At around 5:15 on Tuesday, Missoula Police Officers responded to a disturbance at Missoula Fresh Market. While officers were on their way, they learned that a shoplifting suspect was fighting with an employee at the store. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“When they arrived, they immediately took 24-year-old Antonio Moreno into custody,” Welsh said. “The officers learned that the store employee had observed Mr. Moreno conceal items on his person and that he attempted to leave the store without paying for them. When the employee stopped him, he reported that Mr. Moreno grabbed him by the throat and shoved him back in an attempted to get out of the store. The employee reported to the officers that he grabbed Mr. Moreno and held him down until officers arrived.”

According to court documents, the employee saw Moreno attempting to leave the store with a bottle of wine concealed in his jacket and a bottle of wine in his hand.

An officer observed red marks on the employee’s neck, and the employee said they were caused by Moreno.  The officer also observed an injury on the employee’s right hand.

Moreno said he went into the store to steal some alcohol for his friends and that he believed employees would not be able to stop him from doing so.

Moreno was eventually transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. He was charged with robbery for assaulting the employee while committing a theft.