Deputies: Shoplifter reached for their guns during arrest

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Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 5:53 pm

VENICE, Fla. -- Two deputies are recovering from minor injuries after being attacked by a man who says his sole intent was to force law enforcement to shoot him.

Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies responded to the Bealls on South Tamiami Trail in Venice on Tuesday for a reported shoplifter. After concluding their investigation deputies attempted to arrest the suspect. Deputies say he resisted, struck both deputies and tried to take their guns during the struggle.

He was unsuccessful and deputies deployed their Tasers to gain compliance and take him into custody.

24-year-old Joshua Roberts of Sarasota has been charged with Resisting Arrest with Violence; two counts of Attempted Unlawful Taking, Possession or use of Law Enforcement Officer's Firearm; and Petit Theft.

Roberts was first taken to Venice Regional Bayfront Health and later booked into the Sarasota County Jail. He is currently being held on $6,120 bond.

According to the sheriff's office, Roberts has only been in Florida for three months but has been arrested twice already. The first was a March arrest for a retail theft and then for a criminal mischief incident in Venice Friday night. He was released on bond Sunday.

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