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Pizza delivery man shoots armed robber

Excerpted from original publication that ran here as:
"Suspect in failed robbery hospitalized
Chanello's to make delivery changes"
By Stephanie Barrett
Virginia's Daily Press

Published: Sunday, March 25, 2001

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia - A man who tried to rob a pizza-delivery driver was in serious condition at Riverside Regional Medical Center on Saturday after the driver shot him, Newport News police said.

The shooting occurred about 10:35 p.m. Friday in the 1300 block of 22nd Street. The suspect was attempting to rob a Chanello's Pizza driver at gunpoint, Newport News police spokeswoman Dierdre Raines said. The driver was delivering a pizza from Chanello's Kecoughtan Road location. A manager at that store said the situation was a set-up.

No charges had been filed as of Saturday. Police released no names, and Raines said the incident was still under investigation.

The Chanello's manager said it was against company policy to carry a gun. "Our drivers are on guard at all times," the manager said. They are robbed frequently, he said.

"In this case, the driver happened to have a gun and felt threatened," he said.

Because of the incident, the manager said, his store wouldn't deliver pizzas in the downtown area at least on Saturday. He said that meant that no deliveries were going to areas past Buxton Avenue.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time people call here, it's for an actual delivery," the manager said.

He said it's unfortunate that his store would have to tell some people that it wouldn't deliver to them.

He also said there would be a review to decide whether to stop delivering in that area for a longer period.

In 1999, a Chanello's Pizza manager violated the company's no-gun policy by shooting and killing an armed robber.

The manager was from the Chanello's in the Francisco Village shopping center in the 10000 block of Jefferson Avenue.

That manager gained the support of nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Ken Hamblin of WNIS-AM 790, who bills himself as the "Black Avenger."

The manager was shot in the left shoulder and arm. Police said he acted in self-defense and wasn't charged.

It was reported that the manager wouldn't be reprimanded, though the company still stood by its policy. Note:  Requiring workers to go unarmed into areas where they can be accosted is risky business for a delivery company, but we understand their policy insofar as it covers them from potential liability. However, if they fire this gentleman -- when he should be getting a Good Citizen Award -- we will be the first to call for a boycott of the company. And isn't it interesting to note that they'd rather lose money by refusing to deliver in a certain area rather than arm their couriers and publicize the fact that anyone who tries to rob them will be shot on the spot? What does that say about this company's stamina? Are there any Real Americans left in corporate positions anymore?

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