Victim 'terrorized' by violent robbery at St. Pete's Wood Fire Pizza restaurant

5:28 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Man robs pizza restaurant with knife


St. Petersburg, FL - A violent robbery at a trendy pizza joint in downtown St, Petersburg was caught on tape, and now one of the victims of that attack is sharing the terrifying details.

It all happened after a busy night just this past Saturday at the Wood Fired Pizza restaurant located at 344 First Avenue South. It's a section of St. Pete that has seen a real renaissance in the past year or two.

There were frightening moments for two workers, terrorized as they were cleaning up after-hours.

"This is a very bad man that's out there," said Tish Robinson, one of the two workers seen in the video.

Robinson is still nervous, knowing the man who held her at knife-point, bound her hands with zip-ties, then kicked and robbed her and a co-worker, is still on the loose.

The terrifying moments they endured early Sunday were captured by surveillance cameras.

"He had the knife in his hand and was like, 'Give me the money - now!"" said Robinson.

Police released the video, hoping someone can identify the thug, whom they describe as about 5'8" to 5'10", 135 pounds with a slim mustache. His face, say Robinson, is badly scarred by acne. His dark-gray hoodie shows what appears to be a man's face on the back.

"One thing that we thought was interesting is that he may have left on a bicycle," said Sgt. Mike Puetz, "which may have meant he lives fairly close to this area."

Although terrified, Robinson says she tried to get into her attacker's head and it seemed to be working, making him nervous.

But then, suddenly he grew more violent.

"And then he pushed me back down, 'I'm gonna stab you - I'm gonna slit your throat. I'm gonna kill you.'"

People who live, work, and play in this section of downtown St. Pete say it's at a turning point right now. It has seen a resurgence. And they believe police need to get this guy quickly.

Shantell Lockard, who doesn't live far from Wood Fired says it's become a regular spot for people.

"A lot people come down here for weekends, Saturday, Friday."

Matt Brewer, who also lives a few blocks away and works just around the corner, says it would be a shame to see the downtown comeback stall.

"We've put a lot of time and effort into cleaning up this area and a lot of the business owners have too. The community needs this area over here," said Brewer.

Robinson also hopes police catch her attacker quickly... and not just for her sake, she says, but whomever else he may decide to target until they do.

"If he did this to me, it's only a matter of time until he hurts somebody really bad," she said.

Police say in this age of electronic transactions including credit and debit cards, the thief got away with no more cash than he could have earned if he just tried doing an "honest job for a week."

If you recognize the suspect in the video, you're asked to contact St. Petersburg Police.

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