Matthew Craig Burke 11:30 a.m., Feb. 12
Would-be-robber of Carlsbad pizzeria wants probation modification
Judge denied Thomas Scott Ruth's request in Superior Court yesterday
The owner of a pizza shop in Carlsbad made national news when he wrestled a loaded handgun away from a would-be robber in February 2011.
Almost two years later, the man who admitted the attempted robbery is requesting modification of the conditions of his probation.
Thomas Scott Ruth, then 22, waved a loaded handgun in the face of Mychal Dourson before he blasted the pizza-shop-owner in the face with mace, according to testimony.
The 36-year-old pizza-shop-owner said that while he was on the floor wrestling with the robber, pellets and BBs spilled out of the handgun and rolled under his pizza oven. The fracas happened just before midnight at Paradise Pizza in Carlsbad, California.
In a plea deal, Thomas Scott Ruth admitted two counts of attempted robbery and that he personally used a dangerous weapon. It is unclear if the weapon he admitted using was mace or the loaded handgun. Five other felonies were dismissed in the deal – including assault charges for spraying both the shop owner and his delivery driver in the face with mace during the confrontation.
Carlsbad Police Officer Shaun Lawton described the gun as a CO-2 powered pellet pistol, styled as a Beretta semi-automatic. The officer said after he took the bloodied Ruth away from the pizza shop workers, he asked Ruth if it was a planned crime or just a spur-of-the-moment decision. Thomas Scott Ruth quickly replied that it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing, according to the officer’s testimony.
In February 2012, Thomas Scott Ruth was released from custody; he had served 137 days in local jail. He was put on 3 years formal probation.
Ruth’s private defense attorney was in court yesterday, January 2, 2013, asking to “modify probation.” However, Judge Aaron Katz instead ordered Ruth into outpatient treatment and to report to probation immediately and set another date for probation review on February 28, 2013, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.