CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pharmacists at a Charleston area drug store were able to stall an alleged thief until police arrived.
Kenneth Christopher Lawson, 38, of 30th Street was arrested Wednesday afternoon inside Trivillian's Drug Store on 35th Street in Kanawha City.
Lawson walked into the store about 12:50 p.m. and demanded oxycodone from the worker at the pharmacy counter, said Sgt. Bobby Eggleton, Charleston's assistant chief of detectives. Lawson passed a note to the worker stating he would harm someone if they did not comply with his demands, Eggleton said.
The worker told the pharmacist what Lawson wanted and was told to stall him, according to a criminal complaint. The worker told Lawson the store didn't carry oxycodone but then he demanded Dilaudid, another potent painkiller.
The pharmacist gave Lawson a paper bag containing two boxes of Fentanyl, powerful painkiller patches.
Cpl. J. Setser, one of the responding officers, parked his cruiser in the 3400 block of Noyes Avenue and walked toward the store. A man leaving the store told Setser a man inside was trying to rob the store.
The officer went into the store and managed to get behind Lawson unseen. Lawson turned and saw the officer but then was ordered to show his hands and to get onto the ground. Another officer handcuffed Lawson.
Police searched Lawson and found no gun, but recovered the bag of Fentanyl. Pharmacy workers told police they had given Lawson the Fentanyl in hopes of stalling him until officers arrived.
Eggleton said Lawson told police he went to Trivillian's after being turned away at Charleston Area Medical Center's Memorial Hospital.
He has been charged with second-degree robbery and is being held at South Central Regional Jail on $50,000 cash only bond.