There was an attempted robbery Monday night at China 1, the restaurant located in the Westview building at 609 Main Street, according to owner Sam Lee.
The perpetrator, a female minor, entered the restaurant around 10 p.m. and brandished a large knife, Lee said. Public Safety arrived quickly, but the girl fled the store before she was caught. The suspect, who wore dark clothes and a ski mask, was then seen by officers nearby and taken into custody, Public Safety Director Jack McManus said.
“Another team of PSD officers alertly spotted the suspect along the west seawall and apprehended her there,” he said. She was turned over to the New York Police Department and charged with two counts of second-degree robbery.
According to Lee, the same suspect attempted a similar robbery on December 13, also with a knife. A worker at China 1 recognized the girl as the individual who had tried to rob the restaurant earlier, Lee said. He believes the suspect is from the Island and had been to China 1 previously with friends but rarely ordered food herself.
In the December 1 incident, according to Lee, the suspect arrived at 11:00 p.m. and waited for two other customers to leave before pulling out a knife and asking for money. “Everybody got so scared,” he said. “The lady that works there was crying.”
But a restaurant worker also had a knife, helping deter the suspect. “We have knives to cut the chickens,” Lee said. The suspect wasn’t caught at the time, but the incident is on tape. Lee added, “We have all of the videos.”
Before the December 13 incident, China 1’s storefront had never been robbed during its more than 20 years on the Island, according to Lee. However, a delivery person was mugged in the summer of 2014.
In that case, a takeout order was called in for delivery at 510 Main Street on a Sunday afternoon. When the delivery person arrived with the order at the apartment given by the caller, the resident opening the door said that no order was placed. After the resident closed the door, the delivery person was confronted by two persons, one with a knife, and robbed of $500. The two robbers also took the food, Lee said, but the delivery worker was unhurt.
“Roosevelt Island is supposed to be better and better,” Lee said. Still, he added, “Thank God everybody is safe.”