HUDSON — A Sam's Beach Bar employee faces charges that he orchestrated the robbery of his own workplace on Monday, which resulted in one employee being pistol-whipped and pepper spray being used on a 71-year-old woman, deputies said.
Scott Roy Bamberger, 46, of Port Richey, was arrested Thursday on a charge of robbery with a firearm. He was the one who planned the robbery but arranged for three others — including an uncle and nephew — to carry it out, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Those men faces charges that include kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and battery on a person older than 65, and more arrests could be made in this case. Arrest reports describe how the plot unfolded:
Steven Snow, 38, of New Port Richey, told deputies that he met up with Bamberger on Sunday, the day before the robbery. Bamberger told Snow information about the bar’s video surveillance system, where it kept the cash, drew up a floor plan of the business and even took photographs of the office and safe, according to the arrest report. Bamberger also planned to prop open the outside door and open the office door before Snow would go inside.
They met Monday morning in the restaurant parking lot at 6325 Clark St. Bamberger gave Snow pepper spray and said the doors were open, according to a reports. Deputies said Snow and Austin Hurtt, 24, of New Port Richey, went inside at about 7:48 a.m.
Hurtt struck an employee on the right side of the head with a handgun, the reports said, knocking him to the ground. The reports said Hurtt also stomped on his head, dragged him into a walk-in cooler and told him to stay on the ground.
A 71-year-old manager was inside the office when she heard an employee yell from the kitchen. Snow walked into the office and doused her eyes with pepper spray, the reports said. She was also forced into the cooler.
Snow then robbed the office and her purse of an undisclosed sum of money, the reports said.
A third employee who arrived to work in the kitchen heard yelling, then said she saw Snow push the manager into a cooler. Hurtt also pointed a gun at her, she told deputies, threatened to kill her and ordered her into the cooler, too. Someone called 911 at about 8:24 a.m. Another employee freed the others left in the cooler.
The men left in a blue Chevrolet Trailblazer, owned by the grandmother of Terrance Paul Snow, 18, the nephew of Steven Snow, the reports said. Deputies obtained surveillance video that captured the blue SUV, and they soon received tips that helped them track down the owner of the vehicle.
They also found witnesses who said they heard Steven Snow admit to robbing the bar in a hotel room on Thursday. Snow said they had stolen a large amount of cash and that he feared getting his nephew in trouble, the reports said.
Deputies said they searched Steven Snow's cellphone and found texts between him and Hurtt discussing the robbery and Hurtt’s fear that Snow's nephew would "snitch." Terrance Snow later told deputies he was paid $50 to drive the group, deputies said.
Hurtt faces charges of robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping. Steven Snow faces charges of robbery with a firearm, battery on a person older than 65 and kidnapping. Terrance Snow faces one count of robbery with a firearm.
Contact Paige Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @paigexfry.