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Restaurant owner injured in robbery, catches suspect

By JAMIE JONES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 31, 2002

BROOKSVILLE -- A 38-year-old man robbed the Fireside Inn on Wednesday night, threatened to kill owner David Price and slashed Price's finger, authorities said.

Then Price raced after the robber and held him until police arrived.

Gary C. Quilling of Bushnell was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery.

He was being held Thursday without bail at the Hernando County Jail.

Authorities said Quilling arrived at the S Broad Street restaurant at 8:50 p.m. and walked to the register, where the owner stood with his 13-year-old son.

Quilling pushed the teenager out of the way and ordered him and his father on the ground, authorities said.

As Quilling took $483 from the register, Price asked his son to have other employees call 911, authorities said.

Quilling started to leave the restaurant, and Price followed. Quilling turned and said, "I'm going to kill you," according to police reports.

Price ordered Quilling to stop, and he swung his knife, cutting Price's finger.

Quilling then ran outside, followed by Price. About 70 yards from the restaurant, Price captured Quilling and police arrived.

Police Chief Ed Tincher said he could not comment on the robbery because the investigation is ongoing.

Investigators are trying to determine if Quilling robbed the restaurant in October and February.

Price could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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