State Trooper Walks In On Armed Robbery In Newton

NEWTON (CBS) – Good timing helped stop an armed robbery at a CVS in Newton.

“Right place, right time” is how describes his visit to the CVS on Route 9 near Elliot Street on Friday morning.

Trooper John MacKinnon stopped in to buy a bottle of water and wound up running into a man with a box-cutter who was robbing the pharmacy.

“I stopped in to get a bottled water and honestly, I would have been on my way out if not for a young lady who stopped me and said there’s a strange or suspicious man at the drug counter. So, I walked back in and there he was behind the drug counter,” Trooper MacKinnon said.

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports

Trooper MacKinnon got to the back of the store and saw the man, later identified as Stephen Garland, behind the counter. An employee told the Trooper that the man had a knife.

knife State Trooper Walks In On Armed Robbery In Newton

The boxcutter knife used in an attempted robbery at CVS in Newton.

“He was loading up a plastic bag with a bunch of painkiller meds,” Trooper MacKinnon said. “I pulled my handgun and told him to get his hands up and drop the knife. He hopped the counter and the chase was on.”

MacKinnon put his gun away, grabbed his pepper spray can, chased down Garland in the parking lot outside, and blasted him with the pepper spray.

“I loaded him up pretty good,” said MacKinnon.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Rod Fritz reports

Garland was admitted to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton for observation.

He was supposed to be arraigned Friday afternoon, but police say that arraignment was postponed until after he is released from the hospital.

Police also recovered a stolen Toyota Venza in the parking lot that they Garland had used in the alleged robbery attempt.

When Garland was being brought in to the Brighton barracks, he told reporters, “I’ve been framed, I’m innocent.”

The trooper wanted water, the suspect wanted drugs. The trooper won.

 WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields contributed to this report.

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