An employee and guest at the 777 Arcade in Fort Myers, Fla. successfully sprang into action on Thursday. A woman allegedly threatened to shoot up the gaming arcade if she was not given money.
The employee quickly took out some pepper spray. The worker sprayed the suspect in the face. She was later identified as Tawana Huffman, WINK, a local TV station, reported.
Then, a nearby casino player tackled Huffman, the report added. After she was pushed to the floor, the visitor was able to restrain her.
It appears eventually deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office soon arrived. Huffman was apprehended.
Huffman was wearing a mask and a wig in an apparent disguise. No word if she actually had a firearm.
She also had on gloves, a long-sleeve jacket, and other clothes. It was unclear what charges, if any, she now faces.
The arcade is located on Buckingham Road. It is some 131 miles south of Tampa, Fla.
Summertime Arcade Heists
Last month, in prior crimes three suspects were nabbed in a string of robberies and thefts at other Lee County arcades.
One alleged bandit, James Brown, 45, was charged with armed robbery, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. It relates to a robbery at the Lucky Turtle Arcade in North Fort Myers.
In July, an armed suspect allegedly placed a firearm to the head of an employee there, WINK said. Jwyanza Chito, 34, who is believed to be from Philadelphia, was also charged with the robbery.
Chito and another man, Lenny Myers, 45, of Cape Coral, Fla., were also charged after a holdup at the White Sands Arcade in Cape Coral. Each faces a charge of robbery with a firearm.
The White Sands Arcade incident unfolded as Chito allegedly pulled out a Glock handgun and demanded money from an employee there.
Once they got the loot — about $2,500 — the two fled from the scene. The money was stuffed into a pillowcase, police said.
Also, two men matching the description of Chito and Myers were spotted by a patron in the parking lot at Coral Palace Arcade, also located in Cape Coral. The patron then alerted an arcade employee about the suspicious men.
Because the lot was under routine video surveillance, police were able to review the footage and track down the suspects using a photo of their car and license plate.
Police later located and apprehended Chito at a Fort Myers motel. The gun allegedly used in the crime was later also seized by police, officers said.
Possible Link to Other Thefts
Authorities said they also have linked Chito to the robbery of Vegas Knights, a North Fort Myers venue, in May.
The three suspects also were being investigated for similar incidents at other Lee County arcades, WINK said. Law enforcement agencies were exchanging information on the incidents.
In one theft, two men stole about $18,000 from The Vegas Experience. It is a gaming venue in Fort Myers.
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