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Detroit man cited for firing shots in air during struggle with robber

Manager at Turkey Grill says shootings like this could stop if area got more attention from Detroit police

DETROIT – There have been two murders on the side of the Turkey Grill building on Woodward Avenue in the past couple of years.

Another murder could have happened this week during a robbery. However, the man with the gun, who was the victim, fired into the air and not at the robber. Still, that's illegal.

It was a normal Wednesday at the Turkey Grill when disabled Army veteran was about to order some food.

"The criminal hit me with something in the back of my head," the veteran said. He did not want to be named in this story.

The robber was trying to steal the man's gold chain. He chased the robber and returned to the restaurant a few minutes later with the robber held at gunpoint.

"I pushed him and I told him, 'Punk, sit down. Punk, sit down,'" he said. "He looked at me and thought I was an easy target because I'm disabled, but don't let the smooth taste fool ya. That's how he got caught up."

About 5 minutes later, the robber made another break for it and got away despite the victim firing two shots in the air. Even though he has a concealed carry permit, police cited him for discharging his weapon.

"They actually delivered it to my house. I think it's unfair," he said.

George Lyles is the operations manager at the Turkey Grill.

"It's very frustrating because it's a hazard to our customers," said Lyles.

It's the latest incident at the restaurant which, Lyles said, could be prevented if he got the same treatment as businesses do in downtown Detroit.

"I saw 20 cop cars, with the bicycles (downtown), and I didn't see any murders or any crime going on down there," he said.

There are new LED street lights outside the Turkey Grill. However:

"They don't work. They don't work and it's been 6 months," said Lyles.

If the street lights did work, Lyles thinks shootings would stop.

Meanwhile, the robber is still at large. The victim just wants him caught.

"We need to get this criminal off the street because next time he may not be so lucky," he said.


About the Author:

Jason Colthorp

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.