Suspect allegedly demanded alcohol, broke glass door

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FARMINGTON — A Farmington man is accused of robbing a San Juan County gas station with a broken glass bottle.

Ernest Begay, 38, is accused of felony counts of armed robbery, criminal damage to property and a misdemeanor count of larceny, according to court records.

Begay is accused of robbing the Giant gas station along U.S. Highway 550 south of Bloomfield on Oct 24, taking two bottles of alcohol and breaking a glass door, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Sarah Field, Begay's public defender, said the case recently was assigned to the public defender's office, and it's too early to comment on the case.

Deputies for the San Juan County Sheriff's Office were dispatched around 10:31 p.m. on Oct. 24 in reference to an armed robbery that had occurred at the Giant gas station, according to court documents.

The suspect, later identified as Begay, was at the gas station when deputies arrived on the scene.

The affidavit states Begay was not complying with verbal commands, and a taser was used on him by a deputy.

The two female employees working at the gas station told a deputy Begay entered the gas station, told them he had a gun and said he didn't want to hurt them. Begay then allegedly lifted his shirt to show a pair of sunglasses that were stuffed into the waistband of his pants.

One of the victims told a deputy Begay then pulled a broken glass bottle from his pants and held it in his hand as he demanded alcohol.

Begay allegedly received two bottles of whiskey and left the store. The victims locked the front doors after Begay left the building.

One of the victims told a deputy Begay tried to re-enter the gas station but was unable to. He allegedly punched the door and broke the glass.

One of the employees called the store manager, who told them it would cost $1,000 to replace the glass.

This is one of Begay's three pending cases in San Juan County magistrate courts, according to court records. He also is accused of two felony counts of battery on a peace officer, along with a felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Begay was incarcerated Friday at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on a no-bond hold.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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