Local News

Apr 23, 2010 10:02 PM by Ariel Wesler

Police say robbery suspect tried to run them over with car

A suspect leads police on a wild chase after an armed robbery at a local gas station.

The robbery happened just before 1:30a.m. Friday at the Kautz Chevron on the corner of 13th street and West Grand in Grover Beach. The robbery was captured on surveillance video, which we obtained from Mace Security Alarms. An officer ended up shooting the suspect at a nearby mobile home park.

24-year-old David Griffin is behind bars after robbing a Chevron mini mart in Grover Beach with a machete.

"The people who were working here were really shaken up," said Kathy Hogan, an employee at the mini-mart.

After getting away with cash and some lottery tickets, Griffin ran through an apartment complex, where Gabriel barros says he witnessed it all.

"He said 'I'm just doing this for my family' and then he took off," Barros said.

Money in hand, Griffin jumped over the wall, ran across the street, and into the Grover Gardens mobile home park.

"I heard them say, 'Get on the ground! Get on the ground,'" Barros said.>

Refusing to give up, officers say Griffin got into a Chevy sedan, put it in reverse, and tried to run them over. That's when one of the cops opened fire, striking the vehicle several times and Griffin in the upper leg.

"If an officer fears for the safety of himself, other officers, or the general public, then he has the legal right to discharge his firearm," said Grover Beach Police Chief Jim Copsey.

Investigators taped off the entrance to this mobile home park on 13th street. They were there all morning collecting evidence, picking up shell casings and recording body positions. The district attorney's office is leading the investigation.

"That way there's no conflict of interest. We're not investigating our own officer," Copsey said.

While the officer is on paid administrative leave, neighbors are on edge.

"It's concerning that it is next door. It's just a sign of the times. The economy is really bad and people are getting desperate," said Maria Ruelas, who lives nearby.

As for Chevron employees, they're just glad no one was hurt.

"We have our call button just in case and no matter what I know that give up the money. It's not worth your life," Hogan said.

Last October, another officer involved shooting happened in Grover Beach. That officer was cleared of any wrong doing and returned to work.

Griffin is being held at the San Luis Obispo County jail on charges of robbery, kidnapping, and attempted homicide.

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