Missoula Man in Custody After Cutting Tags Off Merchandise, Threatening Employees With Knife
Missoula Police have a man in custody who was arrested shortly after store employees found him cutting tags off of clothing in a local store on Monday night.
“It happened at around 8:00 P.M. in the 3000 block of Paxson Street," said Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "A male entered and was apprehended after he was observed attempting to cut tags off of merchandise with a bladed instrument. He was escorted into the office where he appeared to cooperate, and the instrument he was using to cut the tags was, at first, placed on a table nearby.”
Things probably would have resolved without incident if the knife had stayed on the table, but things took a sudden turn.
“At one point he lunged for it, and grabbed it, made a motion that was somewhat threatening toward the loss prevention employees, and then ran out of the business with the loss prevention officers following behind him at a safe distance," Welsh said. "They called 911 on their cell phones, made contact, and police responded.”
The suspect also placed the knife to his own throat and threatened to harm himself if store employees didn't let him leave. Shortly after leaving, police identified the man as 31-year-old John Clayton Skinner. It is unclear if Skinner was trying to cut the tags off merchandise in order to take it, return it for money, or some other reason.