A suspect who allegedly tried to rob a car wash customer in Temecula Monday got a face full of water when the victim turned a high-pressure hose on him, sending the man fleeing just prior to his arrest.
Steven Roth of Lake Elsinore was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, brandishing an imitation firearm during a felony and probation violations after the botched robbery at a coin-operated car wash in the 41900 block of Moreno Road, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
A man using one of the wash bays told deputies the suspect allegedly ran up to him and flashed what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol, demanding that the victim relinquish his wallet.
"The victim immediately reacted by spraying Roth in the face with the high-pressure water hose being used to clean his vehicle," according to a sheriff's statement. "The victim then ran around his vehicle in an attempt to
avoid being shot. Suspect Roth immediately turned away from the hose and fled
The victim summoned deputies, who searched the area, allegedly locating Roth's wet clothes and a replica handgun inside a backpack hidden inside a
nearby Denny's restaurant, sheriff's officials said.
Roth was spotted at a convenience store across the street, purchasing cigarettes, and was detained so the victim could be brought over to identify
him, which he did -- positively, according to the sheriff's department.
Roth was booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. Bail information was not immediately available.