ST. PETE BEACH — As an employee left Crabby Bill's early Monday, two men confronted him in the parking lot.
It was just after 1 a.m. and the restaurant was closed. The men demanded money, beat him, bound his hands and forced him with a semiautomatic handgun into the trunk of a car, police said.
They left him in the trunk for several minutes, then pulled him out and took him at gunpoint to the front of the restaurant. They demanded he open the door — then they ran into a second employee, police said.
The men forced that worker to the ground, robbed both employees of cash and opened the restaurant door using the key, police said.
Inside the restaurant, at 5100 Gulf Blvd., the men went to the manager's office, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and ran away, leading patrol officers on a brief chase, police said.
Reginald Robinson and Floyd Butler Jr., both 24, were arrested.
Police said Robinson headed north on the beach and police caught up to him on the sand.
Butler jumped into the Intracoastal Waterway trying get away, police said. But the water was so shallow Butler couldn't hide or get away, so he surrendered, officials said.
Both men were charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment. Robinson was also charged with removing the serial number of the gun he had in his possession.
Butler has a history of arrests in Pinellas County, jail records say. He has been arrested several times since 2006 on drug charges.
Marissa Lang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3386.