IHOP Robbery Attempt, Fresno Officer Fires Warning Shot

June 30, 2009 6:08:40 PM PDT
The lunch rush at a Downtown Fresno restaurant was interrupted when Fresno Police say a man walked in and demanded money.It happened at the "IHOP" at Tulare and U Streets. About 12:20 Tuesday afternoon people were eating inside this restaurant when police say the suspect walked in wearing a hooded sweatshirt. He demanded money after showing what looked like a rifle to the clerk.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says the suspect was calm when he showed the clerk this pellet gun during a robbery attempt.

Minutes later the incident would end on the onramp to Freeway 41 after a traffic officer saw the suspect trying to get away.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "The officer at that point did not fear for his safety. Did not actually see the firearm in his possession but did believe that this was a suspect that had committed the attempted armed robbery. The officer at that time fired one round onto the embankment of the freeway as a warning shot."

Once the suspect figured the clerk wasn't coming back, he ran out of the restaurant through an apartment complex and onto the freeway.

The police chief says the single shot was enough to get the suspect to surrender. He dropped to the pavement with the pellet gun still in his waistband. Investigators believe he may also be responsible for another recent armed robbery.

The officer who fired will not be on administrative leave since the shot was a warning shot. The entire incident will be investigated. The chief says that the customers remained in their seats and calm. Some didn't even know what was going on during the robbery. The suspect did not get away with any money.

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