ARLINGTON, Wash. (CIRCA via KOMO) — On Friday morning, John Lewis was on duty at the Trafton General Store in Arlington, located about 40 miles north of Seattle.
Around 3 a.m., a man wearing a giraffe costume walked in and robbed the store, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office released this video of the robber’s short but threatening exchange with Lewis.
“Put 'em up. Get over here now,” you can hear the masked man say in the surveillance video.
Lewis said he tried to stay calm, doing what the robber demanded.
“And I saw a gun in his hand. And that’s really all I saw. And he told me to get behind the counter and open up the register,” Lewis said Sunday.
After Lewis gave the man a handful of cash from the register, the costumed man lifted his arm toward Lewis.
“As soon as he raised his hand, I thought it was a gun, I turned away, and I got pepper-sprayed in the back of the head,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he returned to work Saturday, but admitted it’s hard to return to the place where the incident happened.
“That night, I kind of broke down. It’s still getting to me, knowing he’s still out there.”
“It takes a toll mentally. Even being back, and hearing all of this stuff, I’m shaking because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” Lewis said.
Giraffe man may have hit another convenience store in the same week.
A clerk at another 7-11 nearby called the Trafton General Store saying they had been robbed Saturday night by who the clerk believed is the same man. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the robbery at the Trafton General Store.
Lewis hopes the man is caught before he causes more anguish.
“That night, I kind of broke down," he said. "It’s still getting to me, knowing he’s still out there.”