There’s no other way I can parse this event.
I’ve tried the whole, “He really, really needed $4 to get a card to go with that plastic flower.” It just doesn’t hold water for me. I’d think most poeple willing to pull a knife on someone for their money would take the $10 spot when it were offered, rather than insisting his target go into a local convenience store (with all the potential for the plan screwing up there) break the ten-spot, and then come back out and hand over just the $4.
I don’t care how drunk, stoned, or even crazy this guy may have been. I just can’t make any other explaination work.
He had to have a good idea how the criminal justice system will respond to this farce of an armed robbery, and wanted that outcome.