Robbery victims fight back, suspect now in jail - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Robbery victims fight back, suspect now in jail

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MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) -

A man trying to rob employees at a popular Morganton restaurant had the tables turned on him after the workers noticed the gun he was using was not real.

"They were very courageous," said restaurant managing partner Brian Miller. 

It all happened after closing time at the Fatz Restaurant on South Sterling Street in Morganton. It was just before 11 p.m. when a man approached four employees in the parking lot as they were leaving and showed a gun.

"He forced them back into the restaurant and moved them towards the back," said Detective Tim Corriveau of the Morganton Public Safety Department.

That's when one of the employees noticed something different about the weapon. "He saw that it had orange inside the barrel, that it was an air-soft gun and not a real gun," said Corriveau.

When  the robber noticed that the workers knew, he tried to run, say authorities, but the employees were quicker. The man was wrestled to the floor and held there until police arrived minutes later.

He was identified as Scott James Hill, 34, and was charged with 2nd degree kidnapping and attempted armed robbery and jailed under a bond of $200,000. No one was hurt in the scuffle.

In court on Tuesday, prosecutors asked the judge to raise the bond because Hill was on probation at the time of the Fatz incident on convictions of 2nd degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon  in Catawba County. The judge agreed and raised the bond to $500,000.

Authorities say Hill is also a suspect in several other robberies in the area in recent months.

"There are some strong similarities to all of them, " said Corriveau. So far, Hill has not been charged in any of those cases that include movie theater robberies and restaurant robberies.

Authorities in Caldwell and Catawba Counties have been contacted and are looking into the situation.

In the meantime, employees at Fatz continued to get praise from customers after they heard the news of how they captured the would-be robber.

Gae Stovall, who stopped by for lunch on Tuesday, said she was glad the workers did what they did. "Good for them," she said. "It should happen more often." 

Hill's next court date is June 11, for a probable cause hearing.

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