NEW ORLEANS (WWLTV) — Employees of Bud’s Broiler in City Park thwarted an armed robbery late Sunday, according to the New Orleans Police Department.
Police say that around 11 p.m., a man, later identified as Ismael “Mike” Naranjo, walked into the Bud’s Broiler on City Park Avenue and told workers that he was there to rob the business. Naranjo implied he had a weapon and ordered the employees to turn over money from the register. Police said he then walked around the counter and began taking cash from the register, according to the NOPD.
“The guy stepped behind the counter, opened up the cash drawer, took the cash out of the drawer and that’s when my two employees jumped him while he was behind the counter,” said Mel Zigler, general manager.
As Naranjo attempted to flee, two employees wrestled him to the ground and tried to subdue him, but Naranjo was able to escape in a nearby parked white pickup truck and drove off. The restaurant employees were able to recover some of the cash stolen after the scuffle.
“He went out of the restaurant and my employees ran back after them and that’s when they went after him in the truck and got the money back from him and got the license number of the truck and that’s how they were able to track him do,” said Zigler.
Around 3:30 a.m. Naranjo was later apprehended by police after a call reported a man was sitting inside of a white pickup truck bleeding from the head in the 700 block of Howard Avenue, police said. “Sixth District officers arrived on the scene and immediately recognized Naranjo’s vehicle after hearing the description on the police radio. The officer noticed the injury to Naranjo’s head and called for EMS. Naranjo was transported to the hospital with lacerations to the head,” said a statement from the NOPD.
Police linked Naranjo to the robbery from evidence he left on the scene. Once he is treated and released from the hospital, he will be booked with one count of first-degree robbery.
Police believe Naranjo is responsible for similar robberies in the Third District.
“When I talked to my employees, I said,” said Zigler, “number one, you realize you did the wrong thing and they said, yeah, by you know it was reactionary and we were upset and frustrated that the guy was able to get away with that.”
“I’m extremely proud of them,” he added. “I hope it sends a warning out to everybody else, not to mess with us”