The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 6, 2014

Alleged armed robber to be arraigned

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A 21-year-old Enid man arrested in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store, after police followed his footprints in the snow back to his house, will be arraigned next week.

Joseph James Turbyfill was arrested Tuesday and was charged Thursday with first-degree robbery, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. He also was arrested on outstanding Garfield County warrants.

Turbyfill is set to appear Thursday before Special District Judge Brian Lovell for arraignment on the charges.

It was a combination of the weather and poor timing that led to Turbyfill’s arrest.

Turbyfill walked into Conoco, 1623 S. Van Buren, at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday, having crossed Van Buren with his face covered from beneath the eyes and wearing a jacket with a hooded sweatshirt underneath, police said.

Once inside the store, Turbyfill walked behind the counter and confronted the clerk with a knife and demanded the clerk open the cash register, according to police. The clerk opened the cash register, and Turbyfill grabbed the money from the drawer.

While the robbery was taking place, another clerk was outside the store clearing sidewalks. As she attempted to enter the store, Turbyfill told her to “Shut the door, or I will kill him,” referring to the clerk he was holding at knifepoint.

As Turbyfill was leaving the store, Enid Police Department Officer Andy Morris pulled up to the front doors, not knowing a robbery had just occurred.

Turbyfill walked out of the store heading west, when the clerk who was outside told Morris the man who just left the store had just committed a robbery.

Morris saw Turbyfill crossing Van Buren while running between Save-A-Lot and the Lazy H Motel, where he jumped a fence behind the businesses and continued into a neighborhood, according to police.

Morris tracked Turbyfill’s footprints left in the snow to a residence in the 1600 block of Field Drive. Responding officers set up a perimeter around the residence where Turbyfill was believed to have entered.

Officers spoke with three woman who lived at the residence and discovered a man, later identified as Turbyfill, also lived at the residence. While speaking with officers, Turbyfill admitted he committed the robbery, according to police.

As he was told he was being placed under arrest, Turbyfill attempted to flee from the residence, but was stopped by officers.

Officers recovered an undisclosed amount of cash, a 4- to 6-inch folding pocket knife believed to have been used in the robbery and clothing Turbyfill was wearing during the robbery, according to police.

Online court records show Turbyfill also has an application to revoke a suspended sentence in a 2011 misdemeanor case on two counts of domestic abuse — assault and battery against a pregnant woman.