Springfield police arrest man accused of attempting to strangle store employee


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Officers were called to a convenience store on Belmont Avenue in Springfield where it was reported that a customer attempted to strangle a store employee Tuesday night.

According to Springfield Police Department’s Spokesperson Ryan Walsh, at around 11 p.m. officers arrived on the store on the 200 block of Belmont Avenue and saw a customer, later identified as 28-year-old Joseph Ensley, sitting on the floor in front of the counter. Ensley allegedly stood up and struck an officer in the face. Officers noted that while attempting to detain Ensley, the officers’ magazine become dislodged and fell to the floor. Officers recovered a loaded firearm inside Ensley’s jacket pocket.

Joseph Ensley was arrested and and charged with the following:

  • Carrying a Firearm without a license to carry
  • 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)

As Ensley was taken into custody, another customer in the convenience store later identified as 29-year-old Julio Galarza, allegedly picked up the officer’s magazine and walked out of the store. Officers were able to reach Galarza and recover the officer’s magazine in his jacket pocket along with a box filled with .22 caliber hollow point ammunition. 

Julio Galarza (Springfield Police Department)

Julio Galarza was arrested and and charged with the following:

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

The store security footage showed that the disturbance began when Ensley attempted to grope a female customer.  Which resulted in Ensley grabbing an oscillating fan and throwing it when she left the store. The store employee then came out from behind the counter and Ensley grabbed his neck and attempted to strangle the employee who was able to fight off the suspect.

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