Three of the four women who stand accused of robbing a Popeye’s worker have now been arrested. A fourth is still on the lam. The women rode up in their vehicle through a drive-through when they attempted to hold the cashier at gunpoint. The man who was immediately behind them in the drive-through recorded the incident on his cellphone.
The video appears to show the driver of the vehicle arguing with the cashier right before she threw several punches. At that point, the women exited the car to also confront the cashier. At some point, one of the women reached into the cash register and stole some of the money. Additionally, one of the four women sprayed pepper spray or mace into the restaurant. Customers were running out coughing. After that, they drove off.
Police do not have the identity of the fourth woman.
Tallying Up the Charges
Robbery is, of course, illegal. However, none of these incidents sounds as if it was planned very well. Perhaps the point was to start an argument with the cashier to cause some kind of distraction and then grab the money from the register. However, once the money was taken from the register and the pepper spray was discharged inside the restaurant, it became an armed robbery. Additionally, if anyone suffered injury because of the pepper spray, the police could charge that as a battery. In fact, they could probably charge battery anyway simply because the pepper spray was discharged.
The discharge of the pepper spray within the restaurant is going to create problems for these defendants. Not only is pepper spray considered a weapon for the purposes of armed robbery, but it constitutes battery on anyone within Popeye’s at the time.
How the Prosecution Will Unfold
It is typical in situations like this for police to fill in the blanks with information gleaned directly from the suspects. At this point, all three suspects are facing armed robbery charges which can result in life sentences under certain situations. None of them would be facing armed robbery charges had the pepper spray not been deployed in the restaurant.
Prosecutors will likely use multi-decade sentences to leverage one of the suspects to turn on the other three. They will likely need to provide the name of the fourth robber and discuss whether or not this was planned. If it was planned, then they can throw the ringleader under the bus in the hopes that their sentence would be reduced to somewhere around 10 years. But only one of them will get that deal and the prosecution will award the lighter sentence to the suspect that speaks first.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing charges related to a robbery or armed robbery, Florida laws are quite strict and armed robbery can lead to a life sentence. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to discuss your situation in more detail and allow us to begin preparing your defense.