Posted: Mar 21, 2011 10:51 PM by Maddie Garrett
Updated: Mar 21, 2011 10:56 PM
A New Iberia man accused of going on a crime spree in Lafayette is now in police custody. 29-year-old Russell Giangrosso Jr. is accused of robbing the Jefferson Drug Store at gun point around 4:00 p.m. Monday. But that wasn't his only crime, and it was all caught on camera.
"We've been here seven years and that's the first time anything has happened in this neighborhood," said Alyce Wise.
Wise owns Camellia House at the corning of Jefferson and St. Charles in Lafayette, right across the street from Jefferson Drug Store. Monday her usually relaxing pilates class was interrupted when half a dozen cop cars and an ambulance pulled up outside.
"It's a little scary but then, I don't know, I don't feel like our business is in any danger or anything like that," said Wise.
The commotion started when police say Giangrosso entered the store, pulled out a gun and demanded narcotics from the pharmacy.
"He then went behind the counter to get the narcotics at which time three employees began a physical altercation with him," said Corporal Paul Mouton, Public Information Officer for the Lafayette Police Department.
After about a minute of struggling with employees the suspect escaped with some OxyContin, a powerful pain medication. He then drove off in a white GMC pickup truck. The whole incident was caught on the pharmacy's surveillance cameras.
"I think, not smart. And I know they have cameras and everything," said Wise.
Mouton said robbing a store in the middle of the day isn't that common.
"We don't normally get too many pharmacy robberies because most of them are open just during the day, and a lot of pharmacies have very good video surveillance as far as other security measures, which kind of deters those things from happening," he explained.
Police said that GMC truck was stolen just minutes before the robbery. And the gun left at the scene is actually a B-B gun.
About an hour after the robbery the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office notified Lafayette Police that they had Giangrosso in custody. Officers first took him to the hospital. Once released Giangrosso will be transported to the Lafayette jail. The victims were treated for minor injuries at the scene.