Flash mob meet flask mob: Four teens were arrested Tuesday afternoon after they allegedly tried to steal liquor from a Ralphs supermarket and then fought with store employees and police who tried to detain them.
A 16-year-old girl tried to take an officer's sidearm, and a 15-year-old boy punched a cop in the face, according to a Costa Mesa Police statement that only identified them, a 15-year-old girl suspect and a 14-year-old boy suspect by their ages, sexes and cities of residence because they are minors.
Police were called to the market at 380 E. 17th St. around 2:20 p.m. about a shoplifting incident involving several “uncooperative hostile” subjects, according to the statement.
The first officer arrived to find a male and female teen physically fighting with store employees, including a Ralphs loss prevention officer, near a cashier station at the front of the store, according to police.
The cop managed to separate the female teen from the group and handcuff her, but as the officer was seating her the second female teen came up from behind and “forcibly tried to pull and remove his handgun from his duty belt holster,” police said.
An off-duty Orange County sheriff's deputy who had been shopping helped the Costa Mesa officer physically restrain and handcuff the second female, states the release.
Meanwhile, the officer was punched in the face by the 15-year-old male as he was being confronted, but a second arriving Costa Mesa cop helped wrestle that suspect to the ground.
All of the teens taken into custody reside in Costa Mesa except the fourth member of the posse, a 14-year-old male, who lives in Newport Beach, according to police.
No injuries were reported for the teens, but a Costa Mesa cop suffered a bruise and laceration below his right eye that required stitches during a brief visit to Hoag Hospital.
The statement indicates all four teens were bound for Orange County Juvenile Hall for booking on conspiracy to commit robbery. The 15-year-old boy and the girls also face counts of resisting an officer. That boy was also slapped with an assault on an officer charge, while the 16-year-old girl is additionally accused of attempting to take a cop's weapon.