Last month, the RCMP arrested 32-year-old Roy Russell not far from Skipper Joe’s convenience store in Spruce Park in Happy Valley Goose Bay. According to an RCMP press release, “The police were called after a (man) was observed outdoors in the Spruce Park area yelling and carrying a baseball bat. The man broke into into a house and then proceeded to enter a convenience store, slamming the baseball bat on the counter and threatening staff.”
Russell will be in court on March 22nd, after his court ordered psychiatric assessment is completed at the Waterford Hospital. He will be facing charges of robbery with violence, assault with a weapon, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, possession of cocaine, and impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
Two of the people who claimed to have witnessed the encounter were Town employees who were using Skipper Joe’s to do some routine water tests. Employee #1 went into the store to take the samples, while Employee #2 stayed in the truck.
“I was testing water and I seen somebody come across the window, bald headed fella, and looked to be a bat in his hand,” said employee #1.
According to the witness, the man then approached the cashier at the front counter and kept yelling for her to call the cops.
“The clerk, she proceeded to dial the cops. I wasn’t sure, then, if she’d gotten through or not. And she was scared, the poor ol’ thing.”
“I then got out my cell phone and I called the cops.”
According to the witness, the man used the bat (which was sharp from having been broken off) to shove items off the counter, and smacked the side of a cooler where sub sandwiches were kept.
Employee #1 said he wasn’t threatened or approached by the man during the encounter.
“He looked over my way twice, but he never made no advances over towards me.”
Eventually, Russell left the store. Employee #2 says he was in the driver’s seat of the municipal truck, when he saw the man approach.
“He kinda caught my eye right away. He had a broken off bat, no coat…,” he says.
According to the employee, the man got into the passenger seat and yelled “drive man, drive. Just drive!”
Employee #2 says that he thought about trying to disarm the man of the sharp bat, but after doing some quick calculations in his mind, decided against it. He says he realized there wasn’t much space to wrestle the bat from his hand while they were inside the vehicle.
Employee #2 says he decided to jump out of the vehicle. That’s when, according to the witness, the man moved to the drivers seat and took off. Shortly after, the truck was found in a snow bank and the RCMP apprehended the man.