Terry Emerson walked into the Subway sandwich shop on U.S. 19 about midnight Tuesday. Then he heard a voice in the back ordering someone to stay down.
Emerson tried to leave, but a masked man armed with a gun leaped over the front counter and ordered Emerson onto the ground. The man ran outside with the restaurant's cash box.
Minutes later, Crystal River police officers stopped a man matching the suspect's description at Crystal Street and NE Fifth Avenue.
Officers asked the store clerk, Kathy Cualt, if she thought she could identify the suspect _ even though the robber wore a mask.
Of course she could, she said. The suspect was a regular customer.
Cordell Griffin, 20, 816 NE First Ter., Crystal River, was charged with one count of armed robbery and two counts of false imprisonment.
According to a Crystal River police report, Griffin _ wearing a white cut-off T-shirt, knee-length green shorts and a white cloth wrapped around his face _ entered the shop just a few minutes before midnight.
Griffin walked up to the counter, pointed a handgun at Cualt, asked her where the cash box was and demanded the money, the report said.
Griffin took about $150, then demanded the video tape to the store's security camera, the report said.
He jumped over the counter and had Cualt lead him to it.
Eject the video tape, Griffin told her, or he would kill her, the report said.
She could not get the video tape to eject, the report said, so Griffin ordered her to lie on the ground as he picked up the VCR and smashed it onto the floor. Then Emerson walked in.
Minutes later, with both Emerson and Cualt lying on the shop's floor, Griffin reportedly ran outside, pointed the gun at Emerson's wife, Robin, who was waiting in their car in the parking lot, then fled south toward the back of the restaurant.
The police arrived and broadcast the suspect's description, the report said. Tracing Griffin's path behind the store, police found the cash box and a shoe print.
Two officers soon stopped Griffin.
Officers took a shoe from Griffin and matched its bottom with shoe prints found near the store's counter and parking lot. Officers took the store's clerk, Cualt to the scene, and she identified him, the report said.
Griffin was booked into the Citrus County Detention Facility, where he is being held in lieu of $60,000.