Pizza shop employees discover attempted robber is fired coworker: 'It's me, Sean'

A couple of pizza shop employees in Massachusetts took down a masked robber on Tuesday evening, only to discover that the would-be thief was a former co-worker.

Sean Coulson, 30, burst into the Northeast Pizza in Barre at around 8:30 p.m., wearing a ski mask and waving what appeared to be a gun, the Worcester Telegram reports. After jumping over the counter, Coulson grabbed a bag containing $165 in cash and attempted to flee, but the on-duty employees weren’t about to let that happen.

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In surveillance footage from Northeast Pizza, two employees and one other male can be seen attempting to wrestle Coulson to the ground, at which point a fight ensued. The workers eventually managed to pin Coulson down, at which point they unmasked him and learned he was a former employee of Northeast Pizza. An employee says Coulson also claimed the entire robbery was “just a joke.”

"He was like, 'Trevor, please. It's me, Sean,” said Trevor Kosla, who spoke with Fox 25 Boston. "He kept saying 'It's just a joke, it's just a joke.' That is not a joke by any means."

Kosla and the two other men held Coulson down until police arrived, at which point he was arrested. Police also learned that the firearm Coulson had brandished was just a replica.

barre_gun

Coulson was brandishing a replica pistol when he barged into Northeast Pizza, police confirmed.  (Barre Police Department)

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Coulson has been charged with armed and masked robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace,” according to Fox 25 Boston. He’s being detained in East Brookfield until Feb. 5, when a hearing will determine if he’s allowed to post bail.

The owner of Northeast Pizza, Steve Barrett, has since commended his employees for their brave actions.

“I consider them heroes,” he told the Telegram.

Sgt. William Recos of the Barre Police admitted that the employees’ actions were “commendable,” but added that he doesn’t “recommend people get involved the way these employees do.”

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Coulson had been fired from the pizzeria in July, the owner confirmed. He also lived across the street.