A man who allegedly brandished a butter knife in a carjacking attempt fled the scene when an onlooker pulled a gun, Merced police said.
The crime occurred at 2:50 p.m. Friday outside Burger Time, a restaurant two blocks from Merced’s City Hall.
A woman in the parking lot was approached by a man who demanded her car keys while displaying a butter knife. The frightened woman gave him the keys, but the man fled on foot when an onlooker pulled out a gun, police said.
While one police officer was taking the report of the carjacking attempt, his partner found the suspect nearby and arrested him. He matched the description of a man who four hours earlier had robbed a Walgreens about 2 miles away and left on a bicycle.
The suspect admitted both crimes and said he had gone to Burger Time to buy food with the money he stole from Walgreens, police said.
The suspect, age 36, is on parole from Fresno County. He was booked into Merced County jail on suspicion of robbery and attempted carjacking.