Deli robber given 5 years in prison Menaced waitress with a knife ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY--Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

August 24, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 29-year-old laborer was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for the knifepoint robbery of a well-known Annapolis restaurant in February.

James William Henry Brown, 29, of the 100 block of Obery Court in Annapolis was sentenced by Circuit Judge Raymond G. Theime Jr. after a brief hearing.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said that Brown walked into Chick & Ruth's Delly, at 165 Main St., about 3 a.m. Feb. 3, sat at the counter and asked a waitress for a blueberry muffin.

When the waitress turned away to reach up to nearby shelves for the muffin, Brown jumped over the counter, grabbed her from behind and threatened her with a bread knife.

The waitress struggled with Brown, who pushed her to the floor and stamped on her neck and back before a cook working nearby shouted for Brown to leave her alone.

Brown slashed at the waitress' ear, took money from the register and fled on foot, according to police and prosecutors.

He was apprehended a few hours later, after the cook and other employees identified him, remembering him as a boy named "Jimmy" who attended Annapolis Senior High School.

Police found $45 in bills, believed taken in the robbery, stuffed into heating coils at his apartment, according to investigators.

The waitress was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she received three stitches, police said.

Mr. Paone said the attack occurred during Brown's second trip that night into the restaurant, a New York-style deli that features lox, bagels and various sandwiches named after state and local politicians.

Brown had gone in about five minutes before to "case" the restaurant, Mr. Paone said.

Brown pleaded guilty in Circuit Court July 12 to robbery with a deadly weapon.

Mr. Paone said that Brown, a former turret gunner in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne unit, worked as a laborer in an Annapolis printing shop, but was addicted to cocaine at the time of the robbery.

Mr. Paone said that Brown had one previous criminal conviction, for breaking and entering several years ago, and was given probation before judgment on that charge.

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