Popeyes manager fights off alleged robber at Covington restaurant

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Popeyes manager fights off alleged robber at Covington restaurant

March 22, 2010

Fearing for his life, a Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits’ manager in Covington wrestled a gun away from a robber, then – after firing a warning shot into the ceiling – told him to scram, police said.

In the early morning hours today, Covington police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the restaurant at 71711 Riverside Drive.

The manager, Connie Robinson, 34, told police he was walking out of the store just before midnight on Sunday when he was accosted by a man wearing a black ski mask and a dark-colored, hooded sweatshirt, with the hood up, Covington Police spokesman Capt. Jack West said.

The assailant, described as about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim build, was armed with a blue steel revolver, West said.
The man, who is still at large, ordered Robinson back into the business and told him to open the safe, West said. As he attempted to open it, the suspect told him he was going to kill him, and so, feeling he had nothing to lose, Robinson attacked the gunman, West said.

After a struggle – which West described as fierce, saying both men were injured – Robinson gained control of the gun and told the robber to leave.

The man then asked for his gun back and Robinson refused, firing one round into the ceiling, which prompted the robber to flee, West said.

The suspect ran across U.S. 190 into a wooded area, police said. Covington police and a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit later attempted to track him, but his trail ended at a parking area on the other side of the woods, where investigators determined a car likely had been waiting for him, West said.

Covington police are asking anyone with information to contact Lt. Steve Short at 985.892.8500.

Glenn Jacob, an executive of Pontchartrain Foods Inc., which has its office directly behind the Covington Popeyes and which owns Popeyes franchises throughout the north shore, declined to comment on the attempted robbery or allow Robinson to give interviews.

At first denying there even was an incident, Jacob later said on Monday that he was sick of talking about it, adding “if we never heard another word about it, that would be just fine.”