Man, teens charged with beating employees with fists, guns during Pierce Co. robberies

·4 min read

Two men and a 15-year-old accused of robbing three Pierce County convenience stores at gunpoint and beating employees have been charged.

Anthony Cirelli, 23, and Joshua Mack, 18, were charged Monday in Pierce County Superior Court with first-degree assault and three counts of first-degree robbery. Mack was also charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Cirelli and Mack pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday afternoon. Cirelli’s bail was set at $150,000 and Mack’s bail was set at $350,000.

The 15-year-old juvenile was charged Wednesday in Pierce County Juvenile Court with first-degree assault and three counts of first-degree robbery. He is to be arraigned Friday afternoon. The News Tribune does not generally name defendants charged as juveniles.

In charging documents, prosecutors accused the men of being involved in three armed robberies Sunday morning between 9:30 and 11 a.m. at convenience stores and gas stations in Sumner, Edgewood and Lake Tapps.

In each robbery, witnesses or surveillance video showed the suspects fleeing in a gold Honda Accord.

The three suspects were arrested Sunday morning after a Pacific Police Department officer noticed the same vehicle occupied by three men in the parking lot of a convenience store in the 300 block of Milwaukee Boulevard.

The three men were detained and identified as Cirelli, Mack and the juvenile. Prosecutors wrote in charging documents that Cirelli had a roll of bills on him totaling $2,610. Mack was found to be in possession of a small revolver, police said. Officers said they also noticed various items in the car that had been reported stolen in the robberies.

According to the probable cause statement, Mack has previously been convicted of residential burglary and second-degree robbery.

Charging documents gave this account:

Officers from Sumner Police Department responded about 9:35 a.m. to the City Limits Deli located at 5101 E Valley Hwy E for a report of an armed robbery with shots fired, according to the declaration for determination of probable cause.

An employee told police that two men wearing face masks and hoods walked in to get a Gatorade, then came to the front counter with guns drawn. One of the men pointed a revolver at the employee’s face while the other knocked things over on the counter.

Descriptions of the suspects provided by the employee matched that of Mack and the juvenile.

While one man punched the store clerk in the face, the other hit him over the head with the revolver, according to the probable cause statement. They took money from the cash register and some vaping products before leaving.

The employee then grabbed his own firearm and followed the men outside, where he fired one shot into the air. The men fired three gunshots in response before fleeing in a gold Honda. No one was injured by the gunfire, but police later found bullet holes in nearby residences.

At 10:20 a.m., officers from Edgewood Police Department responded to a Mobil gas station for a report of an armed robbery. There, police talked with a store clerk who was crying.

The employee told police two men entered the store and immediately began punching her. According to the probable cause statement, surveillance video showed one man punching the store clerk repeatedly, knocking her into a back room. Meanwhile, the other man ransacked the counter area and got out a black revolver.

Then, the men brought the store clerk from the back room and forced her to open the cash register at gunpoint. The men grabbed more items and fled in a gold Honda. Prosecutors did not identify in charging documents which two suspects were involved in the robbery.

At 11 a.m., deputies from Pierce County Sheriff’s Department responded to an armed robbery at the Lake Tapps Mini-Mart located at 18215 9th St. E. When officers arrived, a store employee said two men robbed the store at gunpoint and assaulted him. Prosecutors identified the suspects as Mack and the juvenile.

Prosecutors wrote in the charging documents that surveillance footage showed the two entering the store. Mack allegedly pointed a revolver in the cashier’s face.

The juvenile then began beating the employee with his fists, sending the man to the ground.

Mack stopped the teenager, according to the probable cause statement, and demanded the employee open the register. The suspects emptied the cash register and grabbed tobacco products from the counter.

With the register emptied, prosecutors wrote that Mack went to the cooler to grab a case of beer. Then the juvenile allegedly confronted the employee again, striking the man near the eye and knocking him into a back office.

The two men fled the store and left in a gold Honda Accord.

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