Alleged $50 Bribe Fails

Theh he punched him, police said.

An accused shoplifter tried to bribe a Westfarms Mall security officer into letting him go and then tried to slash the officer with a switchblade, according to Farmington police.

A Westfarms Mall employee called security officers on Thursday to report Alexander Barber, 29, of Hartford, and Joan Antonio Cartagena, 26, of Hartford, for alleged shoplifting at Lord & Taylor on Thursday.

When security officers tried to take the men into custody, they tried to drive away from the mall but hit a light pole and fled, police said.

The security officer did not let up. He chased Barber and found him behind a house in West Hartford.

In an attempt to get away, Barber offered the officer $50 to let him go, according to police.

But the officer continued the chase and Barber tried to slash him with a switchblade and then punched him in the face, according to the police report.

Farmington police took Barber into custody behind the Toys ‘R Us in West Hartford and took away the knife.

Barber was treated for facial injuries.

A Newington police officer took Cartagena into custody.

Both men are being held on a $50,000 surety bond. They were charged with larceny and robbery. Barber was also charged with carrying a dangerous weapon.

The men gave police the name of another person involved and police are obtaining a warrant.

A woman who was in the car was injured and transported to UConn Medical Center. She was not involved in the alleged shoplifting, police said.

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