• Published

NIAGARA FALLS – A man who was stopped while allegedly shoplifting a bottle of vodka is facing felony robbery charges after he tried to fight his way out of the store at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at Wedge Liquor, 825 Pine Ave., police said.

Iricray A. Messing, 20, no permanent address, was charged with second-degree robbery, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree harassment, and petit larceny.

A store employee said he tried to stop Messing after the suspect concealed a bottle of vodka in his waistband, and the employee was struck in the face twice with a closed fist. The employee tackled Messing and Messing then threw the bottle of vodka down the aisle, the employee said. A store customer aided the employee in holding Messing until police arrived.

Five bottles of liquor, valued at $150, were knocked off the shelf in the scuffle, according to the police report.

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