MESA, Ariz. — Police say DNA helped them arrest a man who allegedly stabbed a store clerk in Mesa, Arizona, back in September.
On Sept. 21, 2022, around 4 p.m., Mesa Police Department said in a news release that officers were called out to a 7-Eleven convenience store near Gilbert and Main for a reported stabbing. When officers arrived at the scene, they learned that a man had entered the store and taken a drink without paying. The employee confronted him outside the store, which is when the man allegedly pushed the clerk to the ground.
MPD said the man then allegedly began hitting and kicking him repeatedly. MPD said he allegedly pulled out a knife, stabbed the clerk and left the area.
The man was reportedly seen going into a McDonald’s, according to MPD. Officers went inside and learned that the man had already left and hopped onto the light rail train. Officers, however, did learn that when the man was in the restaurant, he reportedly went over to the employee area, grabbed a cup and filled it at the drink station. The manager confronted him. Before leaving, a customer had pepper sprayed him as he left.
MPD said video surveillance was taken from the 7-Eleven, McDonald’s and the light rail for the investigation. Investigators watched the video from 7-Eleven and noticed that a man had thrown out a white water bottle with black writing on it into the trash outside the store. That water bottle was collected and investigators submitted it for evidence and analysis.
Months later, on Nov. 9, the Mesa Crime Lab reported that the DNA from the water bottle came back with a match to Jody Naputi, 31. MPD officers compared his photo to the surveillance videos and confirmed that he was the suspect.
The clerk sustained non-life-threatening injuries, which included a broken wrist, according to KTVK. Naputi has been booked on recommended charges of third-degree burglary and armed robbery. Naputi is also being held on a $100,000 bond.
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