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Fargo teen faces 3 felonies after customer foils gas station holdup

John Holeton1 / 2
Fargo police responded to a report of a robbery at the Tesoro store, 3202 33rd St. S. Robin Huebner / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO – An 18-year-old man was charged with three felonies Monday, Feb. 12, after a gas station customer thwarted an armed robbery over the weekend in south Fargo.

John Holeton, of Fargo, was arrested late Sunday night, Feb. 11, on suspicion of trying to rob Tesoro at 3202 33rd St. S. He was charged in Cass County District Court with robbery, possession of a stolen firearm and aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon.

Fargo police received a report about 8:20 p.m. Sunday of an armed robbery at the gas station. Police said a male customer foiled the robbery attempt when he saw a man with a gun walking toward the store and confronted him once he was inside. The suspect had a rifle described as a small-caliber long gun, which the customer grabbed from the suspect.

The aggravated assault charge stemmed from Holeton allegedly striking the customer in the throat with the rifle barrel, according to court documents. The customer suffered minor scrapes during the scuffle, police said.

An officer arriving at the gas station saw a man fleeing southbound wearing a white face mask and black clothing. Police then reviewed surveillance video from nearby Essentia Hospital and saw a man in dark clothing fleeing the gas station. The man was seen running through the Essentia overflow parking lot and toward storage units before he was picked up by a car, which drove south out of the area, court documents said.

An unmarked police car conducted surveillance in the 600 block of Fargo’s 21st Street South where a source had indicated the robbery suspect would be. That source notified police they would be picking up the suspect, who was identified as Holeton, court documents said.

While conducting surveillance, officers saw a possible lookout for Holeton taking items out of a dark car in the 600 block of 21st Street South and putting those items into another vehicle, court documents said.

Holeton then got into the source’s vehicle and was followed to the 1600 block of 34th Street South, where he and two other people in the vehicle were taken into custody at about midnight, court documents said.

A search of two backpacks found two open and partially consumed bottles of liquor, court documents stated. Along with the felony charges, Holeton was cited for minor in possession of alcohol and possession of alcohol in public or a vehicle.

Forum reporter Robin Huebner contributed to this report.

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