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Attempted robbery at Cranberry Pizza Hut leads to arrest

March 30, 2020 News Extra

David M. Meshkofski

A suspected homeless man told Cranberry Township police that he was suffering opioid withdrawal and had been denied hospital help.

He claimed he needed money.

That's why he decided to allegedly rob the Pizza Hut restaurant Sunday afternoon, authorities said. But the manager refused to give him money even after he passed a note implying he had a weapon.

Police a short time later arrested 42-year-old David M. Meshkofski.

District Judge Sue Haggerty arraigned the defendant, who gave a York, Pa. address, on a charge of robbery, and remanded him to Butler County Prison on $20,000 bond.

A call shortly after 3 p.m. for a robbery in progress sent officers to the Pizza Hut on St. Francis Way. Police said they got there and the manager pointed to the suspect, who was in the parking lot.

The employee told officers the man came in and stood in line behind a customer. He handed the manager a note, police said, that read: “Thise (sic) is a hold up. Just give me like two Hundred Dollars. I AM Holding.”

But the manager refused to turn over any money. The would-be robber, later identified as Meshkofski, allegedly replied that he would “come back and take it,” police said.

In response, the manager told the defendant that he had to look for the key to the register. He even offered the suspect “some free food,” police said.

The employee apparently was able to convince Meshkofski that he needed to go in the back of the restaurant. That, police said, is when he advised the cook to call 911.

Soon after the manager returned to the counter, the defendant heard police sirens and he left by way of a side door.

Police said when they found Meshkofski, they also found the “crinkled up” note that he had given the manager, which was on the ground next to him.

At the station, the defendant waived his Miranda rights and gave a statement.

“He indicated that he was feeling sick because he was going through Suboxone withdrawal,” charging documents said. “He just left (the hospital) where they refused to help him, sso he tried to rob the Pizza Hut to get money."

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