PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Just before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Randall Kopler was behind the desk of the Quality Inn in Hampton when there was an attempted robbery.
“Two individuals entered the lobby and pointed guns at the clerk and attempted to commit a robbery at that time,” Detective Robert Kirsopp said.
Kirsopp – who declined an on camera interview – says one of the men slammed a gun on the counter two or three times and told Kopler “give it up.”
Kopler hesitated when he realized the gun was a fake and hesitated prompting the man to come behind the counter and a brief scuffle ensued.
“I think he was more surprised that the actor would come behind the counter more in shock than trying to engage the actor,” Kirsopp said.
When they fell to the floor, both suspects ran from the hotel, jumped into a car driven by a third man and headed south on Route 8. Kopler called 911 Hampton Police put out a general description of a light-colored car heading that direction — initially there was no sign of the trio.
But at the Spencer Lane extension, a Shaler Township police officer noticed the car with its tinted windows and dropped in behind it, noticed its expired registration and just over the hill it was pulled over.
Police spotted a weapon inside and the three men were taken into custody less than 10 minutes after the attempted robbery at the hotel.
At Hampton Police Headquarters, where police processed the car today, they found two guns and other evidence.
Michael Perri, Brandon Johnson and Edward Ellis were all questioned and Johnson waived his rights.
Police say Johnson admitted his involvement in the Quality Inn attempt, as well as two other robberies overnight — one at the Day’s Inn in Monroeville, the other at the Super 8 motel in Plum.
Monroeville police also plan to charge the trio with the GetGo robbery last Saturday.
All three suspects are in the Allegheny County Jail tonight.