A Santa Maria man is in custody after allegedly committing a series of bizarre crimes in Paso Robles on Saturday afternoon, including trying to rob an elderly woman at gunpoint in front of her 8-year-old grandson.
Mario Alejandro Valenciavalencia, 28, was later arrested without incident and booked into County Jail. He is being held on suspicion of attempted armed robbery, false imprisonment, elder abuse, child endangerment, vandalism, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance while carrying a firearm.
No one was injured in any of the incidents.
At about 1:40 p.m. Saturday, Paso Robles police responded to the Rabobank in the 800 block of Spring Street on a report of an attempted armed robbery.
A 72-year-old woman told officers she was finishing an ATM transaction with her 8-year-old grandson in tow when she was confronted by a man who brandished a handgun and demanded her cellphone. When she said she didn’t have one, the man reportedly ran to his vehicle. When the woman attempted to drive away in her vehicle, the man used his car twice to block her from driving away, according to a Paso Robles news release.
At some point, the two vehicles collided and the man drove off.
Around that same time, police received reports of a suspicious subject in the 500 block of Spring Street breaking a window of a parked vehicle. Another witness reported a man was acting erratically inside a nearby check-cashing business.
Officers found Valenciavalencia driving north on Spring Street, and he was detained without incident.
A loaded handgun was found in the vehicle as well as an unidentified controlled substance.
As of Monday afternoon, Valenciavalencia remained in custody at the County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.