Police use DNA to identify, arrest suspect accused of stabbing Mesa 7-Eleven employee

Police say a water bottle that was thrown in the trash led to the arrest of a man who allegedly stabbed a convenience store employee in Mesa.

Mesa Police say the incident began just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, when officers responded to a 7-Eleven located near Gilbert Road and Main Street for reports of a stabbing.

Once at the 7-Eleven, police learned that a suspect entered the convenience store and took a drink without paying for it. When the suspect was confronted outside by an employee, the suspect allegedly pushed the employee to the ground and began hitting and kicking him. 

Police say the suspect then pulled out a knife and stabbed the employee before leaving and walking into a nearby McDonald's. Officers went to the McDonald's but learned that the suspect had already left and gone to a light rail platform.


Jody Naputi (Mesa Police Department)

Before leaving the McDonald's the suspect allegedly went behind the counter, took a cup and filled it up at the drink station. 

"He was confronted by a manager and pepper sprayed by a customer before leaving with the drink he did not pay for," police said in a news release.

Police viewed surveillance video and noticed that the suspect threw away a water bottle in front of the 7-Eleven before walking inside. The water bottle was found by police and submitted as evidence.

On Nov. 9, police learned that the DNA from the water bottle matched 31-year-old Jody Naputi.

"Officers compared Jody’s MVD photo to all the surveillance videos and confirmed Naputi was the suspect in both incidents," police said.

On Dec. 7, Naputi was found and arrested near Ellsworth and Broadway Roads. He was booked into jail and is accused of armed robbery and burglary. 

Naputi is being held on a $100,000 bond.