Fresno Starbucks customer fights robber armed with a knife
Convicted Starbucks robber Ryan Michael Flores was sentenced Wednesday to four years in state prison for the attempted robbery and assault with deadly weapon on a man who stopped him in the act – a crime that was captured by the coffee shop’s video surveillance camera.
Flores, 30, of Fresno, had faced a prison sentence of up to five years and eight months. He was sentenced by Fresno County Superior Court Judge W. Kent Hamlin.
The defendant’s lawyer, Richard Esquivel, said Flores will only have to do two years of his four-year prison sentence because the jury ruled that Flores did not cause great bodily injury to the victim who stopped the robbery.
Flores entered the Starbucks coffee shop at Herndon Avenue and Highway 99 on July 20. The video shows Flores wearing a Transformers mask and holding a gun that was later determined to be fake. While Flores demanded money from a barista, 58-year-old Cregg Jerri snuck up behind Flores and smashed a chair over his head. As the two men fought on the floor, Jerri managed to take a knife from Flores and stabbed him repeatedly.
Flores managed to escape, driving to an area near Ashlan and Fruit avenues, where police found him near a canal after being alerted by residents.
In all, Flores suffered 17 knife wounds. Jerri’s neck wound required seven staple stitches.
During the trial, prosecutor David Olmos told the jury that Jerri’s “ will and fortitude” stopped the robbery. Jerri was later recognized by Police Chief Jerry Dyer for his bravery.
Jurors said the video was a key piece of evidence that helped them come to their decision.
Flores said he robbed Starbucks because he needed money to buy food for his wife and child, as well as diapers. Prior to the attempted robbery, Flores had no criminal record.