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Three men rob Waffle House
A chase turns into a shootout, and two men get away.
By EMILY NIPPS, Times Staff Writer
Published August 19, 2007
TAMPA - Three armed men robbed a South Tampa Waffle House early Saturday, setting off a vehicle-and-foot pursuit and an eventual shootout, according to police.
Roberto Marcial Almaguer, 26, was shot in the leg and detained after being treated at St. Joseph's Hospital, police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said. Police were still searching for two men Saturday night.
The men covered their faces with ski masks or dark shirts before entering the restaurant at 509 N West Shore Blvd. and demanding money, Davis said.
After the men entered the restaurant, one of eight patrons fled the scene and called 911. As an officer arrived, the men were spotted leaving the parking lot in a Ford Bronco, which police later learned had been carjacked, Davis said.
The men ditched the Bronco on Interstate 275, just east of the Willow Street overpass, as officers followed on foot, Davis said.
Once on Willow Street, at least one man exchanged gunfire with officers. Almaguer was struck in the leg, and police retrieved a handgun, cash and jewelry before he was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital.
Almaguer of 2602 N St. Vincent St. was later released to police and charged with six counts of armed robbery with a firearm, attempted armed robbery, carjacking, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm as a felon.
"We are still trying to talk to Almaguer to find out what role he and the others had in this crime," Davis said.
Police are looking for two men, described as a black man between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, wearing dark layered clothing and black wool gloves and a 6-foot black man with a thin build wearing a khaki shirt and dark pants.
The two were last seen running into the North Boulevard Homes public housing complex.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Tampa police at (813) 231-6130.