Employee pulls gun to protect restaurant patrons

Police were called to a chaotic scene near 64th and Center streets Friday morning just before 11 a.m.

One man was taken into custody following the reported standoff.


Before police arrived to the scene, an Amato’s Cafe employee took matters into his own hands to protect his restaurant and its patrons.

Some time after 10:13 a.m., witnesses recorded cell phone video of a man standing on top of a flipped car, screaming “Amber” and “I’m sorry.”

The incident, shutting down the intersection of 64th and Center streets.

“I couldn’t believe that was happening right in front of my restaurant,” Amato’s owner, Ann Amato, said.

Ann said she pulled up to work shortly after 10 a.m. and witnessed a woman jump out of a vehicle in the parking lot followed by a man, who tackled her to the ground.

“He was kicking and punching and pulling her, trying to get her back in the car,” Amato said.

Amato said she yelled at the man, and several staff members and customers came outside to separate the man from the woman. The woman was helped inside the restaurant.

Amato’s employees said they then witnessed the man get back in the car, and reverse into the curb, causing it to flip into Center Street. After getting out of the car, Amato says the man came back up to the cafe’s doors.

“He was pounding on the windows and just yelling her name,” Amato said.

Staff members told KETV NewsWatch 7 that they led the woman to a back room so that she would be out of sight from the “crazed” man. Employees locked all the doors to the restaurant, save for one in the back which has to be locked from the outside.

Amato’s son, Tony, said he saw the man make his way around the building to the back door, which leads to the kitchen, eventually forcing it open.

“When he stepped in, his knife was in his hand and he kind of lunged,” Tony said, “and that’s when I went from finger off the trigger to finger on the trigger, and I told him ‘I will shoot, I will shoot.'”

This is the first time Tony has had to point his gun to protect his family’s restaurant, he said.

“I have always worried about Tony having a gun, but thank God he had a gun,” Amato said.

After throwing his knife away and backing out of the kitchen, Amato says the man climbed on top of the car and started screaming.

Amato estimates the suspect was standing on top of the car for about 30 minutes.

Officers arrived and negotiated with the man, and OPD confirms a Taser was deployed but it’s not clear whether or not it was successful.

“They tazed him once and it didn’t phase him,” Amato said, “I mean he just leaned down and took the wire off.”

Amato says she saw the man’s eyes start to droop, “and then a second later he just fell on the car,” Amato recalled.

According to police, the man was taken to the hospital.

The woman who was allegedly assaulted by the man told Amato’s employees that the man was high on meth.

“She told me that she honestly thinks that my son saved her life,” Amato told KETV.


You may also like

Leave a comment