They saw him take a box of cereal from the display, but didn’t see the hidden machete.
Pierce County sheriff’s deputies say a 21-year-old walked into a Puyallup grocery store Wednesday and took a box of cereal and gallon of milk.
When a store employee followed him into the parking lot to demand he return the items, the man allegedly pulled out a machete in a threatening manner.
A customer reported seeing him swing the machete around.
The employee backed off and called 911.
Deputies found the man at a homeless camp on Canyon Road. A machete, cereal and milk were beneath the tarp he used as a shelter, according to court records.
The man denied being at the grocery store that night but contradicted himself by saying the employee “put his hands on me,” records show.
Prosecutors charged the man with first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. He pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released without bail.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653