In July, a brave Starbucks customer stopped a robber using a toy gun and knife in an attempt to rob his local Fresno Starbucks. Now, the mother of the criminal says he is planning to sue the Good Samaritan for “excessive force.”
Ryan Flores, 30, attempted to rob the Fresno Starbucks near Herndon Avenue and Highway 99.
Surveillance video caught the robbery.
Cregg Jerri, 58, stopped the crime by attacking Flores from behind with a chair and then proceeded to beat him into submission onto the floor after the two scuffled in the store.
Now, the family of Flores is saying their son is planning to sue Jerri for using “excessive force.”
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Both men were injured in the fight.
However, Flores ended up with 17 stab wounds after he stabbed Jerri in the neck and Jerri grabbed the knife from him.
According to the Fresno Bee:
In a news conference, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer praised Jerri as a hero who stepped up to stop the crime. No one else in the Starbucks at that moment was hurt.
But Flores’ parents, Pamela Chimenti and Mark Flores, say Jerri’s actions were a clear case of excessive force, that Flores nearly died in the emergency room, and that Jerri should be charged with committing a more serious offense than their son.
However, Ty Kharazi, an attorney called on to represent Jerri, as well as Fresno attorney William Schmidt, who works on excessive-force cases, say the chances of Jerri facing penalties are slim. Jerri could not be reached for comment.
Chimenti said her son nearly died twice while in intensive care from stab wounds in his torso but was revived. She described the wounds he received as “kill strikes.”
“Once you have somebody down, you can’t keep stabbing them,” Chimenti said.
“The guy, in my opinion, went from a Good Samaritan to a vigilante,” she said. “Stabbing somebody that many times, it doesn’t take that many stab wounds to get somebody to succumb to you.”
It depends on how much the adrenaline is flowing and quick those stabs are going in the moment.
“I understand he (Ryan Flores) robbed the store but (Jerri) stabbed my son 17 times,” Flores said.
No one is ever going to convict Jerri nor will they award money to a criminal because he was stopped in the commission of his crime.
Perhaps this is all stemming from what Judge Wayne Ellison, who believed that excessive force was used, said in August, when he advised Jerri to acquire an attorney.
Apparently, Flores believed that was a signal that the family could sue Jerri.
However, Kharazi refuted that claim by saying that the judge was “trying to watch our for” Jerri.
“He (Flores) pulled a gun, the (cashier) starts laughing at him,” he said. “Then he pulls a knife and (Jerri) was hitting him with the chair. (Flores) turns and stabs Jerri … My client is a good Samaritan.”
Attorney Schmidt added, a bystander “does have the right to use lethal force in self-defense, or the defense of others. However, there is no blanket liability.”
He also said that plaintiffs would have to show the bystander displayed “unreasonable malice” in his actions, which is laughable in this case.
Mr. Flores had never been in jail before. However, he became addicted to drugs after he was prescribed opioids following a motorcycle wreck.
The Fresnobee reports, “The day of the robbery, he said he was high on methadone as well as a Xanax derivative and alcohol (Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders). He was short of cash for his wife and 2 ½-year-old son when he grabbed the fake gun and jumped into his pickup. As usual, he was carrying the knife.”
He theorized that robbing Starbucks rather than a 76 gas station would not hurt a corporation in the same manner it would an owner of a gas station.
While I think anyone can understand someone coming on hard times, the response is not to commit a crime and threaten other people, which is something Flores did.
The parents should be ashamed of themselves for attacking and even contemplating suing Jerri because they raised a son who became a criminal.
The fault is all Flores.
He’s fortunate that he got out of there alive.
The family is not even considering that fact that their son threatened employees with what they believed to be a real gun and a knife. No one was the wiser.
They further fail to understand their son stabbed Jerri in the neck. That could have proved fatal, and then what would these people be crying about? Would they still be crying excessive force after the man who stopped their criminal son was alive by Jerri dead? Probably.
“To say that Cregg Jerri is going to be sued for intervening in an armed robbery and being stabbed in the neck,” said Chief Dyer. “That is ludicrous!”
Indeed, it is.
Flores is being held on a $155,000 dollars bail, and is expected back in court next month.
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About the Author: Tim Brown