Officials: Agatucci's Outcome Not Typical

By Maggie Vespa

November 22, 2010 Updated Nov 23, 2010 at 6:07 PM CDT

A Peoria man remains in custody tonight after, police say, he tried to rob a longstanding local pizzeria.

His attempt was foiled only after owners of the restaurant drew their own weapons.

Now, local officials caution, it's not a 'one size fits all' solution.

When Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis first heard of Saturday night's attempted robbery on longtime pizza legend Agatucci's, he says his response was typical.

"Oh, I was surprised."

But upon further thought, Ardis says he found part of the story believable.

"I was surprised that someone would do that, but I wasn't surprised that the Agatuccis were prepared," said Ardis.

Peoria police say Saturday night around 10:30, a masked man carrying a gun, entered Agatucci's and demanded money.

They say owners Danny and Tony Agatucci drew their own weapons, and the suspect ran.

They chased him, firing rounds in the air.

Minutes later police say that suspect, 25 year-old Demario Scott, was arrested.

He faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, attempted armed robbery, and burglary.

Now, it's that preparedness that has authorities worried about the night's repercussions.

"It comes down to the responsibility of the person that owns the gun and are they using it responsibly."

Peoria County States Attorney Kevin Lyons agrees, saying while the Agatucci's were within their rights to have a gun in their restaurant, the story may give some the wrong impression.

"It's a little wild west. It's not right for all circumstances or even most circumstances," he said.

In the end, officials say if you do own a legal weapon, only use it if you are trained and comfortable.

The Agatucci family said they are thankful for the department's involvement in ending the night safely.

"Just having somebody voice their pleasure with the job we've done is great," said Burgess.

A message that, all parties say, comes with the best possible ending to a traumatic night.

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