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Restaurant Workers Tackle Robbery Suspect Until Police Arrive

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Mary Robb Jackson Mary Robb Jackson
Mary Robb Jackson joined KDKA-TV as a general assignment reporter in...
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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — A man chose the wrong restaurant to steal from.

He was attacked by several employees when authorities say he was caught with his hand in the cash register of the Washington County restaurant.

Police say Rodney Gazzam was hungry and homeless. But it wasn’t the General Tso’s Chicken that brought the 24-year-old to the How Lee Chinese Restaurant on West Chestnut Street.

At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, officials say Gazzam walked in, went behind the counter and grabbed $79 from the cash drawer.

“He took all the money,” said Winnie Lin, the daughter of the man who owns the restaurant. “And he was trying to run away.”

Winnie’s dad, 51-year-old Jian Lin, came running and yelling from the kitchen, tackling Gazzam near the door. Then, her brother, another cook and finally a delivery man jumped in.

“They were like rolling on the floor and the table was broke,” said Winnie.

They had Gazzam pinned down when Winnie reached for the phone calling 911.

“And I say, ‘Officer please come down very, very quick!’ We got a guy on the floor right now,” she said.

Officers arrived fast, finding Mr. Lin and company wrestling with Gazzam, who continued resisting until he was cuffed.

Twenty-three years ago, Winnie’s dad came to America from Futin, China. Owning a restaurant was his American dream. He was not about to hand over what he’d worked for.

“This is like family restaurant,” said Winnie. “You know, we work like 12, 13 hours a day.”

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