehended.

Mendez was allegedly the driver, according to police. The boy — who was booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of second-degree robbery, being a minor in possession of live ammunition and of a handgun, carrying a loaded handgun, and conspiracy — allegedly fired the gun.

The third suspect remained outstanding.

Anyone with information on the robbery was asked to call the police department’s investigations division at 760-323-8121 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 760-347-7867.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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