Employees at Chinese restaurant hold robber until police arrive



WASHINGTON, Pa. - A homeless man was arrested Wednesday night after employees at a Washington Chinese restaurant tackled him during an attempted robbery.

According to police, Rodney Gazzam tried to rob How Lee Chinese Restaurant in the Jefferson Court Plaza on West Chestnut Street just before 8 p.m.

Investigators said Gazzam walked behind the restaurant’s counter and grabbed almost $80 in cash from the register.

One of the restaurant’s owners, Li Lin, told Channel 11 News that all of the employees “piled up” on Gazzam until police arrived.

“I heard my dad screaming and yelling. I’ve never heard that, so I knew not a good thing happened,” Lin said. “I was very nervous.”

Employees of the restaurant tackled Gazzam as he tried to leave and held him until officers arrived.

“The guy was trying to run outside and my dad ran out. He told everyone to come and help,” Lin said.

Phil Pfoeks said he was coming back from making a delivery during the melee.

“When I got out of my car, I came over and could hear the guy in the back of a cop car,” Pfoeks said.

Gazzam is facing charges of robbery, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He remains in the Washington County Jail on $100,000 bond awaiting a preliminary hearing on March 15.