A Freeport man who pulled out a handgun at a...

A Freeport man who pulled out a handgun at a Roosevelt Field store after an employee accused him of shoplifting was taken into custody at Kennedy Airport as he attempted to leave the country, Nassau police said Wednesday. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A suspected shoplifter who drew a handgun in a Roosevelt Field store when confronted is in Nassau police custody after his arrest at Kennedy Airport while trying to leave the country, authorities said Wednesday.

NYPD officers apprehended Bernardo Dezil, 22, of Freeport, on Monday at the airport before he could board a plane, Nassau police said Wednesday in a news release.

Dezil's intended destination was not available.

On Dec. 7, a male employee at Clientele in the Garden City mall on Old Country Road noticed Dezil as he looked over clothing and the staffer became suspicious, according to police. When Dezil attempted to leave the store without paying for the clothing, the employee confronted him and they engaged in a physical struggle, police said.

Dezil pulled out a black and gray handgun and the employee wrestled it away before the suspect fled on foot, police said. During the struggle, Dezil struck the victim, 33, in the face, causing a laceration over the man's right eye, according to the news release.

Nassau police Third Squad detectives took Dezil into custody at Kings County Criminal Court and investigators determined that the handgun had been stolen in North Carolina, authorities said.

Dezil was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court, Hempstead. He faces charges of first-degree robbery, first degree criminal use of a firearm, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, police said. Bail was set at $100,000 bond or cash, neither of which were posted, according to court records. Dezil also had to surrender his passport.

He is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which typically declines comment. Dezil's next court appearance is Thursday, court records show.

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