Failed Vape Deal Leads to Kidnapping of a Juvenile, Gunshots in Melrose Whole Foods Parking Lot
MELROSE – A North Andover man was arraigned in Malden District Court on Monday on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, armed kidnapping, possession with intent to distribute a class D substance and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, Melrose police and Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan confirmed.
Melrose police allege that Eric Marklis, 37, arrived at the parking lot of Whole Foods on Main Street with the intention of selling THC laced vape pods to two unidentified juvenile males on the evening of Friday, October 4th. At approximately 8:43 p.m., police responded to a report of a car in the parking lot chasing a person and gunshots. Upon arrival, police located Marklis in his vehicle alongside a juvenile male passenger. Police also confiscated THC vape pods, rolled joints, edibles and a 9mm handgun from the vehicle.
A preliminary investigation suggests that Marklis chased after one juvenile and discharged his firearm into the ground after both buyers attempted to flee without paying.
“The officers involved in this case did a tremendous job in preventing this situation from escalating further with a suspect whose behavior was clearly unpredictable within close proximity to this busy shopping center,” Melrose Chief of Police Michael Lyle said in a news release. “I’m grateful nobody was injured as a result of this incident.”
Marklis was released from court on $200 cash bail with the condition that he remain in Massachusetts during the investigation of the case and that he surrender all firearms to North Andover Police.