Local News

Pizza deliveryman severely beaten during robbery

Posted September 25, 2009 10:08 a.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2009 6:28 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.