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Thomas Scott Ruth, 22, allegedly told Carlsbad police officer Shaun Lawton that he made a spur-of-the-moment decision to rob a pizzeria on State Street in February. Officer Lawton gave testimony in the Vista courthouse on June 30.

Ruth, 22, allegedly held a loaded gun to the face of the pizza-shop owner before midnight on February 16 and demanded, “Give me the money!” according to witnesses. Both workers at the pizza shop that night, owner-operator Mychal Dourson and delivery driver Patrick Clemons, said they were sprayed with mace by their attacker before they wrestled him to the ground and disarmed him.

Dourson sat on the assailant while Clemons dialed 911, both witnesses said. Patrick Clemons said of the assailant: “He was acting tripped out, weird.” Clemons said the robber’s “eyes were darting all over the place.”

Lawton said after he handcuffed the suspect at the scene, the man told him he was on prescription medication, which may have affected him. The medication was not identified. The officer also said the handgun recovered at the scene was a pellet pistol in the style of a Beretta semi-automatic.

Dourson, the owner of Paradise Pizza, said pellets and BBs spilled from the weapon during the altercation and he spent days picking up the ammo from the floor of his shop, including under the pizza oven. At the end of the preliminary hearing, judge Aaron Katz ordered Ruth to stand trial on seven felonies, including attempted robbery and assault with caustic chemicals.

Pictured: Thomas Ruth

Credit: Nick Morris

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