A Newton man allegedly struck and bit employees of a Sparta liquor store while causing hundreds of dollars of damage after trying to steal a cigar, according to police.
Police also said the man was arrested after the employees and a customer held him down while waiting for authorities on Monday night.
Michael Martinez, 19, was arrested and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal mischief, simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to a report released by Sgt. John-Paul Beebe.
Beebe said when police arrived at the White Deer Liquor store at about 6:15 p.m. they found a store employee and a customer holding Martinez down on the floor.
According to Beebe, Martinez had entered the store and attempted to purchase a cigar, when a store employee requested ID from him. Once Martinez declined to show his ID and the employee said he couldn't purchase the item, he cursed at the worker and attempted to steal the cigar, Beebe said.
When the employee confronted Martinez as he was leaving, Marintez struck the employee in the face with a bottle, Beebe said.
Beebe said the two then fought, which resulted in a wine rack being pushed over and hundreds of dollars of stock being broken.
Martinez then headed over to the counter near the cash register where he was confronted by a second employee, according to Beebe. Beebe said Martinez began fighting with the second employee and bit his arm.
A customer entered soon after, and helped the employees hold Martinez down on the floor until police arrived, Beebe said.
Beebe said Martinez was then arrested and transported to police headquarters for processing. Bail has been set at $59,500 without a 10 percent option, and he has been transported to the Sussex County Jail, Beebe said.
According to Beebe, the two store employees were treated at the scene by the Sparta Volunteer Ambulance Service and both sought more treatment from private physicians.
Beebe said Officer Richard Smith and Detective Terrence Mulligan are currently investigating the incident.