HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Three teens have been arrested in an attempted robbery of an Applebee’s overnight in northeast Harris County, thanks to some quick-thinking restaurant employees and customers.
Deputies said two teens came through the side door of the Applebee’s in the 5900 block of Sam Houston Parkway around 1 a.m. Tuesday. One of them allegedly had a knife, while the other approached the bar and demanded money from the register.
The employee at the bar showed the teen the register, and as he was trying to open it, another worker grabbed the suspect and threw him to the ground, deputies said.
The teen with a knife ran toward his friend to help him, but one of the employees threw him down and grabbed the knife out of his hand.
Exclusive eyewitness video shows the suspects being held down by workers as they waited for deputies.
“If they had had a gun, our lives could have been a whole different story,” said the customer who shot the video.
Another Applebee’s customer, who does not want to be identified, told ABC13 that he and his family had just finished watching a movie and went to the restaurant to grab a bite.
He said he confronted one of the teens who had a knife.
“I told him to put it down and he said ‘No’ and (swung) it at me,” the customer said.
He said he warned the suspect not to do it again or else he would pull his knife out. He said the suspect lunged at him with the knife again and the customer grabbed him and took him down.
Employees also directed deputies to a female suspect who was waiting in a black getaway car in the parking lot. Deputies said she sped off, but they caught up with her and she was arrested a few blocks away from restaurant.
The eyewitness who recorded the chaotic scene told ABC13, while waiting for HCSO deputies to arrive at the restaurant, he asked the suspects why they tried to rob the place.
“(They said) one of their friends passed away and they were trying to rob the money for funeral expenses,” said the man who shot the video.
Investigators cannot release the names of the teens because they are underage, but we know that the male suspects are 15 and 16 and the female suspect is 15.
No other weapons were found. No workers or customers were hurt.
The three suspects are facing aggravated robbery charges.
Applebee’s did not comment on the situation.