Charged thief punched Fargo liquor store clerk 10 times, prosecutors say

FARGO – Fargo man faces robbery and refusal to stop charges after police say he attempted to steal a bottle of whiskey from a liquor store and hit an employee who was chasing him .

Michele Preston Perona, 31, appeared in Cass County District Court on Friday (September 3) to face charges related to a Thursday afternoon report of a robbery.

Prosecutors allege Perona stole a bottle of Crown Royal from Chub’s Pub and Package Place at 421 N. University Drive. One of the employees ran after Perona and grabbed the accused’s shirt in an attempt to arrest him, court documents show.

Perona punched the employee 10 times and the employee let go, court documents show. The employee sustained several injuries, including to his right arm and upper lip.

An officer found Perona running north of the liquor store, and he fled from the officer but was arrested by another officer, court documents show. He obeyed orders to lie on the ground so that officers could arrest him.

Medical staff assessed Perona after he appeared to be having a seizure and banged his head against the concrete where he was handcuffed. He was eventually cleared by medical staff and taken to prison.

Perona told authorities he hit the employee because he “doesn’t like being caught,” court documents say.

Perona requested a defense attorney and was being held in Cass County Jail Friday.