Shots fired as employees chase robbery suspect in Lake Wylie

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comFebruary 7, 2014 

— No injuries were reported following a robbery Thursday night at Q2U BBQ Pit, although shots were fired.

A male suspect stole a bag containing electronics and other items from a truck in the parking lot. The incident occurred about 9 p.m. after the staff closed the restaurant at 4052 Charlotte Highway in Lake Wylie Plaza.

“Two of our employees chased the guy but stopped behind the Bowl N’ Bounce after the guy pulled a gun and shot at them,” said Brian Rich, co-owner of the restaurant.

Trent Faris, public information officer for the York County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed shots were fired but said Friday morning he didn’t know whether they were aimed at the employees.

“We don’t know if it was right at them or if it was a, ‘Hey, leave me alone’ kind of thing,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Office report lists four witnesses and the two employees who pursued the suspect, in addition to co-owner Mark Cieslikowski, whose items were stolen. Cieslikowski and witnesses describe a suspect jogging in from the direction of Lake Wylie Public Library, reaching in as Cieslikowski got into his vehicle and grabbing a bag the owner put in the passenger seat of his truck. Stolen were a black laptop bag, an iPad and iPhone with cases, and a checkbook valued at more than $1,000.

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11 male with a thin build, about 150-160 pounds. The suspect wore a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. Witnesses weren’t able to see his face, which was covered by the sweatshirt hood. The suspect did have a “football-style mouthpiece in his mouth with the strap hanging out.”

The employees who pursued the suspect reported him firing a handgun “towards them approximately 4-5 times,” according to the incident report. Charges awaiting the suspect are armed robbery, attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

A K-9 unit responded. Shell casings were found and recovered from behind the bowling alley.

Law enforcement advises anyone in a similar situation to contact them directly and not to pursue a suspect.

“Don’t chase after them,” Faris said. “Usually if they’re desperate enough to steal your stuff, they’re probably desperate enough to take further action.”

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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