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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.

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Eva Knott Jan. 3, 2013 @ 4:56 p.m.

Picture of Thomas Scott Ruth in court by Nick Morris.


Javajoe25 Jan. 3, 2013 @ 7 p.m.

This punk got off easy. Sprayed two people in the face with mace? Flashed a pellet guy in the owner's face? Could have taken an eye out. In addition to probation he ought to be made to deliver pizza for a year without pay! What kind of stupid pills are these dopes taking? 22 years old when he pulled this crap; can't wait to see what he brings when he's 35.


Visduh Jan. 3, 2013 @ 7:43 p.m.

Seems to me he could have been convicted of armed robbery, and that is, despite the current softness on crime in California, a serious rap. As in ten or more years of hard time in a medium-security lockup. Instead he got a piddling three years of probation, and now he wants out of that. The dumb bleep is lucky to be alive, 'cause the cops are all too eager to lay heavy lead into anyone who they even think has a weapon. He needs to crawl back under his rock until he grows up. The next time he tries something like that, somebody (and it might be him) likely will be hurt.


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