Metro

Man arrested for Dorchester robbery after being pepper sprayed by witness

A Braintree man brandishing a knife and threatening a firearm while holding up a Dorchester check cashing store was arrested Wednesday after a bystander pepper sprayed him in the face and he fled the scene, Boston police said.

Officers first responded to a report of a robbery in progress at a PLS Check Cashing location at 1284 Massachusetts Ave., around 5:35 p.m. Wednesday. They were told that a man had approached the counter holding a knife and passed a note saying that he had a firearm and was robbing the store, police said.

Officers were then told that the suspect, later identified as John Mikalauskis Jr., 19, of Braintree, had fled the store and dropped his knife after a witness in line pepper sprayed him in the face.

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Officers then searched the surrounding area and found a man, Mikalauskis, hiding behind a vehicle on Roseclair Street. Mikalauskis’s face was “red and swollen and smelled of pepper spray,” police said.

Mikalauskis was arrested without incident and charged with armed robbery, police said.

Ben Thompson can be reached at ben.thompson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Globe_Thompson.