A man who allegedly attempted to rob a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday night picked the wrong place.
Just before 10 p.m., Justin Carter, 30, of Louisville, strode up to the counter at a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant with a white mask covering his entire face and a gun in his hand, authorities allege, the Courier Journal reports.
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Displaying the gun to an employee behind the counter, Carter allegedly demanded cash from the register, according to an arrest citation obtained by the paper.
Among those watching this unfold were two newlyweds in a back booth, who just happened to be off-duty police officers on a “date night” at one of their favorite restaurants.
“I saw her hands go up and I’m thinkingIs he doing what I think he’s doing?’,” Elizabethtown Police Officer Nicole McKeown said at a press conference Tuesday, CNN reports.
“We just looked at each other. ‘Is this what’s going on?’ Let’s go,” her husband, Elizabethtown Det. Chase McKeown, said. “Instincts took over and we just did like we felt we needed to do.”
Without missing a beat, the couple can be seen on surveillance video released by the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department as they jumped up and out of the booth, drew their guns and ran after Carter, ordering him to drop his weapon.
Seeing the pair coming after him, Carter dropped the gun as he high-tailed it out of the fast-food eatery.
So did the crime-fighting couple, who chased him for about a block before they detained him at gunpoint in a backyard and waited for on-duty officers from the LMPD to arrive, local station WLKY reports.
Carter’s arrest, LMPD Detective Dan Mason said, “It is my belief, if not for the heroic actions taken by these two officers, the perpetrator’s actions inside the business would have escalated,” CNN reports.
Carter was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, receiving a stolen firearm and possessing a handgun as a convicted felon, court records state, the Courier Journal reports.
Justin Carter, 30, of Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville Metro Corrections
The gun Carter was allegedly carrying had been stolen from the Jeffersontown area, the arrest citation states.
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Carter appeared in court Monday for an arraignment. He hasn’t entered a plea. His public defender did not immediately return calls for comment.
Carter remains held at Metro Corrections on a $50,000 cash bond.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 25 for a preliminary hearing.
Now, the couple can enjoy all the chicken they want at Raising Cane’s, where they said they ate on their wedding night six months ago after the restaurant announced it will provide the couple with a year’s worth of free food, the Courier Journal reports.
“Detective Chase and Officer Nicole McKeown, we know your date night got cut short, so we’ve got your Cane’s covered for the next year,” Raising Cane’s tweeted Wednesday morning. “Thanks for protecting our Customers and Crew.”