A 32-year-old Meriden man accused of robbing a New Haven shell station is accused of robbing another market in New Haven as well as two in Milford.
The man police charged in connection with a robbery at the Shell gas station and market at 141 Willow St. is also suspected earlier robbing Jay-Nez Groceries at 227 Ferry Street, as well as committing two similar robberies in Milford.
Police responded to the Shell gas station and market at 141 Willow St. in New Haven at 5:20 p.m. on Monday for a report of an armed robbery.
When they arrived, the owner of the gas station was holding the shirt he ripped off the robber as the man tried to escape, police said.
The clerk told police that David Nielsen, of Yale Avenue in Meriden, brought an orange Fanta to the counter and asked for a pack of Newports. When the clerk reached for the cigarettes, Nielsen put a knife to his neck and demanded money, police said.
The clerk struggled, grabbing Nielsen's hands and tried to get the knife away from him, police said.
As the owner of the station was coming out of his office, Nielsen ran off, police said.
When the clerk told his boss he’d been held up, the store owner went after Nielsen, who made it as far as pump 3, where he tried grabbed him.
Nielsen got away after breaking out of his own shirt, but police arrested him on Nash Street near Mechanic Street.
While police were arresting him, Nielsen complained that the store owner had ripped his shirt, police said.
The store clerk and owner both identified Nielsen as the perpetrator.
Nielsen is a self-employed trucker with a drug problem, according to statements in court on Tuesday.
His defense attorney said this is out of character for Nielsen, who does have prior possession charges.
Nielsen was charged with robbery in the first degree, larceny in the second degree, carrying a dangerous weapon, criminal attempt to commit assault in the second degree and assault in the second degree of an elderly person.
Bond was set at $100,000 bond per charge. The case was transferred to Part A for Nov 6.