Police: Women Trashed New Haven Store; Cashier Has Finger Bitten

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Police arrested two women who allegedly trashed the Gateway Food Store on Church Street Monday evening.

Brianna Smith, 18, and Arnish Aldridge, 21, had ordered a sandwich and a drink around 5:20 p.m., but snapped with it came time pay, police said.

As the clerk, Saleem Muhammed, 52, processed their ETB card for payment, Aldridge screamed that she didn’t want to pay for the sandwich.

She and Smith tossed store merchandise and toppled displays. Smith bit Muhammed’s finger and spit in his face, police said.

The women then threw the register on the floor and splashed bleach around the shop and on a customer, police said.

Smith and Aldridge ran out with eight rolls of pennies from the register, but were caught in the store parking lot by arriving officers, police said.

They denied the allegations, but witnesses corroborated Muhammed’s account of their rampage and the rolls of pennies were by their feet, police said.

Aldridge and Smith were charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, second degree breach of peace, sixth degree larceny and conspiracy.

Story by Hilda Muñoz, The Hartford Courant

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