Milford police have arrested two men suspected of a brazen armed robbery at Smash Burger on Friday in which customers and employees were forced into the kitchen, a customer pulled a gun and two employees of the burger restaurant stole money the robbers left behind, according to police.
Police said the robbery started with 21-year-old Royshon Ferguson and 22-year-old Gregory McLaurin, both of New Haven, pulling a .22 caliber gun at the Smash Burger at 1590 Boston Post Road, ordering the workers and customers into the kitchen and threatening to shoot the manager in the head if she did not open the safe.
After the manager opened the safe, McLaurin started taking the money out and Ferguson went back out to the front to empty the cash registers, police said.
Then a customer took things into his own hands.
Police said the customer, who has a permit to carry a pistol, said he saw an opportunity to change the situation when Ferguson left the kitchen, so he pulled out his firearm and pointed it at McLaurin, who panicked and ran as the customer chased him, police said.
The customer then approached Ferguson, who was taking cash out of the registers, police said.
Ferguson still had a gun, but panicked and the armed customer was able to knock the other man’s gun out of this hand, police said. ’
Ferguson also ran from the building and Milford K-9 Officer Owens and K-9 Zar found the two suspects hiding in the woods near-by, police said.
The two men were located close to each other and Ferguson had a large amount of cash, police said. .
Police also arrested two Smash Burger employees who are accused of taking cash from the safe amid the chaos after Ferguson and McLaurin run out of the building.
Ferguson was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree threatening, fourth-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree conspiracy to commit kidnapping with a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, carrying a dangerous weapon and interfering with an officer.
McLaurin is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree threatening, fourth-degree larceny, fourth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, first-degree kidnapping with a firearm, first-degree conspiracy to commit kidnapping with a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, third-degree criminal mischief and interfering with an officer.
The employees, 26-year-old Jamal McNeil, of Hamden and 19-year-old Casey Deloma, of Milford, are accused of being in possession of money that would have been in the safe but was left behind during the robbery and have been charged with sixth-degree larceny and sixth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny.
Ferguson and McLaurin we’re held on $500,000 bond.
McNeil and Deloma were released on a promise to appear in Milford Court on February 13.