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Fight involving knife inside Grass Valley pharmacy ends in two arrests (video)

Liz Kellar
Staff Writer
Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Two men burst into a Grass Valley pharmacy Tuesday afternoon during an altercation that allegedly began over a domestic violence incident, knocking over displays, throwing items grabbed off the shelves and sending employees and customers running for safety.

Officers from Grass Valley and Nevada City Police departments, Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers all converged on the Spring Hill Pharmacy in the 100 block of Catherine Lane, after a 911 caller reported a fight possibly involving a gun and a knife at about 2 p.m.

Two Grass Valley Police officers made entry into the building and quickly subdued Jayson Edward Rose, 21, and Glenn Byron Smith, 42, said Capt. Rex Marks.

Rose allegedly was in possession of a 5-inch straight-blade knife, Marks said. No gun was found.

According to witnesses, Smith had chased Rose from across the street, possibly in an attempt to detain him.

At least one startled pharmacy employee initially thought a car had crashed into the building after Rose hit a plate glass window at the side of the store hard enough to shatter it; it was not clear if he fell or was pushed.

The two men then ran into the store, where about 12 employees and three or four customers were present, said owner David DeMartini.

“They were yelling at each other,” DeMartini said, adding that Smith was blocking the entrance so no one could exit. ”We all huddled together to be safe and called 911.”

The two men “were grabbing things off the shelves and throwing things at each other,” said one man who witnessed the scene from outside the store.

According to some of the pharmacy employees, Smith was trying to keep Rose inside the store and was yelling for them to call 911. During the altercation, both men moved up and down the aisles, knocking over displays, they said.

The employees and customers eventually were able to leave the store by a back door, although two people reportedly were still inside the store when officers entered, hiding behind a counter. Everyone was unharmed, Marks said.

After his arrest, Rose complained of having a seizure and was transported to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, Marks said. He was treated and released to police custody, and was booked into county jail on suspicion of brandishing a weapon, as well as a no-bail warrant, according to Marks.

Smith was booked on suspicion of causing a disturbance, Marks said. His bail was not available as of press time.

Rose is the suspect in a domestic violence incident involving a pregnant woman who used to date Smith. The woman had contacted Grass Valley Police earlier in the day and an officer had spoken to Smith, Marks said.

Smith allegedly had told several witnesses police officers told him to beat up Rose, an assertion that Marks disputed.

“We would never say that,” Marks said. “The domestic violence incident was being investigated, and officers were out there trying to find (Rose).”

Rose was arrested several times in 2011 and 2012, according to The Union archives. He was arrested in April 2012 after Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance, and Rose allegedly provided a false name and was found with needles. In that instance, he was arrested on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia, giving a false ID to police and violating probation. Later that month, he was arrested on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia, giving a false ID to police and violating probation after a number of items from at least six Nevada City burglaries were seized from a Forest Knolls residence.

He also was arrested by a Grass Valley Police officer in late July 2011 on suspicion of burglary, after being spotted wearing a long-haired wig in an apparent attempt to evade detection. In late December 2011, he allegedly resisted arrest by narcotics officers, provided a fake name then claimed he had been having a seizure. In that case, he was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, providing a false identity and violating probation.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

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