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Pizza deliveryman severely beaten during robbery

Posted September 25, 2009
Updated September 26, 2009

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— Garner police arrested a man Friday after a Papa John's pizza deliveryman was severely beaten and robbed at an apartment complex Thursday evening.

Police said that Di Yang, 51,  was delivering an order to 925 Bryan Place in the Bryan Woods apartment complex around 8 p.m. Witnesses said that several men surrounded Yang in the parking lot and beat and kicked him. They stole the pizzas and Yang's wallet and money.

"He never had a chance to get anywhere near the building or an apartment," Sgt. Chris Clayton said.

Pizza deliveryman severely beaten during robbery Pizza deliveryman beaten in Garner

A witness told WRAL News that she saw six or seven men assaulting Yang.

Yang was in critical condition at WakeMed in Raleigh Friday, police said.

Police said Yang was uneasy after the caller only gave him a partial address.

"He had actually called back to verify that someone would answer the phone number that they called from," Clayton said. "The person did."

Investigators determined that Demetrice Lamont Tucker, 17, had the phone from which the pizza order was placed. Police searched his residence at 106 Center St. and seized clothing and other items.

Tucker was arrested and charged with common-law robbery and assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He was being held in the Wake County Jail Saturday under a $500,000 secured bond.

The Garner Police Department has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of other people involved in the robbery.

Anyone with information about the case should call police Investigator Amy Miller at 919-772-8810 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-2746. Callers to Crime Stoppers never have to identify themselves.

This is the third robbery of a pizza delivery worker in the past six weeks within a half-mile of the Papa Johns on Vandora Springs Road. All of the drivers worked for Papa Johns.

Police believe the same suspects were involved in the previous robberies at Westchester Apartments on 7th Avenue in August.

Another Papa Johns deliver man was robbed in Raleigh on Thursday night. The victim, Ponce Deleon Moody, 56, was taking a pizza to 4916 Coolridge Court when two men with handguns robbed him, police said.

Moody, an employee of the Papa Johns at 5620 Capitol Blvd., was not hurt. The robbers took $35 in cash.

The two gunmen were described as black men in their teens to early 20s and between 160 to 165 pounds. They each had closely cropped hair.

The first man is between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and has a dark complexion. He was wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt, a black skull cap and a blue bandanna. The second man is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 9 inches and has a medium skin tone. He was wearing a black T-shirt and a blue bandanna.

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the department works with pizza delivery companies to train workers to avoid robberies and how to handle the situation if they do become victims.

Sughrue said pizza delivery places also have rules about delivering to certain areas after dark.

166 Comments

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  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    After you use a firearm to defend yourself the first call it to
    911 to report it. Next call it to your own lawyer.
    Never answer any questions until the lawyer is present. period.

    Expect to be named in one or more lawsuits from the bad guy or his estate along with $50K in legal fees.

    The use of deadly force is the last resort, the citizen is not a law enforcement officer, we have no authority to detain an attacker or hold them until police arrive.

    Let them go, let the police take over.
    You win, you've got your life.

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    Really, to fire my weapon has to be the last choice, you
    can't recall the bullet once it is fired.

    Many times when the bad guy(s) see you are armed, that puts them
    on alert and they will leave you alone, you never have to aim
    the firearm.

    What??!! You never pull a gun on somone unless you plan on shooting them. If he would have pulled a gun out on them and he didnt use it they would have one pulled their own guns out and shot him or they would have taken his gun away and shot him.

  • gandalla Sep 25, 2009

    Many, many times when a victim draws their personal firearm it will make the attacker stop in their tracks and run away. It is rare that the firearm has to be discharged to stop an attack.
    james27613

    What??!! You never pull a gun on somone unless you plan on shooting them. If he would have pulled a gun out on them and he didnt use it they would have one pulled their own guns out and shot him or they would have taken his gun away and shot him.

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    While it was against the company policy I did have my
    personal firearm along with my NC CCW when I delivered
    (not pizza) food as part time job at nights and weekends.

    Imagine a pizza delivery guy coming to your house with a gun! Right- not gonna happen, okay?

  • ambidextrous cat Sep 25, 2009

    If this sort of thing is common, delivery people should have cameras in their cars. I bet that Papa Johns could easily afford them.

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    many companies will not allow an employee or contractor to
    carry a weapon (knife firearm etc) while on company property or
    working hours.

    nobody says he would have to fire his firearm (if he had one legally).

    Many, many times when a victim draws their personal firearm it will make the attacker stop in their tracks and run away. It is rare that the firearm has to be discharged to stop an attack.

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    Yeah, like he was upset about the tip ?

    The true details aren't out yet, perhaps he refused to give over his money? It shouldn't have happened, yet no one wonders whether he incited the incident.

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    This crime could be classified as a hate crime.

  • You have got to be kidding me Sep 25, 2009

    good god, cat... i know all the facts i need to know

  • james27613 Sep 25, 2009

    Is Papa John's offering any reward, they can afford it to help protect their drivers. PD should not have to pony up rewards.

    Oh they will say the driver is a 'contractor' right ?

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