Maskless man denied service at restaurant returns to steal food at gunpoint, employees say

N’dea Yancey-Bragg

A man who was denied service at a Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in California because he wasn’t wearing a mask returned to the restaurant with a gun and stole food, according to employees.

Employees at the Pasadena restaurant told local media that the suspect entered the restaurant Wednesday around 5:40 p.m. and was told he couldn’t order because he was not wearing a face mask, which helps preventsthe spread of COVID-19.

He was told he could return if he wore one, but instead came back with a handgun and ordered staff to give him chicken, waffles and syrup.

Robert Gonzalez, a cook at the restaurant, told KTLA he saw the man arguing with two of his coworkers and then realized he was armed.

“The guy just said, ‘Put all the chicken in the bag,’” Gonzalez told the station. “I understand we got some good chicken, but man.”

Manager Angela Prieto told KABC the suspect didn’t take any cash but that the ordeal was terrifying for her staff.

“They were feeling scared, especially my cashier,” Prieto said. “She was very, very scared. And when I first talked to her she was basically hysterical, but after a while she calmed down and started laughing about it because she realized all he did was take some chicken.”

Surveillance video obtained by the station appears to show the maskless man cocking a gun before obtaining a plate of food off screen and leaving.

Lt. Marcia Taglioretti told The Los Angeles Times all four of the restaurants employees escaped through a side door. She said police are still searching for the suspect.

Public Information Officer William Grisafe declined to answer questions from USA TODAY, citing the ongoing investigation.

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

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