SANTA CRUZ - Police say a woman fought with a store clerk Monday after she was caught trying to steal a bottle of wine in plain view.

An officer was flagged down around 2:40 p.m. for a disturbance at a store on the 1200 block of Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend said.

Witnesses told the officer that Emily Jean Merrill took the wine and was confronted outside by the store manager, who told Merrill to give the bottle back. The manager grabbed the bottle from Merrill, who then grabbed the other woman's hair and began swinging at her. The manager had Merrill, who appeared intoxicated, on the ground when the officer arrived.

Merrill had apparently stolen from the store previously and was no longer welcome there, Friend said.

Merrill, 36, was arrested on suspicion of robbery.


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