Longview police Saturday have arrested one of three men suspected of robbing a Rite Aid July 22 and knocking down an 18-year-old employee who tried to stop them by putting herself between them and the door.
The employee’s actions may have also helped police confirm the identity of one of the suspects.
The robbery occurred just before 8 p.m., according to court records. Alexander Grant Meyers, 18, of Castle Rock and two other men allegedly entered a Rite Aid store in Longview’s Triangle Center, took several bottles of alcohol and started to leave the store without paying.
An 18-year-old employee attempted to stop them by blocking the doors with her body and telling them to stop, according to court documents. All three men then rushed the door, and one of the suspected robbers, Eryk Boissonnault, could be seen on video footage knocking the employee to the ground, according to records.
The employee, who hurt her left wrist and bruised her legs from the fall, ripped off a piece of one suspect’s shirt and a necklace during the altercation. The suspects entered a vehicle outside the store and fled. The Daily News was unable to reach the employee Tuesday.
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Officers several days later stopped a vehicle occupied by Austin Qualls, who admitted to being present the night of the alleged robbery, according to records. He told officers that he gave the three men a ride to get alcohol and later dropped them off at Roy Morse Park. Qualls said he asked Boissonnault why his shirt was ripped. Boissonnault replied that he was in an altercation and “pushed a girl down,” according to records.
Officers Saturday found and arrested Meyers, who admitted to taking the alcohol to pay back a debt owed to Qualls. He said Qualls forced him, Boissonnault and a third suspect, David Beck, to steal the alcohol.
Meyers was ordered held in the Cowlitz County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail Monday. The Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office has until Wednesday afternoon to file charges within the 72-hour booking rule. He will enter a plea to any charges he may face on Aug. 13.
Longview police have developed probable cause to arrest Boissonnault and Beck on suspicion of first-degree robbery and are actively searching for the two men, Longview Police Sgt. Brian Streissguth said Tuesday.