Three people were robbed at gunpoint by two men early Sunday in the parking lot of an Atwater bar, police said.
One victim, a 52-year-old man, was punched in the face and lost more than $700 in cash. He also lost his wallet, cellphone and wristwatch, Lt. Samuel Joseph said.
The second victim, a 40-year-old woman, lost her cellphone, officers said. The third victim left before police arrived.
Jose Luis Macias, 34, of Ceres, was arrested a short time later in connection with the robbery, police said.
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Officers responded at 1:36 a.m. to the parking of the Las Munecas Bar, 1034 Sierra Vista St.
Two Latino men flashed a black revolver and demanded “everything you got,” the victims told police.
Both robbers then fled, running west on Sierra Vista Drive, police said.
Officer Saraleann Brooklyn was driving to the scene when she spotted a man matching a suspect description and detained him for questioning. The man, later identified by police as Macias, “became combative” and Brooklyn “took him to the ground” to make the arrest, Joseph said.
“Macias denied any involvement in the robbery and stated he was just in the area at the time of the robbery,” Joseph said.
The victims told police they believe Macias was the man holding the revolver during the robbery. Investigators did not find any weapons or stolen property on Macias, police said.
Macias was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of robbery, obstructing a peace officer and methamphetamine possession. He was still in custody Monday with bail set at $51,500, according to booking records.
No description of the second suspect was available Monday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Atwater Police Department’s detective unit at (209) 357-6394. Callers may remain anonymous.