New Alexandria pizza shop robber gets no dough
A feisty 67-year-old grandmother thwarted an attempted robbery by facing down a hooded man who demanded money at her pizza shop in New Alexandria.
When a man demanded money from the cash register, Diana Bates, owner of Di's Pizza Grille, refused, pounded her fist on the counter and started to call 911.
The startled man ran out the door.
“He made me mad,” Bates said, recounting her story on Monday. “Those girls (employees) and I and my crew work hard for that money, and I'm not giving it.”
State police said the suspect came into the Route 22 restaurant on Friday evening wearing a hoodie pulled over his face.
Fridays are a busy night for the restaurant, Bates said, and the suspect walked in about 8 p.m. when the dinner rush began to slow.
He demanded that an employee open the cash register and give him money, police said. The employee replied that she could not.
“She said to him, ‘I don't know how to open the drawer,' ” Bates said.
The suspect told the employee to summon another waitress, and that woman said she could not open the register, either, police said.
That's when Bates walked over to the counter and asked if she could help the man.
“I thought the guy was complaining about a pizza,” Bates said. “Not expecting anything like that.”
But the would-be robber, trying to disguise his voice by changing pitch, demanded money, and Bates said she “slammed (her) fist. The girls said I made him jump.”
Employees told Bates that she also pointed her finger at him.
“He didn't count on me, that's for sure,” Bates said. “I'm sorry. I'm not giving in to these young punks.”
Bates said she wasn't scared — just angry.
“I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'll never back down,” she said. “I work too hard for that.”
The man did not mention a weapon and did not threaten to harm anyone, Bates said.
In the 10 years since Bates started the restaurant, no one had attempted a robbery, she said.
Police describe the suspect as an unshaven white man about 6 feet tall with a thin build. Police said he was wearing a black baseball cap and a camouflage-patterned, zippered hoodie with pockets where he kept his hands the entire time.
The suspect ran toward New Alexandria Borough, police said.
Police ask anyone with information to call 724-727-3434.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland County Fair doubles as meet-and-greet for candidates
- Prison becomes detox center for growing number of inmates with addictions
- Ligonier Township equine facility breaks ground
- Man gets probation for sex with teen girl in New Kensington
- ‘Perfect’ skies draw big crowds to Westmoreland Fair
- Franklin Regional stabbing suspect Hribal to head to adult prison after Oct. 1
- Greensburg man charged with terroristic threats
- Megan’s List offender charged with assault on 10-year-old Latrobe girl
- Hempfield prison film canceled because of Pa. budget impasse
- Children honor late Ligonier Township officer at Westmoreland Fair
- Confederate memorabilia gets favorable attention at Westmoreland Fair