DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County tire shop owner said he wanted to help a man who told him he’d fallen on hard times, but then it turned into a robbery where the owner and his employee decided to fight back.
Derry Township tire shop owner Greg Beaver says all he wanted to do was help a stranger out.
“A gentleman comes in, told me that he was on hard times,” said Beaver. “His wife threw him out, he was living in his car, he had a flat tire and he was on the way to work.”
That gentleman, identified by state police as 27-year-old Josh Onusko, was with another man, identified as 28-year-old Jeff Reese, as they stood in the waiting area in the front of the shop.
While Beaver was fixing Onusko’s tire, investigators say the pair cleaned the money out of the register.
“I peeked through the crack of the door, he was on this side of the register, he moved the coffee pot, he pried the register open with a big knife and handed that gentleman the money,” said Beaver.
What followed was literally a knockdown, drag-out brawl.
“We got into a scuffle. He tried to stab me, I bounced his head off the counter several times,” Beaver said. “Dave was not happy with that. Dave is a big boy. I’m glad Dave was here.
Beaver is talking about Dave Simms, an employee at the shop.
“He hit Dave with a pipe wrench,” said Beaver.
Simms took exception to that.
“He had to sit that man down a little bit,” Beaver said. “He cracked him across the mouth and knocked him down, and knocked his knife out of his hand.”
Simms and Beaver tried to subdue and tie up an agitated Onusko.
Once they go Onusko on the floor, they tried to subdue with basic wire tires.
“We put them behind his back and around his feet, and he snapped them like there was nothing. Round 2,” said Beaver. “I wrapped him up in an extension cord, 100-foot extension cord.”
According to Beaver and state police, Onusko’s alleged partner in crime didn’t stick around to help him.
“No, man, that boy ran up the road and they found him underneath the voting shed up the road,” Beaver said.
Onusko, meanwhile, tried to escape the extension cord constraints, but then Beaver grabbed a pistol from his truck. Troopers then arrived to take Onusko and Reese into custody.
“No, you don’t steal from me. I work too hard to get where I’m at and I ain’t gonna give it to somebody,” Beaver said.