McDonald's worker pistol-whipped in robbery

Ocoee restaurant reopens after investigation

Marco Romulus Simplice, 23.
Marco Romulus Simplice, 23.

OCOEE, Fla. – A McDonald's employee was pistol-whipped and the Ocoee restaurant's manager was forced to open a safe at gunpoint by two masked robbers, according to police.

The armed robbery happened about 3 a.m. Friday at the McDonald's near Colonial Drive and McGuire Road.

According to Ocoee police, two masked men entered the restaurant, and one of them, later identified as 23-year-old Marco Romulus Simplice, pistol-whipped a worker.  He then made the manager open the store safe. 

The other assailant forced a worker to open a cash register and stole money, police said.  The culprits also stole cellphones from the four employees before driving off in a silver Chrylser, police said.

An Ocoee officer found the vehicle abandoned nearby and spotted three men running toward another car, police said.

A short car pursuit ended when the culprits crashed into a fence on St. Lawrence Street, according to police.  Two guns and the cash stolen from McDonald's was found in the car, police said.

A K-9 tracked down and bit Simplice, who was hiding near Willowood Street and Bright Meadow Drive.

Anyone with information about the other two men is urged to call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS.