Osceola County Sheriff's detectives are asking the public for help identifying two armed men they say robbed an Applebee's restaurant after assaulting the manager.
Detectives responded to the business located at 2060 E. Osceola Parkway at around 3:06 am on Thursday where the manager said that two males approached him after the restaurant had closed.
A week later, deputies were back interviewing workers, hoping for more leads to help them catch two violent robbers.
"These individuals were armed, and so we do not want them out on the streets," said Osceola County Sheriff's spokeswoman, Twis Lizasuain.
Deputies said the robbers got in through the back, went straight for the manager's office and demanded he hand over the cash. The manager tried to fight them off, until they pistol-whipped him, and then tied him up, said authorities.
The sign at the front of the restaurant makes it clear Wednesdays are 'Ladies Night,' which ends around 2 a.m. People nearby think the robbers must be local and waited for the perfect time to strike.
"Probably people that know the area, that live around here," said Darzia Delgado. "It's not like they would know they're going to be open or closed."
Lizasuain said no customers were in the store at the time. Several employees up front likely had no idea what was happening in the back, as the manager remained bound and helpless, because the robbery happened so quickly, said Lizasuain. The manager was able to untie himself and only suffered minor injuries, she said.
Sheriff's detectives said one suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5'5” to 5'6” tall wearing a white mask, black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. The second suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5'8” to 5'9” tall, 175-180 lbs. He was wearing a black mask, black hooded sweatshirt and jeans, according to deputies.
They were seen driving from the area in an older-model Cadillac DeVille.
Anyone with information about this incident or who has had contact in the Poinciana area with someone matching this description is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at (407) 348-2222 or Crimeline at (800) 423-TIPS (8477).