WALLA WALLA — A man accused of trying to rob a local grocery last month will undergo a mental evaluation by experts from Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake.
Joseph W. Noblitt, 26, of 112 Quail Lane, is charged in Superior Court with second-degree attempted robbery, felony harassment and fourth-degree assault.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Mulhern asked for the evaluation to determine Noblitt’s sanity and competency to stand trial. The evaluation order was signed Monday by Judge Donald W. Schacht.
Officials said Noblitt entered Carniceria La Barata, 22 N. Fifth Ave., about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 20, cut in front of the customer line and demanded the manager, Roman Orozco, to give him money from the cash register.
Noblitt said the store "owed him 10 percent of the sales" and threatened to kill Orozco if he didn’t pay him, according to a police report filed in court.
Orozco pressed the panic button and delayed Noblitt, who appeared to become frustrated and went outside. When Orozco followed to get Noblitt’s license plate number, Noblitt allegedly continued to threaten him and tried to punch him.
Police arrived and Noblitt was arrested.
Orozco told authorities that Noblitt had confronted him a few months ago regarding a Spanish radio station Noblitt was upset about. Noblitt told police "he was upset over the Mexicans and the Spanish radio station following him and talking about him and starting rumors," according to the police report.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.