A robbery turned into a wild scuffle over the weekend at a Roseland gas station and convenience store, as an owner and an employee fought off three teen suspects, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
Sheriff’s officials said the incident, which took place around 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Roseland Gas Mart on Sebastopol Road, involved the owner wielding a golf club to protect himself during the scuffle.
Satnam Singh, owner-operator of the store said his father, Kulwant Singh, a co-owner, was behind the cash register when one of the teens entered the store and began to put candy, chips and other goods inside his large jacket.
The son said his father told the youth to take everything out of the jacket and leave the store, but was distracted when another teenager came in and grabbed his cellphone.
Singh and another employee cornered the youth and demanded he return the phone.
“They tried to detain the two in the store when a third teen comes into the store and assaulted both the owner and clerk,” said Sheriff’s Lt Greg Miller. “It was kind of a melee.”
The incident was captured on video cameras, but the Sheriff’s Office asked that it not be released due to the ongoing investigation.
Miller said the owner’s golf club broke in half during the fight.
“It was a lengthy incident,” said Lt. Miller, estimating the scuffle with swinging fists and grappling went “on and off several minutes” until the teens fled.
Singh said his father has large scratches on his arm and lower back and the employee suffered a broken hand and swelling on his head.
Lt. Miller said “we have some good leads and the video footage is very good,”
He said the cameras are sharp enough to provide facial close-ups that should help identify the suspects.
Meanwhile, there was another incident with teenagers just after 2 p.m. Monday that could be related, involving a convenience mart the Singhs own at the Arco Station at Fourth Street and Brookwood Avenue in Santa Rosa.
Satnam Singh said the same youths were involved, but could not be reached for further comment.
The Arco clerk on Monday said they tried to steal beer and were arrested.
Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Jeneanne Kucker said there was a disturbance or fight, but she didn’t have more detail. She confirmed the juvenile suspects in the Arco incident were tied to something the sheriff’s department was investigating.