Two men with robbery in mind kidnapped an employee of a McDonald's restaurant Thursday morning; But their plan was foiled when the manager recognized one of them as a former employee, according to a Richmond County sheriff's lieutenant.
Soon after, police had David Earl Littlejohn, 19, of the 3400 block of Postell Drive, and Edward E. Judkins, 26, of the 1800 block of Apple Valley Drive, in custody with plans to charge them with criminal attempt armed robbery, armed robbery and kidnapping, Lt. Jack Francisco said.
The robbery attempt at the McDonald's on the 2800 block of Washington Road is the third time in as many months that former employees have been arrested in robberies at Augusta restaurants.
On Thursday, when employee Teneshea Williams arrived to open the eatery at about 4:30 a.m., two men got into her vehicle and forced her to drive away at gunpoint, police said. After driving around and discussing their plans to rob the restaurant, they returned to find the manager inside, Lt. Jack Francisco said.
They forced Ms. Williams to go to a side door and knock. When the manager opened the door, one of the men who was armed tried to enter. When the manager recognized him as a former employee, the man fled, Lt. Francisco said.
Both men had been employed at the restaurant as recently as November, Lt. Francisco said.
About three weeks ago, a Dairy Queen employee, who was fired from his job at the restaurant on the 3100 block of Washington Road, and two other men were arrested and charged with shooting the restaurant's owner during an attempted robbery.
Former employee Howard Harden IV, 21; Lecadrick Dewayne Collier, 18; and Divine Genius Gibbs, 20, were charged with criminal attempted armed robbery.
Three months ago, Tommy L. Gray, 25, who had been fired from Logan's Roadhouse on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway the week before, was charged with criminal attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault and other crimes.
Police said Mr. Gray had returned to the restaurant Sept. 27, placed a gun to a manager's head and demanded money.
The manager, Thomas Kyle O'Steen, who had befriended Mr. Gray in the past, said he thought it was a joke. When he realized it wasn't, he grabbed the gun when the robber knelt down to help put the money in a bag. The two men struggled, the gun went off, and eventually Mr. O'Steen let go of the gun. The assailant ran away but not before firing another shot, Mr. O'Steen said.
Mr. Gray faces charges of possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and simple battery for the Logans robbery in addition to a misdemeanor charge from a previous incident, Maj. Ken Autry said.
Staff writer Vicky Eckenrode contributed to this report.
Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228.