Officers Recovered Illegally Possessed Firearm after Customer Attempts to Strangle Store Employee

Springfield, Mass. — At approximately 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 16th officers responded to a convenience store on the 200 block of Belmont Avenue for a report of a customer, later identified as Joseph Ensley, attempting to strangle the store employee.

When officers arrived Ensley was sitting on the floor in front of the counter.  When he stood up he struck an officer in the face.  As the officer attempted to detain Ensley, the officers’ magazine become dislodged and fell to the floor.

While officers took Ensley into custody another customer, later identified as Julio Galarza, picked up the officer’s magazine and walked out of the store.  Officers made contact with Galarza and recovered the officer’s magazine in his jacket pocket.  Officers also recovered a box filled with .22 caliber hollow point ammunition from Galarza.  Galarza was placed under arrest.

While this was transpiring, assisting officers taking Ensley into custody recovered a loaded firearm inside his jacket pocket.

After reviewing store video, officers could see that the disturbance began when Ensley attempted to grope a female customer.  Once she left the store Ensley grabbed an oscillating fan and threw it.  As the store employee came out from behind the counter Ensley grabbed his neck and attempted to strangle the employee who was able to fight off the suspect.

28 year old Joseph Ensley of Springfield is charged with:

  • Carrying a Firearm without a LTC
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm
  • Possession of a Firearm with a Defaced Serial Number During the Commission of a Felony
  • Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
  • Assault & Battery on a Police Officer
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Strangulation/Suffocation
  • Default Warrant
    – Strangulation or Suffocation
    – Assault & Battery (3 Counts)
    – Attempt to Commit a Crime (2 Counts)
    – Resisting Arrest
    – Attempt to Disarm a Police Officer
    – Assault & Battery on a Police Officer (2 Counts)

29 year old Julio Galarza of Springfield is charged with:

  • Possession of a High Capacity Magazine/Feeding Device
  • Possession of Ammunition without a FID Card
  • Larceny of Property Under $1200
  • Resisting Arrest