A wild fight between a Fresno Starbucks customer and a knife-wielding robber was caught on surveillance video, showing how a 58-year-old man who police Chief Jerry Dyer called a “courageous hero” put his own life at risk to thwart the crime.
Both hero Cregg Jerri, 58, and suspect Ryan Michael Florez, 30, were stabbed during the fight Thursday that lasted for about a minute. Florez got away and later tried to tell police he was himself a victim of a robbery.
Friday, Dyer said police got their man – Florez. Dyer showed the video at a news conference and said that Florez will be charged with attempted armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon when he is booked into Fresno County Jail.
For now, Florez is in the hospital. He will be there for a few days recovering from stab wounds he received with his own knife during the fight with Jerri.
Jerri needed a few staples to close a stab wound he received during the fight.
The confrontation happened just before 5 p.m. Thursday. Florez entered the Starbucks at Herndon Avenue and Golden State Boulevard in northwest Fresno carrying a yellow bag, armed with a big knife and a replica handgun while wearing a blue “Transformers” mask. He went to the counter and demanded money, Dyer said.
Jerri, 58, was seated at a table using a tablet. Soon after Florez made his demands, Jerri grabbed a chair and slammed it on Florez’s back twice.
A fight ensued and eventually Florez stabbed Jerri in the neck. Jerri got hold of Florez’s knife and stabbed Florez in the face and torso.
Florez was able to get away and drove a truck to Dakota and Fruit avenues, where he abandoned it and ran toward a canal. Passersby noticed him bloodied and called police for help. Florez told officers he had fallen victim to a robbery.
By the time Florez was taken to the hospital, police had already determined Florez was the suspect in the attempted Starbucks robbery. Friday, Dyer said Florez has no adult criminal history. The only time police have confronted him was when Florez was a juvenile, Dyer said.
Dyer said Jerri is a frequent customer at the Starbucks and knows the baristas. Thursday, he had dropped by after work.
“He was a pleasure to talk to,” Dyer said. “It’s good to talk to heroes.”