A Barrington man, 27, faces robbery, kidnapping and felony assault charges after he allegedly stole a bottle of oxycodone from a Riverside pharmacy on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21.
Joel E. LaFrance, of 129 Metropolitan Park Drive, allegedly entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Willett Avenue around 3:55 pm, according to Barrington Police Chief John LaCross and East Providence Det. Capt. Richard Frazier.
LaFrance reportedly forced a pharmacist into a back room using a hypodermic syringe as a weapon, the officers said. LaFrance also reportedly threatened a customer with the syringe, said Frazier. Other details of what happened inside the store were not immediately available.
But LaFrance apparently left the store with the pills and headed toward Richmond Avenue, said LaCross. He allegedly was spotted by a witness running toward that street.
Barrington police officers Wesley McCoy, Timothy Oser, Chris Aylward and Anthony DeCristofaro and Sgt. Josh Birrell were just coming out of roll call, said LaCross. They responded to the call for a robbery in progress.
LaFrance was found on Richmond Avenue heading toward William Street about two minutes after Barrington dispatch received the call. He reportedly threw away a bottle and then attempted to swallow some pills he got out of the bottle while sitting in some grass.
LaFrance was ordered to spit out the pills but he refused, LaCross said.
LaFrance was turned over to East Providence police, who transported him to the hospital for treatment, said Frazier. He was then held overnight in East Providence before being taken to 6th District Court Monday morning, Frazier said.
Disposition of the case in the court was not known. But it is believed he will be held without bail because of the seriousness of the charges, especially the kidnapping.
LaFrance also was charged with possession of narcotics and crimes against a pharmacy.