A Ballston man is in jail on charges of robbery and kidnapping after alert customers intervened in an robbery attempt Thursday afternoon at the Route 50 Xtra-Mart.
Clinton L. King, 52, is accused of holding a knife to the throat of the convenience store clerk. He fled when customer Thomas LeTendre entered the store, and LeTendre and two other men chased and tackled him.
“We got him in a headlock and just held him until the police got there,” said LeTendre, 54, of Charlton, a union electrician.
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. King was charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping, according to state police.
LeTendre said he was outside the store when the female clerk threw a can at the window, apparently trying to alert bystanders that something was wrong.
“I ran inside, and he’s got a knife at her throat behind the counter,” he said.
LeTendre said when he entered, King came around the counter in a threatening manner and then ran outside.
LeTendre and another customer, Michael Wyman, chased the suspect behind the CVS Pharmacy and into a backyard on Lake Hill Road, said state police spokesman Trooper Mark Cepiel. King ran into the Lake Hill Road yard of Glen Watkins, a friend of LeTendre’s, who came out to help.
“Once there were three of us, we took him down,” LeTendre said.
Cepiel acknowledged that the men’s actions in intervening and catching the suspect could be seen as heroic, but on Friday LeTendre was modest.
“I don’t know about being a hero,” he said. “Just do the right thing.”
Nothing was taken in the attempted robbery, Cepiel said.
King was arraigned in Ballston Town Court and sent to the Saratoga County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.