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Diner's patrons thwart robbery

Originally ran here as:
"Diner's patrons thwart robbery"
August Chronicle, August 5, 2001

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA -- Between an uncooperative cashier, a security guard, an off-duty police officer and a tattoo artist, the man who tried to hold up a Waffle House on Saturday was outmatched.

The same Waffle House at 3160 Deans Bridge Road was robbed a week earlier, and witnesses told police they believed it was the same man. This time he came in about 1 a.m. Saturday and demanded money from the cashier by brandishing a silver, semiautomatic pistol.

The cashier ducked under the counter while the restaurant's security guard and Sgt. Lonnie Moore of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office drew their weapons, according to Investigator Paul Godden.

He said Sgt. Moore was in plain clothes and just happened to be at the restaurant. When the suspect continued to wave his pistol, Sgt. Moore used his off-duty weapon to shoot at the man, who then ran.

Investigator Godden said authorities were not sure whether the suspect was hit by the bullet, adding that witnesses told police they saw the man wince and stumble.

He said Sgt. Moore and the security guard briefly chased the man before losing him.

Another restaurant patron, a tattoo artist, helped police at the scene by drawing a composite sketch of the suspect.

The robber is described as black, between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet tall with a dark, acne-scarred complexion. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with orange writing, khaki-colored shorts and a black stocking cap on his head. Anyone with information about the crime should call the sheriff's office at 821-1080.

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