A Taylorsville man is facing felony charges after he allegedly punched a gas station employee following a robbery.
Helamen Tuakalau Makalio, 25, is charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery, second-degree felony aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury and misdemeanor theft.
Tooele City police officers were dispatched to the Maverik convenience store on 2000 North at approximately 2 a.m. on Aug. 15, according to a probable cause statement. A witness called dispatch and advised three male suspects had entered the store and stole several packs of beer.
The cashier at the convenience store followed the men outside to attempt to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle, the statement said. One of the suspects, later identified as Makalio, got out of the vehicle and punched the cashier several times, breaking his nose and knocking out several of his teeth.
A witness followed the vehicle to an address near the intersection of 930 N. 680 West, where three men exited the vehicle and entered the home, the probable cause statement said. Officers contacted the homeowner who said several men were in the residence and sleeping, but denied officers entry to the home.
Officers returned to the address and met with the homeowner at 4 a.m., the statement said. After being shown video surveillance from the robbery, the homeowner confirmed the identity of Makalio and another suspect.
After providing a search warrant, officers were able to locate five packs of beer in the residence and clothing matching the description worn by one of the suspects.
Later that day, Makalio turned himself over at the police department, according to the probable cause statement. He admitted to the robbery and said they were fleeing the store when they were confronted by a man who told them they shouldn’t have stolen the beer.
Makalio told police he had been drunk and decided to punch the man who followed them from the store, along with another suspect.
When asked to identify the other suspects, Makalio told police he wouldn’t give them any names, the statement said.
Makalio made his initial appearance in 3rd District Court on Monday, where his bail was set at $10,000 and he was assigned an attorney. He is scheduled to return to court for scheduling conference on Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. before Judge Matthew Bates.