CLEARFIELD – A Curwensville man whose behavior prompted drug store employees to hide in the back and call police waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Police say Kevin Tyron Beniquez Sr., 36, was wandering around the store on the Clearfield-Curwensville Highway, rapping and acting strangely on Jan. 19. Although he did not attempt to rob the pharmacy, officers discovered he was carrying a gun.
He is charged with felony counts of possession of firearm prohibited and firearms not to be carried without a license, misdemeanor counts of make repairs/sell/offensive weapon, disorderly conduct, intentional possession of a controlled substance and summary public drunkenness.
Beniquez is being held in the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police received a report of a suspicious male at the store. Witnesses indicated he was “trying to hit on staff and following them around.” County control advised it was a possible robbery in progress.
When officers arrived, they saw a man in a vehicle in the parking lot who said he was there picking up a prescription.
When asked if he knew the man inside, he said “no” but stated he had seen a man acting strangely inside the store. This man was asked to leave the scene.
As officers approached the back of the store, they saw a man matching the description given of the suspect walking back and forth near the pharmacy.
They entered the store and asked the man to show his hands and turn around. He was then handcuffed. It was noted that the man appeared to be under the influence of something.
When asked if he had a weapon on him, he said he did not. A search of the suspect discovered a brass knuckle style weapon in his right vest pocket and a pistol with a round in the chamber and eight rounds in the magazine in his left vest pocket.
In his wallet, they found a white and brown powdery substance.
A check on his identification uncovered the fact that he was on house arrest and had an ankle bracelet with a dead battery. He was on state parole and had a warrant through the state police.
The pistol was found to belong to a woman who when contacted said she did not know how Beniquez had her pistol. She stated that it went missing about a year ago.
One of the witnesses reported that after the man entered the store, he kept talking to her and her co-worker. She described him as being on drugs. He was rapping loudly and scaring her.
Another witness said the man walked up to her and her co-worker saying “mmm which one” and saying he could rap. He then started rapping. After one of them asked the other if they “wanna go do that thing now?” as an excuse to go to the back of the store, the man put up his hood, put his hands in his pockets and started following them.
This is when they locked themselves in the backroom and called police.
This witness said they could still hear him rapping and yelling as he walked around the pharmacy.
Another employee told officials that two men came into the store at the same time. One of them picked up a prescription and was directed to the front of the store to a register to complete his transaction. The other man, Beniquez, “just stared at the counter acting completely weird and rapping.”
This witness took out the garbage and when he came back, Beniquez was still in the front of the store walking around. He confirmed Beniquez followed the girls to the pharmacy.
Based on his behavior, witness No. 3 said he thought Beniquez was going to rob the store. At this point, he called 911 from his cell phone.
During the interviews with witnesses, Beniquez continued yelling and rapping until he was taken to a police cruiser. He continued this behavior when he was at the police station.
One of the officers located the man who had been in the parking lot for questioning.
This man advised he was outside his home when Beniquez asked him where he was going and after the man said he was picking up a prescription, Beniquez asked him for a ride. He noted that Beniquez was acting strangely and rapping when he saw him outside and was doing the same thing on the car ride.
Once they arrived, Beniquez followed him into the store. He got his prescription and then left the store to wait for Beniquez in his car.
This witness said he didn’t want to be in the store any longer because Beniquez was acting oddly like he had “a chip on his shoulder.” He stated he had no idea Beniquez had any weapons or plans to rob the store.
Previously he said he had problems with Beniquez and had almost gotten into physical altercations with him. Beniquez had told him he was part of the “bloods” gang in the past, according to the complaint.