Pizza parlor owner uses bar stool to fight knife wielding robber

by Monique Braxton

Employees at a Delaware pizza shop turned the tables on a knife wielding robber Saturday.

Police said 25-year-old John Carrero of Aston, Pennsylvania got quite a surprise after he walked into Mom's Pizza in Wilmington with a foot-long knife and demanded cash from the business' register.

"We just tried to do what we can regarding the situation," said Mustafa Elfaouj, owner of Mom's Pizza.

It was no ordinary situation.

He said the events that unfolded after the man walked in with a foot-long knife were bad.

He said the would-be robber kept waving the knife and beating it.

"He kept waving the knife and beating it, saying, 'Give me the money, give me the money'" Elfaouj said. "I said, 'I don't have money in my pocket.' He said, 'Go to the drawer.' I said, 'OK, stay back.'"

The Wilmington merchant said instead of reaching for the money, he picked up a barstool.

Elfaouj said he thought the leg of the stool would protect him from Carrero.

"Once he backed up into that corner, I pushed the alarm system," he said.

A quick-thinking employee dashed out the back door, came around front and tackled Carrero.

Then, the employee took away the knife.

"He said, 'I want to go.' I said, 'You're not going nowhere,'" Elfaouj said, noting that Delaware State police arrived within five minutes.

"I was scared but stayed calm. I didn't know what was going to happen after. Thank God things went smooth," Elfaouj said.

Carrero was charged with first-degree robbery and possession of a deadly weapon.

He was being held at Howard Young Correctional Institute in lieu of $60,000 cash-only bail.

"The pizza shop employees really saved the day in this case," said police spokesman Jeffrey Whitmarsh, though he added that they didn't want to encourage people to take the law into their own hands.