Robber Foiled By Coffee Pot

Robber Foiled By Coffee Pot

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Police have arrested a man accused of trying to rob a coffee shop in Ross Township by climbing through the drive-through window.

Police said they took John Hammel, 32, into custody at about 7 p.m. near Bellevue after an officer spotted a stolen van he was driving.

The attempted robbery happened at the Island Bean coffee shop along McKnight Road, police said.

Police said Hammel tried to climb through the window wielding a tire iron. The owner said his wife fought the would-be robber off by smashing a coffee pot over his face.

"My wife saw him, grabbed this heavy metal coffee pitcher and threw it in his face," said the owner.

When the robber continued to make his way into the small shop, the owner said his wife grabbed whatever she could to fight him off.

"He still came into store. That's when she grabbed one of these milk pitchers and slammed him with that," said the owner.

That’s when the man fled in what investigators believe was a stolen car.

The entire situation was caught on surveillance video, police said.

Ross Township police acknowledge that the woman's actions were brave, but they said the best move is to run away.

"She certainly did what she felt she needed to do to defend herself. It's certainly justifiable in this case, but not what we'd recommend doing," said Ross Township police Detective Brian Kohlhepp.

No workers were injured.

Police expect to charge Hammel with robbery as well as charges related to a stolen van they said he was driving at the time.

He is being held in Allegheny County Jail.


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