A man struck over the head with a beer bottle and then put in a choke hold as he robbed Mark’s City Grill in August pleaded guilty on Friday, prosecutors said.
Deron Thomas, 39, was sentenced by Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters to 14 years in prison, followed by six on probation, for the Aug. 7 robbery, Assistant District Attorney Michael Craig said.
The suspect approached three employees outside the 7160 Moon Road business around 11:30 p.m. Aug. 7. He wore a mask and held a gun when he forced the employees inside and made them put their cash and cell phones on the bar, the prosecutor said.
One employee yelled to the manager in the back that they were being robbed. The suspect then led the employees into a dining area, the last of them with a gun to the back of his head, Craig said.
The employee in front had grabbed a beer bottle at some point, and he hid behind a door as the others were led past. When the suspect passed, he struck him in the head with the bottle, Craig said.
“He then grabs him in a choke hold, wrestles him with his gun,” he added. “He pulls the mask off, wrestles back to the front door.”
The suspect got away from the employee and ran from the business, firing a shot as he fled. No one was hit, police said.
“Within 30 minutes of him firing that shot, police had apprehended him by United Cheerleading,” Craig said of the business on Knology Way, near the restaurant. “They brought him back to the scene.”
Thomas pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Charges of kidnapping and attempted armed robbery were dropped, Craig said.