Armed robber brandishes 'Rambo-style knife' at Norwalk store

Cary Ashby • Dec 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM

A Monroeville man accused of brandishing a knife at a convenience store clerk was arrested early Tuesday morning after a short foot pursuit.

Eugene A. Stallard, 32, of 2190 E. U.S. 20, was in custody about five minutes after the armed robbery at Mickey Mart, 123 Whittlesey Ave. The Norwalk Police Department was alerted at 2:10 a.m.

The clerk reported the suspect was wearing all black and reportedly brandished a knife, which was about 11 inches long, police said.

"It was a Rambo-style knife. I saw a picture of it," Capt. Mike Conney said. "He had the knife and demanded the money from the register."

The suspect fled the scene on foot going westbound on League Street.

Officer Larry Noftz responded to Mickey Mart while Officer Zack O'Neil and Sgt. Tom Cook searched the nearby area.

About 2:15 a.m., O'Neil reported seeing Stallard, who matched the clerk's description of the robber, at a Bank Street driveway, Conney said.

"Zack was driving up. This guy was on foot," Conney said.

"He fit the description that was given, so Zack ordered him to stop," Conney said. "He did (stop) momentarily. He decided not to stay around and he took off."

A knife appeared to fall out of Stallard's waistband as he ran.

"Other items also began falling," Conney said, referring to a black scarf, black zip-up coat, two blue latex gloves and a black backpack.

"(O'Neil) says he (Stallard) stumbled on the ground and was placed under arrest," Conney said. "It (the officer's report) doesn't say he resisted."

Police estimate the foot pursuit covered 40 yards.

While the officer searched Stallard, he reported finding a "large wad" of money totaling $208 in the right front pocket of the suspect's pants, Conney said.

Once Stallard was secured in a cruiser, he said, "I messed up real bad," he added.

Stallard was charged with robbery, a first-degree felony. If convicted, he faces three to 11 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

The suspect also was arrested on a Norwalk Municipal Court warrant. He was charged with failure to pay restitution for a receiving stolen property conviction.

Police seized the knife, clothing articles and backpack that reportedly fell during the chase plus Stallard's tennis shoes and a black stocking cap as evidence. It's unknown if the suspect was wearing a mask during the incident.

Stallard must post a $75,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail.

Conney complimented the effort of "the entire third shift" in arresting the suspect so quickly.

"It was outstanding police work," he said.

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