July 13, 2008

Three arrested in pizza parlor heist

L to R Ramirez, Martinez and Palacios

01:35 AM CDT on Sunday, July 13, 2008
By Amy Dodd Thompson / Staff Writer

Three people were charged with aggravated robbery after civilians assisted police officers in their arrest.

A little before 10:30 Friday night, a man wearing a wig and sunglasses walked into the Pizza Patron Restaurant at 101 E. University Drive, put his hand under his shirt and demanded money, said police spokesman Jim Bryan.

The robber appeared to be armed with a silver handgun, which turned out to be a toy, Bryan said.

The robber slapped and pushed an employee while he was attempting to get the cash drawer open, according to Bryan, and while a second employee tried to get the money out, the first employee and the robber started to wrestle.

The employee pushed the robber into a storage shelf and his wig fell off, the report said.

Ramirez The robber fled the scene after that.

A man outside the restaurant witnessed what was going on and ran after the robber while calling police, according to Bryan. The robber then jumped into the back of a waiting black pickup.

The driver and two passengers of another vehicle followed the truck until police officers pulled the pickup over.

The suspects were arrested 14 minutes after police were notified of the robbery, Bryan said.

Martinez Police credit all four civilians with helping officers arrest the suspects quickly.

Benjamin Ramirez, 41, Jose Miguel Martinez, 26, and Sonia Fuentes Palacios, 38, were arrested on aggravated robbery charges, Bryan said.

All three were also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and Martinez was charged with driving an unregistered vehicle.

Palacios Ramirez and Palacios are also facing federal immigration holds. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement places holds on suspects who are believed to be illegal immigrants, and a hold may result in deportation.

Other reports

400 block of Masch Branch Road — A pilot of a Grumman aircraft from Cresson was forced to make an emergency landing in a field around 4:45 p.m. Friday, according to a police report.

She was flying from Burlington to Grand Prairie and declared an emergency just north of the Denton Municipal Airport because she was low on fuel, said the report.

She ran out of gas and landed in a field about a mile north of the airport.

There were no injuries in the incident, according to the report.

7500 block of Teasley Lane —A man from Austin reported to police that someone assaulted him a little after 10 p.m. Friday.

The assailant hit him on the side of the face with his fist and them threw him into bleachers, according to the report.

1800 block of Emery Street —A man reported that his brown Dodge conversion van was stolen from his driveway sometime between 10 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Friday.

AMY DODD THOMPSON can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is athompson@dentonrc.com.

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