Springfield man accused of robbing fast food restaurant with butcher knife

Eric Dean faces charges of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence after Dean allegedly tried to rob the Hardee’s restaurant on South Limestone on Feb. 14. JENNA LAWSON/STAFF

A Springfield man accused of robbing a local fast food restaurant with a butcher knife on Valentines Day was indicted.

Eric Dean, 35, was indicted in Clark County Common Pleas Court on a charge of aggravated robbery. He pleaded not guilty to a similar charge in Clark County Municipal Court. A court affidavit says Dean allegedly told police officers that he didn’t remember robbing the restaurant because he was drunk and later allegedly told them that he did so because his girlfriend was pressuring him to come up with money.

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Springfield police began their investigation when they were called to Hardee’s on South Limestone Street, according to an affidavit, and spoke with an employee who witnessed the robbery.

(The employee) stated that an unknown white male wearing a black zip-up jacket, blue jeans and a green and black bandana on his face entered the south entrance of the business,” the affidavit says. “(The employee) stated that she was working the front counter and greeted the man to assist him with his order. (The employee) stated that the unknown male pulled a large butcher-style knife from his rear waistband and told her to put all the money from the register into his black backpack. (The employee) stated that she then said no and the unknown male stated he has a gun and will shoot the employees if they did not comply.”

The woman said she stepped back from the register and screamed for someone to call the police, the affidavit says.

Another witness said he came to the front of the store and confronted the suspect, the affidavit says.

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The man told police he saw the suspect holding a knife in front of the counter and that he chased the suspect out of the restaurant, according to the affidavit.

While officers were speaking with witnesses, the affidavit says other officers found a man who matched the description of the suspect.

“They approached the male and detained him in front of (a home on) Clifton Avenue,” the affidavit says.

Officers said the man was identified as Dean and that he allegedly told officers he did stop at the Hardee’s.

“(Officers) then asked him what he did while at Hardee’s but Mr. Dean said he did not remember because he was drunk,” the affidavit says.

A next court date in the case had not been set.

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