PD: Man with machete robs Walmart market in Mesa

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Steven Joseph Flores By Jennifer Thomas Steven Joseph Flores By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- A 26-year-old man accused of robbing a Mesa store armed with a machete was arrested after a brief struggle with police officers Monday morning.

Steven Joseph Flores was taken into custody for robbery and aggravated assault charges.

Mesa police spokesman Sgt. Tony Landato said officers responded to an armed robbery at the Walmart Neighborhood Market near Guadalupe and Hawes roads at approximately 4 a.m.

The suspect was described as a black male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and armed with a machete. Witnesses said he fled westbound on foot and jumped the wall into the neighborhood.

A perimeter was set up in the neighborhood.

Officers contacted a person who initially did not fit the suspect's description and was let go from the area, according to Landato. Within minutes an updated description stated that the suspect had changed clothes in the area and now matched that person.

Officers found clothing that matched the initial description of the suspect in the area and located a machete.

An officer heard a door slam at a home in the area and police went to the residence. Landato said the person who initially was stopped came out and struggled with the officers.

Landato said the suspect had to be taken to the ground and several officers were exposed to his blood on their intact skin. No officers were injured.