PD: Customer with gun chases away armed robbers in Milford restaurant

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MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Two New Haven men were arrested Friday after allegedly robbing a Milford restaurant at gunpoint before being chased away by an armed customer.

Police say 21-year-old Royshon Ferguson and 22-year-old Gregory McLaurin were arrested after an armed robbery was reported at the Smashburger, at 1590 Boston Post Road.

According to police, Ferguson and McLaurin entered the restaurant armed with a .22 caliber handgun and ordered all workers and customers into the kitchen.

While in the kitchen, McLaurin allegedly told the manager to open the safe or he would shoot her in the head. The manager then opened the safe and McLaurin began taking money out, while Ferguson went back to the front of the restaurant to empty the cash registers.

That’s when police say a permitted pistol carrying customer saw the opportunity to change the situation. The customer drew his firearm and pointed it out McLaurin, who then panicked and ran.

The customer chased McLaurin until he ran out of the building and left Ferguson behind. The customer then approached Ferguson, who also allegedly panicked. The customer said he was then able to hold Ferguson down and knock the gun out of his hand. Ferguson did manage to get away however, and ran out of the building.

Police say both McLaurin and Ferguson ran from the area on foot but were later caught by police K9s hiding in woods nearby. Ferguson was also still in possession of a large amount of cash.

Ferguson was charged with Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Threatening, Larceny, Kidnapping with a Firearm, Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping with a Firearm, Carrying a Pistol without a Permit, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon and Interfering with an Officer.

McLaurin was charged with Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Threatening, Larceny, Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, Kidnapping with a Firearm, Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping with a Firearm, Carrying a Pistol without a Permit, Criminal Mischief and Interfering with an Officer. Both men were held on a $500,000 bond.

There were no injuries reported in the robbery and police did not release the identity of the armed customer.

Two employees of Smashburger were also arrested after it was later discovered that during the chaos, money was taken from the safe. Police say 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. The two were charged larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny but released on a promise to appear.

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